Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Lilac Like No Other

Just beginning to bloom on the west side.
June is the season of tree lilacs.  Japanese lilac (Syringa reticulata) and Pekin lilac (Syringa pekinensis) are perfuming the air and delighting the eye with their large fluffy creamy white flowers. 

I chose China Snow Pekin lilac when I planted about nine years ago for its peeling bark.  I'm only allowed one peely bark tree since my husband grew up under a sycamore and is still scarred by the experience. After much deliberation, I chose lilac. The lilac is now right around 20 feet high and this year it's just spectacular.  Somehow the right mix of weather has allowed it to bloom along the branches in some places, almost three feet!

I positioned it to screen the neighbor's deck from view, and both of us really love this tree.  I think the fragrance permeates the whole block. Yes, it suckers. Yes, it seeds. Both problems are pretty minimal in the long run compared to the winter beauty of the bark and the incredible June flowering. It also grows like a weed, but most of my trees and shrubs outperform expectations. I credit the excellent soil I inherited. The new baby beech tree has already put on six inches - so much for slow growing!

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