Friday, May 22, 2009

Lilac Legacy

Devote 3 years to establishing Lilacs and they'll outlive your great, great grandchildren.

Been running around like that proverbial farm animal with her head lopped off. Test driving horses, hardening off seedlings,* making up all sorts of excuses not to weed the garden.

Sweet reason to keep a fragrant bouquet of Lilacs by your bedside: Cutting off ALL the blossoms EVERY year improves next year's flower power.

I'm quite delighted that it's finally and officially Memorial weekend. While Mother Nature undoubtedly has another trick up her sleeve, I can start digging in the dirt and celebrating this most wonderful time of year.

When everything is a distinct possibility.

Passion can only take you so far.

At some point, the giddy excitement that comes with big landscaping ideas must turn into the harsh reality of back-breaking labor.

And, THAT is why neighbors were invented.

You see, I happen to own a very big rototiller and it works a lot like a 'Free Beer!' sign. All I have to do is park that magic machine in the yard and some unsuspecting neighbor says, Hey! What are you doing? Need some help?

Too tall? Prune them back. Removing the oldest stems ~ down to the ground ~ encourages new stem growth and more flowers blooming at optimum (i.e nose!) level.

It's an indisputable fact. Hard work hardly ever wears me out. Provided I've suckered someone else into handling most of that manual labor. :)

* Hardening off seedlings: set your babies outdoors for at least a week or two before placing them in the ground. Everyone feels discombobulated after a move. This transition helps them get used to long hours in the sun and cool night temps.

** Or! You could just throw them to the wolves and hope for the best. That's what I tend to do...

** Here's a list of hearty Lilacs for the highest of mountain gardeners.

5 comments:

Jeannie said...

Lilacs are my all time favorite! If I could only have 1 type of shrub in the world, this would be it. Yours are gorgeous!!!

Kate said...

Thanks, Jeannie, but my garden can't take all the credit. I've got a half dozen lilacs decorating my yard but some of them aren't blooming, as yet. A few of these photos were taken down in the Salt Lake Valley. :)

MJ said...

Bailey, CO here at 9000 feet. We just purchased a Syringa x prestoniae 'Donald Wyman' at our local garden center. Any tips on how to make it thrive? It gets sun most of the day (the rest of the time is "dappled shade" from the pine trees.) I miss the lilacs I had when we lived in Littleton, CO, so I begged my husband to buy me one for up here. Any feedback would be most appreciated!

By the way Kate, your lilacs are beautiful!!

MJ said...

Bailey, CO here at 9000 feet. We just purchased a Syringa x prestoniae 'Donald Wyman' at our local garden center. Any tips on how to make it thrive? It gets sun most of the day (the rest of the time is "dappled shade" from the pine trees.) I miss the lilacs I had when we lived in Littleton, CO, so I begged my husband to buy me one for up here. Any feedback would be most appreciated!
By the way Kate your lilacs are beautiful!!

Kate said...

Hey! I've got that one in my yard! The Donald Wyman Lilac is great. Super cold hardy so no matter the weather, it should do fine. I love Don's dark purple buds - even before he blooms, he appears to be blooming.

That is a late blooming lilac, so if you have great success with it, race back to the store and buy a complimentary color of an early bloomer: Syringa vulgaris

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Gardening!