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, April 23, 2019

Mother's Lilac

I call this Mother's Lilac
But perhaps I should call it my lilac
For it's great great grandmother
grew outside the bedroom window
of the apartment my parents lived in
when I was born.
Before I was a year old, the perfume of this lilac's ancestor
perfumed the night air as it's fragrance wafted in and over my crib!

It's an old fashioned lilac
I'm sure it has a "real name" but I'm not sure what it is.
The very same lilac can be found in abandoned farm yards
For often that was one of the first thing a farm wife would do,
get a start of a lilac and plant it in the corner of the yard!

It's been here 20 years
And most years it does bloom
(the years it doesn't is because we had a frost, killing the blossoms)

Mother would never let me have a start as much as I begged.
"You'll kill it" she always said.
So the year that we lost her, before we sold the house, I dug up a start
and planted it between the drives at Linderhof.

The very next year, it bloomed.    Just one blossom.
But I figured that bloom was Mother's way to tell me that she was happy
that "her" lilac would continue to grow.

My parents moved from that apartment when I was five,
And a start was planted in the garden of our new house.
We didn't live there all that long, but when we moved to the ranch house in the
suburbs, a start moved with us.

Just one each time -- mother wasn't greedy!

And I yearned for a start of that lilac.
For although I call it Mother's, I think of it as mine!

The flowers are perfection
And the aroma is heavenly

I don't cut all the blossoms for I love the smell of lilac whenever I go outside.

The lilac has some "starts" around the base.
One is going north on our next trip to visit Daughter Sarah
and her girls.
A fourth generation will be able to enjoy this humble lilac.


Francie Newcomb said...

Oh, Martha, I love this story! Old lilacs are the best. This lilac is a true heirloom!

Sandra said...

Our lilacs bushes are just starting to bud. I agree they have the best scent. The blooms don't last long; but it is so wonderful to be outside and smell the wonderful scents while they are bloomed. Sadly we have some chances of snow and cold temperatures to still happen. I hope they will be safe.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

In my yard I have some things from my mother's garden, some from my grandmother's, all my snowdrops are from my mil's yard. Snowball bushes from my grandfather's but something has killed nearly all of them, alas. But passing on plants is a wonderful things to do!

Denise said...

What a beautiful story, a beautiful scent and a beautiful flower! Thanks for sharing.