May 23, 2014

Lilacs

With Memorial Day just around the corner I am often reminded of Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d”.

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,

And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,

I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

 Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,

 Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,

 And thought of him I love….

Lilacs are one of the most well-known Vermont shrubs.  They are in full bloom in many of the landscapes in Chittenden County and this early blooming plant has a fragrance that is unbeatable. There are more than 20 varieties of this hardy shrub in multiple shades of whites and light & dark purples. Depending on the lilac variety it can grow from 5-15 feet tall. Lilacs should be pruned after they have finished blooming. Dead branches should be removed and you can cut back as much as a third of the plant, to promote new growth.