Posted by: jsmcfadden | March 12, 2011

Spring 3: Lilacs

 These are the lilac bushes directly across from our patio door in the family room. You can see the newly-added bark mulch and the remnants of the daffodils. Behind the daffodils is a dwarf rose that blooms a pinky-peachy-salmon color. I think. I may not remember it correctly. The lilacs didn’t get pruned this year, just cleaned up a bit at the bottom.

They didn’t bloom last year. Nor the year before. We have photos of a terrific bunch, but it was when Brian was still in high school. He’s 25. So. A. Long. Time. Ago.

John looked into it and said that flowers like old branches, and pruning back made for fewer flowers. So, we haven’t pruned them in a long time. Can you say “Rangy”? For several of those years, they didn’t get much sun, either, because of the big Monterey Pine tree which shaded most of our back yard. See this. But now that we have more sky, more sun, they have been growing denser and denser as they leaf out in the late spring. But, despite the beautiful leaves, no bunches of flowers. No “delicate-colored blossoms,” no “sprig with its flower I break.” Familiar?

AND we had a few weeks of cold weather this winter, and plenty of rain, and so the lilac bushes have begun to make some promises. See what I mean? Can you imagine my excitement as I looked at those dozens of little buds? All along every twig, little buds of the heart-shaped leaves; at the tip of virtually every twig, the different-colored buds of flowers.

Most every morning I would peek outside before we left for school, to see if they were opening. After each mostly sunny day, my first steps through the house at the end of the work day were straight through from the garage to the patio door, then out onto the bricks to peer at the lilac bushes, hoping for the blossoms to have opened.

And here’s what happened this morning!  They are beginning to open! I walked outside, kind of tip-toeing from grass bunch to grass bunch to avoid getting muddy soles on the Birks, camera in hand, to record the long-awaited bloom. I brought one of the bunches to my nose and inhaled deeply. The scent is still faint; the buds aren’t opened enought for the fragrance to be noticeable from arm’s length, but oh, that lovely subtle perfume of the just-opening lilacs. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been, does it? The fragrance goes deep into the memory, and up springs warm sun, gentle breezes, lounge chairs open and legs getting un-pasty by the moment! Cool lemonade in plastic glasses! Easter break!

Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself. Easter Break isn’t for another month. We’re headed down to San Diego, we hope, because John’s break comes at the same time as mine for the first time ever. Sorry. I digress. Lilacs.

Spring this year — daffodils. Freesia. Lilacs. Mmmm.


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