Not the best year for them, but still blooming well. They are one of those plants, like daffodils but more so, which are solidly entrenched in our culture but are in fact not found throughout the continent.  They dislike humidity and need cold winters.  The best lilacs I ever encountered were in Canada, growing wild across the abandoned fields of Ontario and holding court in Montreal’s Botanical Garden.

We have only a few here: two classic lavenders flanking the south end along with a white one, and a gorgeous, ancient dark purple one off of the west porch.  Its main stem is close to five inches in diameter, hopefully by hacking a bit of a hole in the overgrown hydrangea we can get some new growth going.  I also did a bit of work today on one of the lavender ones, cutting out two declining main stems (it would have been three but the chickadees objected vociferously), hopefully it will regrow well.

Walt Whitman described them, and the hermit thrush, best of course in one of his better known but rarely read poems its worth the time to go through it, if a bit depressing: