Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Lilacs Made Me Do It

It has been quite a year for lilacs this year. I'm not sure why, as I've really never even trimmed our two lilac bushes, except for harvesting armfulls of blooms each and every spring. Hmmm, and we've lived here for 13 years. Guess they survive on benign neglect. Every year I think I should hack away at the bushes after they're done blooming. But now I admit it freely, I'm scared I will ruin them and I'll never see this display again.

I have to say straight out that they are my favorite thing to look at outside my kitchen window and I'm really glad the previous owner planted them here next to the roses she planted. I wouldn't have even bothered, because I had internalized the advice from Sunset magazine that lilacs don't do well in my area of California. Turns out that since we are a bit colder up in the mountains during the winter, this variety, in my microclimate garden, does just fine thankyouverymuch.
I wish I could post the smell of these blooms for you along with the pictures. Wouldn't that be an innovation, get on it already Google! We just had a couple of 80F plus days so the bushes outside are a little droopy and past their prime. I guess the temporary insanity provoked by the overpowering scent of lilacs is on its way out, for this year. The intoxicating scent seems to slow me down, like completely, there must be something genetic about it, it happens to my mom too. Good thing they only bloom for a couple of weeks right!?


Deirdre said...

I HEART LILACS! It will be weeks before we get any and our tree is too young to produce enough for me to cut! wahhhh!

:-D eirdre

Ahava Hopps Brooke said...

Sigh...lilacs. I can imagine the heavenly scent.

I believe that lilacs bloom not on new wood - but wood that is at least a year old. So I'd be cautious pruning them.

I bought a white "low chill" lilac recently. I also live in CA where lilacs don't want to bloom. A local said she had been successful w/ these low chill varieties. We'll see. I think I'll have to wait 3 years to find out...