Saturday March 27, 2004

A Lilac Flower By Any Color


Our white lilac has a funny history. I think maybe it blooms so exuberantly each year because it's laughing at me :-)

You see.... it was supposed to be purple.

When I first went to the nursery, I wanted a purple lilac. The house I grew up in had both purple and white - a huge purple lilac tree that was as tall as the roof (and was just outside my bedroom window) and a smaller, white, lilac bush at the opposite corner of the yard. Every year both would bloom; oh how I loved them. My mother would cut armloads of lilac and put them in a big vase. I like the white (and frankly, with eyes closed, a lilac by any color smells as sweet). But somehow, I wanted my lilac to be, well... lilac.

So I went to the nursery, chose a (labeled) purple lilac bush, bought it, brought it home, planted it... and it bloomed in August. It was certainly willing and able! It was also white.

Back I went to the nursery where I picked out another bush, labeled purple. I mentioned the story to the people who ran the nursery and they said "You can bring it back."

"Bring it back?! You mean, uproot it?! Good gracious, no", I replied, "There's nothing wrong with it. It's a good bloomer. I have enough room for two." (Little did I know...)

AUT_2422 The following year the purple bloomed (not nearly as ecstatically as the white). The blooms were a very rich, very dark purple, I think what's called a "French" lilac. It was very pretty. But I kind of wanted, you know... lilac.

So back I went to the nursery, for the third time. This time, it was lilac blooming season. I picked out my third bush, choosing one that had a small set of blossoms already. Hah! Fooled you, Mother Nature! I know what color this one is! Then I brought that one home and planted it.

Each year, the three bushes have grown. Each year I get more leaves on the youngest (the pale purple) bush. I also get a few blossoms.

The dark purple is hanging in there. The rose bush made untoward advances a few years ago and the dark lilac lost a lot of leaves on its lower branches; it also started leaning rather badly and had to be re-set. Nevertheless, it's still alive and it blooms. if not in great profusion.

But every year, regular as clockwork, my white lilac blossoms in a flurry of white. The blooms are thick and full and the bush is simply coated with them. Ebullient, exuberant, profuse, lavish, lush, passionate - these are words to describe the lilac never planned to have, the lilac I watch every spring. One day it's all green; the next day it's a bounteous riot of white.

I never cut the blooms. I only go out into the garden, lean into a bouquet of blossoms, and breath deeply.

A Lilac Flower By Any Color ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Sat, 27 Mar, 00:30 Pacific | «e»