The charm of Lilacs

a view of our garden in May

The wonderful thing about moving into a home which doesn’t have a garden plan, is being able to create one yourself!  When we moved here, our home had some lovely lavender plants in one section near the house, but otherwise it was all grass.  It has been an eight year “work in progress” project, and it honestly still is a “work in progress”, but I’ve been able to add so many of my favorite things, including lots of lilac!

Syringa v. Beauty of Moscow sitting in a very small Irish Pottery milk jug

For all of the years I have lived in and visited Ireland, May traditionally has the most wonderful weather with warm temperatures and sunny blue skies.  This year was no exception, and the weather was a perfect backdrop for the lilac shrubs we planted a few years ago.  I love the scent of lilacs! Unlike lavender, where you need to brush against the plant to enjoy the scent in the garden, Lilacs are fragrant all of the time after their flowers bloom.

Syringa vulgaris ‘Andenken an Ludwig Spaeth’ has a deep wine color

Syringa vulgaris Ludwig Spaeth early in May in evening sunlight

I have five varieties of lilacs. Our first lilac was a pink variety called Beauty of Moscow.  The buds are a light pink and then when it blooms the flowers are white.

the flower buds of the Syringa vulgaris ‘Beauty of Moscow’ are light pink and when they bloom the flowers are white

The lilacs have taken a few years to settle in. The only extra care I give them is adding my compost to the soil around them.  This year the shrubs are the most floriferous.  It has been worth the wait!

Syringa v. ‘Sensation’, ‘Andenken an Ludwig Spaeth’ and ‘Charles Joly’

I’m not sure if I can pick one as my favorite, but I *really* like the variety ‘Sensation’.  It is the smallest of the tree-like shrubs, growing at a slower pace, but none the less, it also looked very well this year.

Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’

If you are looking for a small, extremely slow growing lilac shrub with huge bang for your buck in the fragrance category, then I would suggest Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’, pictured below.  This little shrub was planted 6 years ago! Although small, the fragrance is mighty!

Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’

The flowers are quite delicate.

close-up of Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’

My least photographed lilac is the Syringa v. ‘Charles Joly’. It just seems a tiny bit messy to me!

Syringa vulgaris ‘Charles Joly’

I have so enjoyed watching as these shrubs come into flower and bloom, and of course I’ve enjoyed their wonderful scent.

Watching (and smelling) these shrubs has been such a lovely way to transition from spring into summer!

I hope your weather has been as agreeable!

In peace,
Dana

11 thoughts on “The charm of Lilacs

  1. Lilacs are the state flower in New Hampshire and so many of the historic homes usually had lilacs planted somewhere near their doorways. You have a lovely collection.

    • Hi Karen, I didn’t know that. How lovely that must have been. Do you miss living in the north east? (Are there any lilacs grown in Florida, or is it too warm?) Thanks for visiting my Irish garden! 🙂

      • I always enjoy your garden. You are right about the weather…lilacs need a long period of cold weather in order to bloom well and we don’t get it here in Florida. There are many things I miss about New England but definitely not all the snow. 🙂

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