In a Vase, on Monday – Bucket of Lilacs

Wow, what a week for gardeners in my part of the world! Today’s vase of cut flowers could be filled with so many beautiful blooms – temperatures have been high and the sun has shone and popping out now are lupins, Iris, Alliums and Camassia. The star of the show; however, in gardens and along country roads everywhere in southern Ontario, are lilacs – Syringa vulgaris. My neighbour invited me to snip as many stems as I wanted from the decades old shrubs that tower around her farm house so off I went yesterday, returning with a bucketful.

I took some of these photos yesterday in the early evening with the wide bottom jar resting in the woodpile and a few this morning. The flowers stayed on the porch overnight, where temperatures cooled to eight degrees and the fragrance wouldn;t suffocate us in our sleep.

I had to snip off a few sprigs of blooms, so stuck them in my ikebana vase, adding to them a few sprigs from my own lilacs, two cultivars with beautiful colour and fragrance.

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting IAVOM and giving gardeners around the world an opportunity to share their flower designs.


  1. Too little interest during the rest of the year for me to give space to it but I would happily pick from elsewhere, as I nearly did on the same walk that produced the gorse, but the lilac I found growing wild seemed to have very little fragrance. It was a very pale colour too, unlike the really dark one of your neighbour’s, which almost looks blue in the photograph. Definitely the time of year to be gathering lilacs, so thanks for sharing yours!

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  2. How wonderful! You don’t see many lilacs in Southern California – our local botanic garden has one shrub but, if it has scent, it’s not prominent. Our so-called California lilac (Ceanothus) also has no scent that I can detect.

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  3. Beautiful, especially the Ikebana. It must be a good lilac year – they are great everywhere except my back yard, where they were great until last week’s thunderstorms. And the aroma is wonderful, too.

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  4. Oh, those are SO excellent! I miss lilacs SO much. We used to grow the French hybrids like those in your pictures. The formerly common straight species is my favorite though. I have a young specimen here that is a copy of a big specimen that I planted many years ago in Saratoga, but it will be a few years before it gets big enough to bloom prolifically. It is what I remember from when I was a kid, and does quite well here. I have always been told that they prefer more chill. Yet, I have seen them perform well in even milder climates, including a few in a landscape in the Los Angeles region.

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    1. I don’t think I was really ‘aware’ of lilacs until we moved to the country. Sure, there were lilac bushes all over the city, but out here, when the non-descript hedges suddenly turn purple or white…wow!

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