Monday, April 28, 2008

Lilac Anticipation

We've got the forsythia and azalea bushes blooming now in my yard. Now I await the lilac. My lilacs grow around the side of my property and were lost among the other brush. I trimmed back the woods this year and the lilacs will stand as a showpiece on their own.

It is amazing to me how a particular flower can tickle the memory banks. I have heard it said that smell triggers memories more than any other sense. This would certainly hold true with the lilac. It is one of the scents of childhood for me. My parents loved lilacs when we lived in New York. As I remember it, every May we would cut some blooms from the tree to place on the kitchen counter. That heavenly smell permeated the room. (My favorite floral fragrance usually permeates my house. I use lavender in an aromatherapy warmer. I wonder if my daughter will identify this flower with me like I identify the lilac with my own mother.)

The purple lilac is the state flower of New Hampshire, where I reside. That also gives the flower particular significance to me. As a librarian and historian, I am always a sucker for little known bits of information. The beautiful floral bushes enliven our lovely port town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The flowers were first brought to the United States from England and were planted in Portsmouth, at the home of Governor Benning Wentworth in the 1750s. The home still stands today and so do lilac bushes around it. (Though these are probably not the original bushes I suppose.) Walking down Portsmouth's brick sidewalks, one is struck by the lilacs brimming over the sides of tall white fences protecting the small yards of the early colonial homes. It definitely makes Portsmouth a place to see in May.

So enjoy these last days of April. We are finally getting the April showers here after a small draught. May will bring the gardens into full swing!

1 comment:

Esther Montgomery said...

Melissa - thanks for the Green Roof link you left on my 'Plot' on Blotanical.

I'm in a rush and haven't even read the post I'm leaving this comment on (I'll come back and do that later) - anyway - I'm wondering if you've come across a blog called 'Grow This'.

The post for yesterday (28th April - title 'Paradise Lost') is very moving ((I think) and, I think, very well written too).

It strikes me you might appreciate it too.