Saturday, March 22

Farm Photo 3/22/08: Leaves On The Lilacs

Which Means There Will Hopefully Be Flowers Soon

Last year I told you about
my infatuation with lilacs, and you were kind enough to respond with your own personal (and wonderful) lilac stories and memories. I know better than to sniff my lilac flowers before they bloom, as they usually only appear every few years here because of our crazy weather, but I can't help but get excited whenever I see these first leaves popping out. The dreamy scent of lilacs might possibly be in the air.

Do you have a lilac memory or story? I'd love to hear it.

© Copyright 2008, the award-winning blog where unfortunately we're usually too busy to plant flowers, but we always make sure to take time to appreciate the ones that are kind enough to come up every year on their own.


  1. I love lilacs so it because their season is so short lived? or is it the heady perfume that's so intoxicating? or the gorgeous spring colors? all of the above, I think.

    I've heard that budding branches can be "forced" indoors...although I've never tried it. Have you? does it work with lilacs?

  2. Oh lilacs! Why do I always forget they are my absolute favorite flower until spring comes? When I was 9 months pregnant and very grumpy, I coerced my husband to pull over and pick a whole bunch from an apartment building parking lot. I just had to have them, right then. I never do anything like that, but I've also never wanted to smell a flower so badly. They are amazing!

  3. My maternal grandmother had a lilac bush, gigantic, that never once bloomed. She had prize-winning roses and snowball bushes and every bulb under the sun. The lilacs never came. She never took the bush down, though, because it formed part of a large hedge behind her house.

    She died in February 1993. That summer the lilac bush bloomed. And then never did again.

  4. OH.... I love lilacs too!

    Great picture!

  5. In May there is a Lilac festival in Rochester NY, a whole park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (of Central Park fame) full of lilacs in full bloom. Every year since I was a baby I have memories of walking through the park only smelling the fragrance of lilacs.

  6. What a beautiful picture of HOPE on this Easter morning! Hope you are safe from the flooding by now.

    I have many, many lilac memories. One of the wonderful things about growing up on a farm just south of Boston, was the proximity to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain. My mother was one of 9 children and the only one to move to the "country" when she married my father. A trip to the city was a big event for me as a child and the city aunts loved to have us come to visit. The arboretum has a world famous collection of lilacs and on Mother's Day they have "Lilac Sunday". I remember walking through the trails which seemed to close in with the lush lilacs, the heavenly scent, and runnning off the trails to hide amongst what seemed like huge trees covered with lilac blooms. As an adult, I have returned many times for "Lilac Sunday" and remember vividly going back just a few days after coming out of the hospital for a cancer treatment....I was unsteady walking but so, so happy to be surrounded by the wonderful scent and the beauty of all the different tyes of lilacs. I think I was healed just being there, and I still have a pretty lilac t-shirt which I bought that day in 1994.
    Wishing you bountiful lilacs this year!!
    PS...My brother has started baking bread and I linked him to your blog and bread posts a few days ago. I will see him today for Easter dinner where he promises to have some homemade bread! You are an inspiration to so many.

  7. What a beautiful picture! =) I hope that the lilacs bloom sweetly for you soon. Hmm... I feel a bit shy about saying this, but I hardly know or maybe have yet seen lilacs before, I only managed to catch its looks from your previous post. It's really lovely...

    I love flowers too, and I relish the joy they bring me. =)

  8. When I was a child, our next-door-neighbour had the most BEAUTIFUL lilac tree... I remember being held up to be allowed to pick the blooms that dangled heavily over our garden fence. I loved to take flowers to my favourite teacher: Mrs. Barton, an angel who presided over our grade one class. They were her favourite flowers, too.

    When I was a teenager, our next door neighbour passed away, and my parents bought the house, in order to renovate it and rent it out. The FIRST thing they did, however, was move the property line between the two houses... so that the lilac tree became a part of our house's property.

    The tree is still in my parents' garden, these thirty-some-odd years later... And even at my not-so-tender age, I carefully shinny up every spring to reach its blossoms.

    I've planted a similar lilac in my own garden, and it blooms every year in time for my youngest daughter's birthday.

    Thank you for the memories!

    xo CGF

  9. My second child was born in May, at the height of lilac season in Connecticut. The morning after his birth, my husband came into my hospital room with a huge bunch of lilacs, cut from our backyard bush. The fragrance carried into the hallways, attracting nurses into my room to savor the perfume. What a lovely memory. Thanks, Farmgirl!

  10. Oh lilacs! I love them. My parents live in an old farm house and right at the corner of their property there's two lilac bushes. They bloom so beautifully every spring.
    I remember being about 6 or 7 and taking carefully picked bouquets of lilacs to my school teachers, wrapped with wet paper towel in a plastic bag so that they'd have a little water for the 1hr ride to school. I'd sit there so stilly for the whole ride so they wouldn't get ruined, just smelling the nice perfume and then I'd proudly present them with a big grin, because what better gift is there than lovely lilacs?
    thanks for rekindling the memory with your great pic! :)

  11. I can't believe your lilacs are leafing out! We still have a couple of feet of snow here, and the lilacs are just dead-looking sticks poking up out of the snowbanks. When I was 4 our family moved from an apartment into a house. The back of the lot was completely screened by a huge, overgrown hedge of lilacs. I remember winding my way through the branches to "sneak" to the other side of the block. It was like another world inside them. When they bloomed, which they did heavily every year, my mother would keep a huge bouquet of them in a pitcher on the dining room table, perfuming the whole house. I remember taking bunches of them to my teachers when I was very young. The scent of lilacs still takes me back.... Now I have the pitcher, and a (much smaller) row of lilacs which I love, but they have never quite measured up to what I remember from when I was a child.

