1 I planted this lilac allee about 10-years ago down past my chicken coops and near my tennis court. It has thrived ever since, growing more beautiful every year.
2 The lilac, Syringa vulgaris, is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae. Syringa is a genus of up to 25-cultivated species with more than one-thousand varieties.
3 Lilacs come in seven colors: violet, blue, lilac, pink, red, purple and white. The purple lilacs have the strongest scent compared to other colors.
4 'Sensation', first known in 1938, is unique for its bicolor deep-purple petals edged in white on eight to 12-foot-tall shrubs.
5 'Angel White', which reaches 10-12 feet tall, bears an abundance of fragrant, pure-white blooms, and thrives as far south as hardiness zone 8.
6 Lilacs have pyramidal clusters of blossoms with both single and double varieties - all with glossy green leaves.
7 The rich lilac colors look so pretty against the deep green foliage.
8 Lilacs were introduced into Europe at the end of the 16th century from Ottoman gardens and arrived in American colonies a century later. To this day, it remains a popular ornamental plant in gardens, parks and homes because of its attractive, sweet-smelling blooms.
9 And, lilacs were grown in America's first botanical gardens - both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew them.
10 The lilac is known as the "queen of shrubs" and the name lilac comes from the Persian word meaning bluish.
11 They appear from mid-spring to early summer just before many of the other summer flowers blossom.
12 And by planting an assortment, bloom time will be staggered and can last for up to two-months.
13 The lilac is the state flower of New Hampshire, and the state bush of New York.
14 Most lilacs thrive in hardiness zones 3 through 7, in cooler climates with chilling periods. Lilacs are typically clump forming, producing new shoots from the base of the trunk, which can be used for propagating.
15 'Adelaide Dunbar' is a disease-resistant common lilac, with spikes of sweet-scented, double, purple flowers.
16 Lilacs benefit from regular watering at planting, during bloom and heavy growth periods. Once established, however, they are fairly drought-tolerant.
17 Lilacs grow best in full sun and moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil.
18 They are also low maintenance and easy to grow. In fact, they can grow from five to 20-feet tall or more depending on their variety.
19 And, although lilacs display flowers among the most delicate of the ornamentals, some newer hybrid varieties can survive winter temperatures of 60-degrees-below-zero Fahrenheit.
20 When selecting a location for lilacs, choose one that has good air circulation to reduce the likelihood of fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew.
21 In addition, choose a spot that is large enough to accommodate the mature size of the plant.
22 Young lilacs can take up to three years to reach maturity and bear flowers, so be patient.
23 Regular weed pulling around lilacs will reduce any competition for water and nutrients.
24 Lilacs should be pruned each year shortly after blooming has completed, and remove spent flowers, damaged branches and old stems.
25 And never prune after July 4th because at that point, the tree has already begun to set next year's flower buds.
26 Feed plants with an all-purpose fertilizer after pruning, and side dress them with compost every spring.
27 Cut lilacs right at their peak, when color and scent are strongest, and place them in a vase as soon as possible.
28 To dry lilacs, gather a bunch of freshly cut flowers and bind together with a rubber band. Hang them upside down in a cool place for one to three weeks.
29 Lilacs - filled with color and fragrance - make a wonderful addition to any garden.