Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's a Lilac Year

I've never cared for the color lilac nor the color purple for that matter.    I've seen bloggers post about amethyst glassware but it, too, leaves me cold.    Eggplant is a good vegetable but not a good color.  

There wasn't any purple or lavender in any of the houses in which I grew up so it can't be that I had an overdose of purple/lavender when I was a child, scaring me for life.    It's just not a color I care for . . .

But, I do adore . . .

the lilac flower.    Lilacs grow easily on the prairie.    And driving in the country, you'll often find them in yards of abandoned farmhouses.     Every grandmother had a lilac!

And the fragrance . . . is heavenly.    Which is why during lilacs short bloom time, I pick armfuls to bring inside.    

Some for the Waterford vase on the sideboard.     The Easter egg tree has pride of place on the dining room table so alas, any flowers are on the sideboard.

And a big bouquet in a blue and white pitcher on the breakfast porch table.    The jasmine is blooming as well and between the two the aroma is almost overpowering in that room!

Linderhof's lilacs are old fashioned lilacs.    Not bought but dug up from one of those abandoned farmhouses (shhh -- don't tell) 20 plus years ago.    Three plants.    Two between the drives and one by the dining room window.

And when my mother passed away, 13 years ago, I dug up a plant from the one in her yard.    That plant has a history -- for it came from a plant that came from a plant that was outside the bedroom in the apartment that my parents lived in for the first 9 years of their married life.     Mother loved lilacs as well and when she moved to the big house, a start of that lilac came with her.     When we moved to the suburbs, a start of that lilac came with her.     And when she passed away and we had sold the house, I dug up a start from that lilac.

The interesting thing is that the next year there were two blooms on that plant.    I've never had a lilac bloom the year after planting.    I think it was a message from mother!

I've been going up and down the stairs a lot the last few days for . . .

This is the view from the upstairs window.    The lilacs in full bloom!    I've never seen so many blossoms on the lilacs in all the years I've had them.     And when one goes outside, the aroma is heady -- the fragrance is almost overpowering!

We don't get many Lilac Years on the prairie for often once the buds are set a cold front moves in -- some survive but not all and even when we do have blooms, we often get a late frost.     Sigh -- lilac years are rare, rare indeed!

I love my lilacs and really wish I had room for more.    For during that magical week in the Spring, there isn't a better plant on earth!

It's Wednesday and I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday


Pondside said...

Your lilacs look so beautiful in the Waterford vase!
I love lilacs but have only one - near the dining room window. I did, for a time, have two, but the goats ate the second tree.

MarmePurl said...

What a lovely story. I love that lilac bushes can be passed down. Life does go on.
I am anxious to return to my farm after a few days absence and a frost to check on the contidion of my many lilacs which were just starting to bud.

From the Kitchen said...

The lilacs are happily bursting into bloom around here. And they are very plentiful. Everyone is always happy to share "starts" of lilac bushes and trees. I wonder if anyone purchases them?


william said...

Thank you Martha for reminding me of how I love lilacs and how many childhood memories of playing in "the lilac house," which was a space between two of the bushes in a line of them outside our house. It made a bower and a perfect hiding place and pretend house! Yes, the smell is intoxicating!


Veronica said...


carol l mckenna said...

Lilac photos are delightful ~ none in MA yet ~ so glad to see lilacs here ~thanks, namaste, ^_^ linked w/ Outdoor Wednesday

my cup of tea said...

I love lilacs also! The ones we have in the house we own now, are white and smell so beautiful~ Lily of the Valley are my other childhood favorite. I need to plant some of those. Have a beautiful week!

Denise said...

Hi Martha,

Oh, I do love lilacs, and I love the color as well. Yours are truly gorgeous, and I think it's so special that you have a lilac bush from your mother's home. Here in the south, there's a long tradition of passing flowers and shrubs along to friends and family. Unfortunately, lilacs don't grow as well here because our winters don't get cold enough. But I do see one lilac bush in our neighborhood every spring, and it's lovely.

Thanks for sharing and Happy Spring to you!

Denise at Forest Manor

Mary Bergfeld said...

I have such pleasant memories of lilacs from my childhood. I even carried an arrangement of them as my wedding bouquet. Unfortunately, growers have bred the fragrance from newer varieties. They flower profusely but have no scent. In my book, a lilac, without scent, simply is not a lilac. Enjoy yours. Blessings...Mary

asunny said...

I'm in total agreement about the beauty of and pleasure one receives from lilacs. Perfection! They are particularly beautiful in Kansas this year.

Kim, USA said...

I can't wait to see mine too. I love Lilac and yours are pretty!


Ruth...Time Was Antiques said...

Lilac is lovely! We used to live in the mountains and had alternating lavender and white lilacs bordering our property. They were glorious in the spring! A sure sign that hopefully the snow was gone for a while! Lovely post!

Bernideen said...

Too bad they don't have blue lilacs - you would be in heaven. Send everything purple my way - as you know I love it!

lindaraxa said...

Oh how I miss the lilac's we had on the fence in Conn. About 8 or 10 of them, purple and white and the smell...I used to take bunches of them on the train to my office in NYC. Everyone on the floor came into my office to oooh and ahh! Im trying to talk my daughter into planting them in the new house. I had forgotten they don't bloom the first year. Shucks, maybe there is a magic formula...enjoy them!!!

Ann said...

Lilacs bring back such wonderful childhood memories. I transplanted one of my mother's lilacs into my yard years ago. But because we have so many large, mature trees, the yard doesn't get enough sun for the lilacs to do very well. We still get blooms, but they're anemic-looking. Luckily my neighbor has a gorgeous one I can enjoy from afar. I can even smell the sweet fragrance when the wind is from the right direction.