Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Farm Photo: Have A Sweet Smelling Weekend.

Lilacs blooming in the kitchen garden.

Any plans this weekend? Mine are simple: spend as much time near the lilacs as possible.

Because of late spring frosts and early budding during winter heat waves, we don't often get many blooms on the lilac bushes down in our little valley. But this year the show is spectacular. It might just be the best one I've seen during my twenty-one Aprils in Missouri. Everybody's lilacs look fantastic.

We had an unexpected hard freeze on Monday night, but most of the flowers on our bushes survived just fine. 
Even the scraggly old lilac that sits at the base of the hill by the sheep barn, marking the site of one of the many houses that were down here when this was a thriving sawmill community in the 1920's and 30's, is full of flowers this year. And of course the air outside smells amazing.

During my first spring on this farm with Joe, I dug up several starts that had sprouted up around our ancient little lilac bush by the laundry line and put them into small plastic pots. I temporarily set them near the entrance to my newly enclosed kitchen garden while I figured out where I wanted to permanently locate them.

Fifteen years later, there is no moving that one nine-foot-tall—and at least that wide—bush which, despite its abusive beginnings, is much larger and healthier than its mother plant, no doubt due to the fact that for years it was flanked on three sides by compost bins. I still feel a pang of guilt, though, whenever I see that cluster of plastic pots, half buried in the ground and long broken apart by the now massive branches at the bush's base.

My original plan was to have a whole group of lilac bushes somewhere that created an overwhelming spring show of beauty and scent. For some reason, I never thought to dig up any more starts after that first forgotten batch settled into the ground; I guess it just seemed like it would take too long for them to grow. So instead I have this one giant bush that is pretty much always in the way of the door to the greenhouse and the garden gate.

I'll take it.

Want a bigger bouquet?
4/5/07: Lilacs! (and dozens of your lilac memories and stories)
3/22/08: Leaves on the Lilacs (plus lots more lilac memories)
4/11/10: Color Me Happy (and yet more of your sweet lilac stories)

©, where things rarely go according to plan, but that never stops us from making them.


  1. Beautiful and so fragrant! I love lilac.



  2. I grew up with lilacs hedging the properties of both of my childhood homes. Now that we're buying the ranch, I have plans to put in a similar hedge. Of course, there are always a million things to do, and that probably isn't too high on the list, but one day...

    Out of curiosity, have you ever seen the yellow lilacs? ( ) The lilacs from my childhood were always purple, but I've become obsessed with the other colors, especially the yellow.

  3. Lilac still rings my memory bells; there was a huge bush just below my bedroom window while I grew into teenhood. I've never forgotten the scent as I drifted to sleep.

  4. Lilacs are on full bloom here too; their splendid sweet scent fills the air every morning to the point I feel dizzy, a lovely and happy sort of dizziness :) There are about 20 trees around the house!

  5. I find myself lingering by the lilacs.
    So great to see your post in my feed!

  6. You are so much farther ahead than I in terms of your spring blooms. I can't wait for lilacs. One of my favourite scents!
    Sometimes best laid plans in the garden get a little side tracked!

  7. Lovely legacy. Now 100 years in the future, some nice farmgirl or boy will reap the bounty of your foresight. Wouldn't it be cool if we could know the histories of the plants we inherit? The planters, the foods their loved, the candles, furniture, quilts they made? Across the road from us, there is an old Christmas tree pine forest that has grown to tens of feet high and now home to owls that call to each other in the dead of night. So lovely. Thankfully, one of our neighbors knew that that forest's story and could share with us. Enjoy those lilacs, sweet farmgirl. :)


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

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