One of my favorite memories of lilacs is from a house in Kitsap County, Washington. The garden around the house in Kitsap had been manicured to suit the fancy of every fairy, elf and gnome for miles: little coves of carefully sculpted conic hedges concealed happy clumps of columbine and roses beneath tall evergreens. (Oh yeah – and there was a swing-set in the form of a castle. Excellent.)
Apple and pear trees adorned one area of the property, in front of which grew a few enormous lilac trees of pinks, purples, and whites. In springtime there, the lilac fragrance was overwhelming!
Around the farm in Pennsylvania, lilacs have to compete with the sweetness of cherries and other tree blossoms. Nonetheless, once you’re within about 100 meters of a lilac, you can smell it before you see it! My landlady has been generous enough to share some of her lilacs, and in the coming weeks I’ll be trundling over with shovel and wheel barrow to collect a few starts of my own to plant around the cottage.