Thursday, May 05, 2016
Lovin' Syringa Vulgaris
I was wondering this morning how long lilacs have been around these parts. It seems as if they represent the past because usually (not this year) their bouquets decorated thousands of graves on Memorial Day weekend.
Turns out lilacs have been in North America since the 1700s when they were brought over from Europe, originating in the Balkans.
In my research, I saw that Shakespeare did not mention lilacs in any of his plays, so we're talking possibly late 1500s-1600s for their initial establishment in the British Isles.
History is relative, so I know from my history that lilacs have been in this area all my life, and I have absolutely loved their beauty and their fragrance for as long as I can remember.
I view the lilac period as the grand finale of the spring pastel season. It's a nostalgic, beautiful time filled with wafting, lovely outdoor fragrance. During lilac season, I always think of my mother decorating my sister Jean Marie's grave with lilac, tulip bouquets.
This year it's gonna be tough for family members to find nice bouquets for the grave sites because tulips, iris and lilacs (those Syringa Vulgaris bushes) will be long past their flowering period.
Yesterday, while visiting Pack River General Store, the owner Arlene told me that her flowering bushes are almost finished for the year. I also noticed that the lilac bushes at the Selle Grange have lost their vibrant color.
Our bushes have been blooming this week and drawing me their way to grab a fragrance fix. I also brought in a bloom for the kitchen island and have noticed how much I like to pass through that area, just to enjoy the nasal delight.
Speaking of nasal delights, we had a good, drenching and short-lived rain last night. So, while walking to and from the barn this morning, the aroma of wet cedar from the eight new planter boxes in the garden inspired me inhale just a little deeper for full enjoyment.
Good times, especially for taking time to smell the lilacs.