Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Old Fashioned Lilacs

Finally, the Lilacs are blooming. They seemed to take forever this year with our cold windy spring.

The farm that I grew up on had a row of them along the drive, both white and purple. They formed an L to the south of the house, the dogs loved to dig holes under them and lay in the cool earth. I would pick bouquets and bring them into the house, usually the "Vase" was a water glass or a canning jar.

The lilacs supplied an endless amount of switches, when we miss behaved we were told to go out and get our own switch. Since I was a very stubborn, willful child I was a regular at the lilacs. One time I attempted to bring in a tiny little green wimpy switch..a very floppy one..that behavior didn't go over well either.

We don't have lilacs here in our yard. Far Guy tried to plant one here, it died. It seems everyplace we have lived our entire lives has been void of lilacs, we plant them, they grow and flower and then we move. So it is probably just as well that his attempt at lilacs was a failure.

When Far Guy was little he used the lilacs as a cover for escape, they were located at the end of the clothes line near the alley. When his Mother used to tie him to the clothes line, he would go over there and unclip himself, he would take off on wild neighborhood adventures and then return and clip himself back up again. Just like nothing had happened.

In Minnesota, if you watch the countryside carefully and see lilacs..they mark where old homesteads once were. Sometimes a few buildings remain..sometimes only the lilacs.

In recent years the "plant world" has released a number of new lilacs, there are early and late varieties, French ones and Canadian ones, ones that supposedly bloom all the way to the ground instead of just on top, even a re-bloomer called 'Josee'. I still like the old fashioned lilacs, however I have always been intrigued by a yellow blooming lilac called 'Primrose' ...has anyone ever heard of it? Remember to trim your lilacs right after the blossoms have faded! Lilacs bloom on "old wood" ..that means if you trim too much or too late in the season you will sacrifice next years flowers. Amazing isn't it..flower buds forming one year and blooming the next:)

18 comments:

  1. Hello...sorry I have been away from your blog! I have missed a lot and am trying to play catch up once again. I absolutely LOVE lilacs. We had two bushes and now just one. My husband didn't like the one growing so close to the house so we dug it up and got rid of it. The other one (also close to the house) we replanted and it surprisingly came back...slowly. This year it was full of blossoms and oh so fragrant. The story you tell of the switches I can relate to! That happened to us! Also...regarding the old homesteads and lilacs...there are many here too! I figured that out years ago and now I look for that. As a matter of fact, our lilacs came from an old homestead in Pownal, Maine...that my ex-mother in law owned. We dug them up and brought them here. Great post and please give hugs to my friend Chance!

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  2. I love lilacs. I've inherited one at the last two places I've lived so I'm thankful to learn from you about pruning. I've seen the yellow ones in gardening books, but I still love the purple and white blooms best. One odd thing I notice, is that my cat is attracted to the lilac bush just as if it is catnip. She doesn't try to eat, just rubs up and nuzzles the leaves! Your posts always transport me to a long ago time of blessed memories. Thank you.

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  3. I love lilacs, they are one of my favorite spring flowers. I am so glad you are getting to enjoy yours.

    Our spring has been ever so windy. Lots more than I can remember, but on the other hand we are having a real spring--cool temperatures, wind and rain. Not good for the hay, but excellent for everything else.

    I love your dog! I hope he wins. He should he is just beautiful!

    As for my 'shell' I decided that we needed to buy plots because those left behind need someplace to go to finish thier good-byes. Sometimes the good-byes go on for years and years becoming a comfort.

    Since you and I do genealogy, it is nice that a place is left for someone to find.

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

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  4. Our lilacs are now on their way out.. nearly all bloomed now. Such gorgeous and heady fragrance!

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  5. When I was growing up in Wisconsin, there were lilacs right outside of my bedroom window. I loved how they welcomed me to summer vacation.

    Anne

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  6. We dug up lilac sprouts from my in-laws and planted them. This year they finally were tall enough to bloom. They smelled so wonderful. I love them too.

    North of us, in Washington, there is a lilac garden called Hulda Klager Gardens. Every single year we plan to go and then never do. Supposedly they have every single lilac variety.

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  7. I can almost smell the lavender ones in your picture! Mine often freeze right after they bud. I'm glad to have your tip about pruning. Maybe I'll have more blossoms next spring.

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  8. My lilac blooms are all brown now...and I miss them already. They were quite late in coming this year. I usually have some for my birthday. I have never pruned them though. Maybe I'll do that this year and see if I have even more next year.

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  9. that second photo is beautiful; can imagine the scent :)

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  10. Loving those lilacs, ours are just finishing up here. So very late. But still loved just as much.

    Jen

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  11. wow.. i can almost smell these beauties.. great capture

    gp

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  12. Connie, lilacs are among my favorites too. Thanks for sharing. You'll have to email me information about your camera, if you would. I love your photography. I am on the hunt for a new camera, not in the immediate future, but someday, when I can afford it. :)

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  13. What wonderful fresh photos...I can almost smell them! :) Thanks so much for rootin' for me over my blog, Connie...it is so appreciated! :)

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  14. I love lilacs. That is something I first loved when we bought our farm, the lilacs and peonies. They are so wonderful smelling. Lilacs are blooming here and there but taking their sweet time, probably due to these cold temps we've been having. I wished their blooms would last longer!

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  15. I absolutely love the smell of lilacs! I often see them at old homesteads. :)

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  16. Oooooooooo. I can just SMELL them! They are my all time favorite spring flower for their fragrance.
    Ours are just beginning to BUD...so you are WAY ahead of us!

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  17. You...stubborn...willful?? I don't believe it!

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  18. My lilacs didn't bloom well this year and were late (but are now gone).

    I am going to cut them down to about knee height to give new ones a chance to grow. They have not been tended to for years and years and years.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie