Shrubs / spring flowers

Hello Lilacs! The late spring isn’t looking so bad now, is it?

In my world, lilacs evoke memories like nothing else in the garden. The end of school is what what comes to mind for me.

deep purple blooms

Deep purple lilacs blooms hypnotize against the cerulean sky.

I have a specific memory of all of us first-graders bringing little bouquets for Mrs. Tews and filling her desk with them. Everyone needs a lilac bush in their yard. True, they can take up a lot of space, but their upright canopies can actually create a lovely little living space beneath for a patio or shade garden. Let’s take some time, take a tour and celebrate the lilac. She is a fleeting mistress of beauty in the garden.

Generally speaking:

French or common lilac
Syringa vulgaris

  • 12 — 15 feet high at maturity, with nearly that in width
  • Highly fragrant
  • They require full sun to bloom in full splendor
  • Tolerant of most soils, but require good drainage

By the way: Deadheading the spent, somewhat unattractive blooms does not encourage next year’s blossoms and is not worth the effort.

lilacs against the blue sky

Lilacs against a blue May sky are chicken soup for the gardener’s soul.

lilac blossom

Take caution: Sniffing a lilac blossom is highly intoxicating. Be prepared to swoon and be a little “heady” the rest of your day.

white lilacs

There are several white varieties of lilacs available. Stunning and rather ethereal, almost mystic.

lilac 'beauty of moscow'

‘Beauty of Moscow’ is 10 to 12 feet tall, 8 feet wide, with pearly-pink flowers.

lilac 'sensation'

Isn’t ‘Sensation’ sensational? 10 feet tall and about that wide, its deep purple flowers have striking white margins.

Dwarf Korean lilac is 10' x 10' and bloom purple/lavender just a touch later, into June. A nice smaller statured lilac with a compact form.

Dwarf Korean lilac is 10′ x 10′ and blooms purple/lavender just a touch later, into June. A nice smaller statured lilac with a compact form.

Lilac 'Miss Kim'

Even smaller, ‘Miss Kim’ is 6 x 6′ with a compact form and has lovely burgundy foliage in the fall.

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