Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Lilac Time

They're baaacccckkkk!

Lilacs, among the most beautifully fragrant flowers around, are one of the truest signs of spring in New England.

My husband cut some lilacs this week from our daughter's yard and brought them home to me. He placed them in a heavy cut glass pitcher and put them on the kitchen table.  They made a glorious gift.

As a child, I remember walking to school. When the lilacs started to bloom, their fragrance filled every bit of the air. Sticking my entire face into their blossoms, I'd take deep breaths of the heavenly aroma. Even today, with eyes closed, a whiff of these gorgeous flowers transports me back to childhood.

Did you know that lilac bushes can live for hundreds of years?  It's not uncommon, in the coutryside of this part of the country, to see just the foundations of what were once New England homes.  Nearby, however, one almost always finds rows of lilacs!  They outlasted the homes and the former dwellers!

Because they are so long-lived, it has been sugggested to give them as gifts when a child is born or for bridal couples. That sounds like a great idea!

Comprised of thousands of clustered blooms, lilacs come in several shades of purple, pink, yellow, and white.  There are also many varieties of the flowering shrub.

Originally from Europe (the Blakans, France and Turkey) and Asia, lilacs have been in the United States since the 1750's.  Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had lilacs growing in their gardens.

The lilac capital of the world is Rochester, New York. Every year there's a huge Lilac Festival there that runs for several days.

Lastly, here are a few lines from Walt Whitman's  poem about lilacs:

...When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd,

And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.
In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash'd palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle -- and from this bush in the dooryard,
With delicate-color'd blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig with its flower I break...



Chatty Crone said...

Lilacs are a gorgeous flower. I had no idea they lived hundreds of years - that amazes me.

What a nice thing for your husband to do for you.

The smell bringing memories back.

A lot of good memories for you.

Linda O'Connell said...

My favorite floral fragrance!

Bookie said...

I just love lilacs! My bushes have already bloomed and gone this year. They did not seem to last long but then it was not a average spring either. Enjoy them while you have them there!!!

diane stetson said...

I remember them in the yard near where I lived when I was little...always loved lilacs..they do not grow where I live now..I think they need a cooler climate...I love PURPLE the best!

Rebecca said...

We have a couple of very old bushes here. We cut a lot of dead wood out of one last year and only 1/2 of it bloomed--the same color as those your husband brought. I took one bouquet to a neighbor and didn't even get one for myself before the wind and rain demolished the buds for all practical purposes.

I really like everything about lilacs!

Claus said...

I don't think so. At least, I haven't seen any my 35 years of life around this country. I have heard so much about them, though, I am really curious about them! Here, instead, there are plenty of other fragrant varieties, like gardenias, for example, growing in my back patio ;o)...oh! and I'm after a tree with yellow flowers that smell heavenly. So much so, that the municipality government decided to start planting around the city! I can only imagine how glorious it will smell in the future :o)
have a great day!...enjoying your lilacs

Diann said...

My favorite flower! Love lilacs. I grew up with them all around our house. The lilac trees at my moms house are over 80 years old and run from the lightest shade of purple to a deep dark purple. Beautiful!

Brenda ~ Shabby Cats and Roses said...

I too love Lilacs; their aroma is heavenly! Our's are almost at full bloom, so I'll be cutting some to bring into the house very soon, Yeah!!

Warmest hugs, Brenda

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Such a beautiful flower and the smell is amazing. Don't see them around here much. Too hot I suspect.

LDH said...

With their heavenly fragrance, sticking ones entire face into their blossoms is the perfect way to enjoy it! :)

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