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.