  12. My sister, brother and I used to walk along the railroad bed (no tracks) from our house to my meme's house and would pick armfuls of lilacs for her from the hedges that grew along the long- abandoned house foundations lining the adjoining fields. They smelled heavenly. My husband has less idyllic memories of lilacs - his mom used the springy branches as switches when the boys were naughty!

  13. Last summer we had a family of cedar waxwings nest in our lilac tree. As budding bird enthusiasts, we were thrilled!

    Playing in the Dirt

  14. I adore lilacs also but they aren't very hardy around here. My favorite lilacs story - when in college in Vermont - we went to a a restaurant and it was at the end of a very long lane - the borders on either side were lilac bushes - huge ones - the fragrance was absolutely truly intoxicating.

  15. A picture of hope.

    Have been worrying about you and the floods. So, now I will get back to other worries. LOL

  16. How beautiful! It reminds me of the lilac bush I bought my mother for Mother's Day a long time ago. When it was delivered, I had no idea it would be pretty because it just looked like a bunch of sticks in a bag of dirt. But, once planted, it grew to take up the whole back of the house and even branched off into another part of the yard. I'll never forget the sweet smell coming through my bedroom window. We moved away and I've since then lost my Mom, but I'll always remember the little sticks that turned out to be the most beautiful flowers I could have given her. Thanks for the reminder. xxoo

  17. You are such an amazing photographer!

  18. My parents have a lilac bush on the edge of their property, every spring my mom would cut off branches to enjoy inside. I would even get to bring one of two flowers, stems wrapped in paper towels and tin foil to my teachers.

    Now, the house we bought last year has a lilac tree in the back. I'm guardedly hoping for equally great flowers.

  19. Lilacs are lovely. We planted a lilac bush outside our bathroom window for the aroma and for the bush, blocking the, um, 'view' when the window is open. Last year I was having a rough time at work, and I went up to bed all discouraged -- only to find that my husband had cut a big vase of lilacs, and the scent was just right to lull me to sleep with a smile.

  20. The scent of lilacs always takes me back to my "Granny and Pop Pop" Growing up in Vancouver, Canada, I spent a lot of time at their home with its English garden. Granny always loved her lilacs and would be sure to have me smell them when they were in bloom


  21. Growing up on the coast of Maine we had two, intertwined hundred-year old lilac bushes, one purple and one white that grew as tall as our cape. My mom used to open my bedroom windows on the second floor in the spring and pull the fragrant branches into my room. That MUST be why lilacs are my favroite flowers today!

  22. Growing up in So Ca. I had to head for the MTs. to find Lilacs of any kind. When we bought our first house in Missouri I wanted to have Lilacs in the worst way. We purchaced the house and property, not knowing what plants were growing there. I also wanted Daffodils & Peonys as I love those ( Lilacs first and for most though) Well spring came and I just knew this huge bush in the front was a lilac. It was, but no blooms:( I was undaunted. I searched out what to do and did the three year pruining guide suggested by the extenxion service. It worked great, the second year I had blooms, and now 10 years later I have a beautiful bush. It blooms like mad evey year.
    Also my mom moved here to be closer to my sisiter & I. She is no gardner. In exploring her property, I found she had a wind break of Lilacs. I didn't tell her and when they bloomed I went out and brought in arm loads of them she was thrilled. She looks forward to them now. Last year she was so disappointed when the frost wiped them out. Never under estimate the power of those magic plants. My mom has taken a huge interest in her yard after discovering those beautiful bushes.

  23. Lilacs are a beautiful flower. I wish we saw more of them in the city!

  24. Ask my husband about me and Lilacs I would cover my bed with them if I could. There's something about them that draws me in. One day while out horseback riding my stablemate and I came upon a variety of lilacs. I rode my horse right up to them and picked as many as I could hold (and still have a hand to hold my reins). We mow have a huge bush in our front yard and I have transplanted a few clippings so that I have some close by the house. When the south wind blows I will be able to smell them from the kitchen window. Definately a favorite of mine! Thanks for a peek of their buds, I'm so waiting for May when ours will show their faces once again.

  25. Hi Everybody,
    I knew you'd have some great lilac stories up your sleeves. Thank you all so much for sharing these wonderfully personal memories and moments. What a perfect early spring gift!

  26. I have 3 lilac bushes planted outside of my end bedroom in front of a pair of double winows so that when the wind blows from southeast or southwest it perfumes the whole house with lilac. I think I might even plant some lilacs in front of my bedroom windows this year,hmmmm ....
    ValleView farms

  27. I have written my lilac story on my blog. Thanks for the idea! I love lilacs --- they are so heavenly!

    Have a great day!

  28. My lilac story is located at: if anyone is interested in reading it.

    Blessed lilac season!

  29. Hi my name is Ashley and my family just recently moved into our first home!! We have a big bush/tree in our new yard, and I am hoping it is lilac (my faaaaavvvv smell) but I am not sure how to tell, I was wondering if you had any more pictures of a lilac bush before it is bloomed so I could compare! I would greatly appreciate it. If you could email me back at I would be so excited to hear from you!!
    I love the website by the way :)
    God bless

  30. We planted two lilac bushes last year in honor of my son who had just passed away. The purple one is blooming well this spring! Thank you for your lilac stories. I will ask for them on my blog too.


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.

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love hearing about your experiences with my recipes. Comments on older posts are always welcome!

Please note that I moderate comments, so if I'm away from the computer it may be a while before yours appears.

I try my best to answer all questions, though sometimes it takes me a few days. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your e-visits to our farm!