Sunday, April 30, 2006


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.


  1. OH I love lilacs! They're the first thing I plant in any garden! I haven't seen any here yet but we do have wonderful wisteria at the moment.

  2. Ah, just the scent of lilacs brings back such fond memories of childhood! Beautiful.

  3. Ditto Traveler One's first two sentences.

    I've been babying some volunteers that crossed the fence from our neighbor's lilac last year and cursing the cat that keeps rubbing against another fledgling lilac and breaking off its branches.

  4. The butterflies must flock around your house.

  5. My mom had one planted outside her second story bedroom window when I was a kid. It was so big you could open the window and pick a stem off it. What a scent.

    Good luck with your lilac planting!

  6. "I lost myself on a cool damp night
    I Gave myself in that misty light
    Was hypnotized by a strange delight
    Under a lilac tree
    I made wine from the lilac tree
    Put my heart in its recipe
    It makes me see what I want to see
    and be what I want to be
    ?When? (But) I think more than I want to think
    Do things I never should do
    I drink much more that I ought to drink
    Because (it) brings me back ?you? (in)...

    Lilac wine is sweet and heady, like my love
    Lilac wine, I feel unsteady, like my love
    Listen to me... I cannot see clearly
    Isn't that she coming to me nearly here?
    Lilac wine is sweet and heady where's my love?
    Lilac wine, I feel unsteady, where's my love?
    Listen to me, why is everything so hazy?
    Isn't that she, or am I just going crazy, dear?
    Lilac Wine, I feel unready for my love,
    feel unready for my love." -James Shelton

  7. It sounds like everyone loves lilacs!

    TravellerOne, I am looking forward to bringing these into my new garden to be sure!

    FrankenGirl, I've heard that the sense of smell can be the most powerful with memories, and lilacs certainly have a powerful scent! I can't imagine that they could ever be forgotten!

    LilyB, don't you love new recruits from the neighbors? I feel so lucky to have such a generous hostess as my landlady who is willing to share her garden with me.

    Ducklover, I've been trying to get butterfly pictures for the blog, but so far all I've seen are white ones that fly REALLY REALLY fast! My landlady says that in the summer we'll see the more colorful ones, and if I can get an image, I'll be certain to post!

    Trailhead, that sounds awesome! Making a mental note to have a big lilac tree outside my window in my dream house (and a jasmine plant by the front door).

    Sir Barrett, welcome! Thank you for the lyrics - so lovely, and quite appropriate!

  8. Just like turtle, the animals noted to be slow..that really aren't


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