Monday, May 7, 2012
Years ago we planted a lilac shrub in front of our house. It slowly grew each summer and put out lovely pale purple blossoms. Now it is large, full and bushy, with a scent that envelops us as we open our front door. The bush is thriving and expanding; we will need to prune it back – again – after the flowering season.
We also planted a lilac bush in our backyard. It was a different variety with darker flowers and a more delicate scent. It grew tall and leggy and did not do as well. The trees that were growing up at the same time provided too much shade for this sun-loving plant. So we dug it up and replanted it in a sunnier location. For two years it reluctantly put out leaves, no flowers, and half of it stopped growing at all. It looked so fragile, almost pathetic. This year, much to our surprise, it bloomed with such incredible vigor on one side that we staked it and each day look out in wonder at the rejuvenation of this beauty, in awe of its will to live.
Two bushes, very different personalities, same family (Syringa vulgaris). One had an optimal growth situation, the other was forced to deal with a challenge. Yet they both found a way to express themselves in relation to their circumstances. And we love them both.
That’s the joy of diversity. There’s something to admire in every expression of life.
Lilacs can enhance any garden: