Lilacs are blooming their bloody heads off: who cares? You can almost gauge the age of a neighborhood by the prevalance of Lilacs in Denver: older neighborhoods have the most. Of course, they get frosted every few years, and singed most years. But this year...THIS year, they are blooming like mad. These are pictures taken at my girlfriend, Jan Fahs', house in NW Denver.
I have rued the fact I can't seem to grow Daphne genkwa, whose main claim to fame is that it looks like a small lilac! Except it doesn't apparently smell....I mean--HELLLOOOOOO! What's the big deal? I have a thirty foot row of giant blue lilacs at my house and each time I stroll along the north side of my house I almost keel over with the smell.
A closer view: there are two kinds here (both classics): I should know what they are...but who cares? all lilacs are sublime! Oldtimers knew what they were up to. We should plant them everywhere all over again!
Here's a closeup of the Caragana: another old fashioned plant that's fallen out of fashion around Denver. You NEVER see it in new neighborhoods, but it too is fragrant and unlike forsythias, it blooms reliably every year.
"When Lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed" and "Breeding Lilacs out of the dead land": lilacs are featured in two of the greatest poems in American literature. They should be featured even more.
I like to make lavish bouquets with them and let them smell up the whole house. They bring back vast, vaporous memories of my childhood, of the park next door to my house that was ringed with lavender, blue, white, deep purple, single and double lilacs, and a few craggy Caragana (come to think of it)...from my infancy I would sate myself on their rich scent, and pick bouquets for my mother, and put sprigs behind my ear.
Common as dirt, and more precious than all the gold in the world. Gold merely gets you stuff (God only knows, we have way too much stuff as it is): lilacs give you a whiff of Heaven on earth!