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Wednesday, April 26, 2017
For many of us lilacs in bloom are nostalgic reminders of our youth. Wrapped up in that fabulous fragrance is the comforting hug from grandma, the bone-warming feel of early summer sun and the edge-of-our-seats anticipation that school will soon be out.
Common lilac also called French lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is often termed old fashioned. Most of the Common lilac cultivars grow to 8-15 feet tall and sucker readily so they need plenty of room. The flowers are very fragrant but unfortunately some cultivars can be disease prone. It pays to do your homework. A few listed as powdery mildew resistant include 'Charles Joly' (double flowered purple), 'Madame Lemoine' (double flowered white), 'President Lincoln' (blue), 'Primrose' (creamy white) and 'Sensation' (purple and white bicolored petals).
Smaller hybrid lilacs that repeat bloom are available and I must admit they are easier to use in urban landscapes. As for me I will always plan a spot for the fleeting flowers of good old fashioned lilacs.