Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stop and Smell the Lilacs

Oh my gosh!  If my sister thinks I have an obsession with fabric, my daughter KNOWS I have an obsession with lilacs.  I can't go on a drive this time of year without breaking out in raptures every time I see a bank of lilacs in bloom.  "Oh look at those!  You could bring in a huge bouquet every day and never put a dent in them!!!"  That, of course, is my dream.  A fresh armful of lilacs every day for the duration of their way too short blooming period.   Sigh... I love spring.   I LOVE lilacs - their gorgeous color and incredibly perfect scent!   It's a stab in the heart when I start to see the brown tinge creep in as they start fading away.

When we moved into this old house there was one mangy white lilac plop in the middle of the back yard.  All by itself dead center.  It had probably been there for decades.   I worked on improving it for years.   I put flagstones around it.  I mulched it.   The poor white lilac looked better but was still spindly and the leaves got dusty and black on the edges. The blooms were weak.  I tried spraying it.  I pruned carefully.  Nothing helped.  Finally, my oldest son removed it one day with a shovel and an axe.  It was a sad but necessary day.  I couldn't watch.

 Eventually I planted a new lilac.  

I fell in love with it's tiny purple petals trimmed in white when I saw it in the nursery: "Sensation" lilac - a French hybrid.

 Now it's grown enough that I can bring some bouquets into the house... 
but not every day.

And every year, it never fails that there is one rebellious sprig on the bush that insists on being white.  Probably the exception to the hybridization - the recessive sprig...  or maybe it's the ghost of white lilacs past.


  1. Gorgeous!! You can never have enough flowers around! Bring um on!

  2. Smelling lilacs always takes me back to my childhood home. There was one right outside of my bedroom window. My mom always had a bunch on the dining room table. During the winter she would spray lilac air freshener all around the house!

  3. So so true. She even asked the owner of a practically abandoned building whether she could take lilacs from their lot!!? It may be Mother's day soon, but MOM, you have an obsession :) <3

  4. She actually asked permission? She didn't just sneek in there under cover of rain and darkness?

  5. OK, OK -- so there is an abandoned factory with a huge lilac bush kinda near the house. Last year I did drive right up and cut a bunch -- yes, it was premeditated because I brought clippers. Later, out of guilt, I mentioned it to the village president and attorney (who laughed at me) and they said, "We know the owner wouldn't care at all. He's in Ohio... (Pennsylvania?) Help yourself." I said I was obsessed...


Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet-
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

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