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:)