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Garden Flowers - Do they have to bloom all season to be special?

Posted by Sandra Mason -

Garden flowers are under a lot of pressure these days. Flower all season or forget winning any popularity contests. To me fleeting flowers are even more special. I yearn for their return, cherish their presence and whimper when they succumb and anticipate their return. But oh the joy when they are in full glory and I can plunge my nose into their bodacious blooms. Let's hear it for the flowers that put all their punch into a couple weeks of eye-popping, nose grabbing flowers - lilacs.

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.


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