Saturday, 15 May 2010

Thursdays favourite plant

(I know, its Saturday)

Lilac Syringa
image via flickr

I'd love one of these in my garden, but alas I have no room for one, instead I've been enjoying my neighbours tree. He's gone away for a week and left me in charge of watering his greenhouse and hanging baskets, this have given me a perfect opportunity to wander round his beautiful garden (he used to open for the ngs)and stand below his lilac tree and take deep breaths of its heavenly perfume. It over hangs his fence too so in the evening when I walk past it to go to the field to shut the chickens in for the night the scent is incredible.

Lilac trees have the most beautiful scent and the flowers are so pretty, tiny little star shaped blooms, grouped together in large panacles or cone like spikes that festoon the tree about now. There are different coloured varieties as well as the lilac lilac I love the white 'Madame lemoine', the dark pink 'red prince' and the beautiful 'sensation' which has purple flowers with a white edge to them.

I say lilac's a tree but its actually a shrub, my neighbour has grown his into a tree by allowing it to develop one main stem that has become a trunk. They grow to about 5/8 metres high so are well suited to smaller gardens. They like full sun and grow on most soil types but like it slightly on the alkaline side. Like all spring flowering plants they flower on last years wood so prune them after they've flowered. To increase the flowers and to keep the shape in check, prune out about a third of the branches each year after flowering. Or you can remove all the branch's at ground level bar one strong healthy one to encourage it to grow into a tree shape. Lilacs throw up suckers like no bodies business, and if you remove these carefully with some roots attached you can propagate lots more little plants. As most lilacs are grafted onto rootstock you might find the suckers are a different variety.

Jess xx

P.S thanks for all the wonky love, she really is a character and is loving being spoilt rotten, I even caught my husband sat with her on his lap feeding her corn from his hand.


John Gray said...

nice photo jess

ReapWhatYouGrow said...

Have to agree here as well. I have been admiring the gorgeous scent of lilac everywhere at the moment!
Great pictures of seasonal flowers.


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