Landscape plants had to be tough if they grew in the yard of my childhood home. My mom had trouble taking care of plastic ornamentals, so any living plants had to fend for themselves, too.
Despite regular neglect, we had two beautiful lilac shrubs in our backyard--one with light lavender blooms and the other with dark purple. I have such fond memories of those two flowering shrubs that I've made it a practice to plant at least one lilac wherever I live.
Because lilacs bloom in May, I remember creating many Mother's Day bouquets that featured the showy, fragrant flowers with their dark green, heart-shaped leaves.
While some may think the common lilac (Syringa vulgaris L.) is too ordinary to add to modern landscapes, I admire its independent Western spirit and ability to thrive with such little care. The lilac's stubborn hardiness is why so many of these shrubs continue to bloom at long-abandoned rural homesteads.
Today's selection of lilacs ranges from compact dwarf varieties that grow in large containers their first season to old-fashioned favorites that will grow to more than 15 feet tall.
Here are four ways to help guarantee years of beautiful blooms on your lilacs:
- Make sure they receive at least 5 hours of sunshine daily.
- Dig compost into the garden soil once a year.
- Remove a few old, thick canes at the base annually.
- Prune spent flowers as soon as they've finished blooming.
Perhaps you have some sweet lilac memories, too. If so, please share them here.
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