How to Grow and Care for Lilac Bushes
Aside from Roses, there is no flower as beautiful and aromatic as Lilacs.
Of the two, Lilacs have a stronger scent, that carries a much farther distance.
Unfortunately, Lilacs bloom for only a very brief couple weeks in the spring.
To prolong their presence in your yard, grow a variety of Lilacs, including,
early, mid and late variety bushes. With variety and luck, you will have
Lilacs in blooming in your yard for up to six weeks. Weather has a lot to
do with how long your blooms last. Once the buds begin to open, pray for
a cool, dry spell, that will prolong them. After the blooms are over, you
still have a nice shade bush. But, you have to wait for up to fifty more
weeks to see them again.
Lilacs were introduced into in the United States in the mid 1750's. They
were grown in America's first botanical gardens and were popular in New England.
Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew them in their gardens. Lilac
bushes can live for hundreds of years. Lilacs originated from Europe and
Asia, with the majority of natural varieties coming from Asia. European lilacs
originated in the Balkans, France and Turkey.
Where is the Lilac Capital of the World? Many areas grow them, and
many have a wide variety in large numbers. Rochester, N.Y. undoubtedly is
the Lilac Capital of the World. It's love for Lilacs dates back to 1892,
when Highland Park horticulturalist John Dunbar planted 20 varieties on the
sunny southern slopes of the park. Highland Park in Rochester is the scene
of an annual, two week long Lilac Festival, with over a half a million people
attending the event each year. This park has over 500 varieties of lilacs
and more than 1200 lilac bushes in the parks' 155 acres. The annual Rochester
Lilac Festival, includes food, entertainment, races, and much more.
In addition, many homes and parks in the Rochester, NY area have one or more
lilac bushes. If you take a ride along many of the Finger Lakes, you will
find thousands of them along the roadside. The sweet fragrance comes right
through your open window, as you drive along.
A Stately Bush: On August 18, 2006, New York State Governor George
Pataki proclaimed the Lilac as the State bush.
In addition to Rochester, NY, a few other cities in the U.S. and Canada are
well known for their love of Lilacs. They include:
Cornwall in Ontario, Canada boasts the "City of Lilacs" and rivals Rochester,
NY in size of their collection.
Rochester, New Hampshire also calls themselves the "Lilac City". Lilacs are
the state flower.
Spokane, Washington is nicknamed the "Lilac City". Each spring, they
have a parade and festival.
Did You Know? There are over 1,000 varieties of Lilacs. They come
in several colors, with the most popular being the color lilac and purple.
White and pink are also popular. They also vary widely in size from the small
4 to 8 foot varieties to types that can grow up to 30 feet.
Check out the
Picture Gallery . And, don't miss one of the local school bands that
play at the festival. Lilac Festival Stage
Other Lilac Links:
When Lilacs Last Bloomed A poem by Walt Whitman
Did you Know? Lilacs are edible!
Lilac Bushes select from popular Lilac varieties
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