Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Lilac Presence

The Lilac Presence

Purple is a color that cannot be ignored. At least not in nature. I see purple tulips in people’s yards, purple buds on flowering plum trees, purple outlining pansies. It is a dramatic color. And nothing is more dramatic in my Spring garden than the lilac bush. It insists I pay attention to it. It has an intense presence that calls me to come and admire it. And admire it I do, knowing that this will only last two to three weeks before the blossoms fall and all I will see will be green leaves.

But lilacs are just as famous for their scent as their color. The early buds are tight, withholding their smell until the flowers open. Then they release their heady fragrance, filling the air like the perfume sprayers at department stores. It is an imitated scent in perfumes, candles, oils.

Yet, as with most things, lilacs vary. The deep purple is only one of its shades. They can be lighter purple, pinkish, sky blue, sometimes yellow or white. And the scent varies depending upon the stage of blossoming, the time of day, and the kind of lilac; there are dozens of varieties that can smell sweet or spicy, cloying or calming. The lilac is a harbinger of Spring and also symbolizes first love.

It isn’t necessary to analyze the lilac to value it though. Each type can be appreciated for its own individuality. It kind of reminds me of babies; they all belong to a specific category, that of baby, but each one immediately exhibits its own personality, preferences, and energy, and every child has a presence from the moment of her/his birth. I find it refreshing that no two of anything is exactly alike – not people, not birds, not animals, not flowers, not even lilacs.

What to know if you want to plant lilacs:

And more about lilacs:

No comments:

Post a Comment