Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lilac Time is Here, Sorry-No Scratch and Sniff Available...!

" Backwoods double"
"Krasavitsa Moscovy"
"Charles Jolie"
" Sarah Sands"
"Monge" ( click any lilac for close up)
These last two weeks have sped by at lightning speed. Every day, the garden changes and speeds toward a full Summertime crescendo. So many things need done ,all at the same time! Tomatoes were planted, as were peppers and culinary herbs. I planted a clients terrace pots,beautiful combinations of sun and shade plants. This family has a gorgeous home over looking a serene lake. I'll take some photos, and show how they'll fill out during the season. I took them to the Hiddenfield greenhouse for planting and a settle in period. Mother's day week was a blur of wonderful fresh flowers and beautiful design work. The staff at Bergamot and Ivy pride ourselves in the craft and art of fresh flowers. We all love the garden product and love sharing that with others. So leading up to that, I haven't had a second to write about the garden and farm. I didn't get the chance to plant my beets or the spinach...bad gardner...It's getting late!! There just isn't enough time in the day! a truer statement couldn't be made. The most important project I have going this month is the hybridizing of the Lilacs. I've been making crosses for five or six years now, quite a few plants by now! At least 200 shrubs are in line to be planted out in the field. The bloody weather has been so hard to deal with! sooo much rain and the wind! In order to have a worthwhile crossing,you need calm air and good humidity. I carefully remove 30 or 40 individual florets, just as they are about to open. The pollen parent is chosen, and the crosses are made. Each blossom cross will produce two seeds, if it all goes well. A group of identical crosses gives you a greater chance of creating a special, different plant. Very me anyway! There are at least 50 or 60 named hybrid lilacs in the collection, lots of good choices for good parents and good hybrids, I hope. About one in a hundred seedlings might be special and worth introducing. There is a very small window of hybridization. I did ten major crosses in two days...that's a great deal of hand work, but I think it's worth it! The amazing fragrances and color of the better hybrids, make these Spring weeks so valued for me. The evening air is thick with the heady fragrances. Each selection has a unique scent, just like a rose. walking through the lilac walk this time of the year is a treat I savor even more because of the brief window of enjoyment. Did I say I love Lilacs!


  1. Gosh you are right spring is sprunging. I absolutely love lilacs. I will probably come back to your post off and on just to imagine the lilacs and learn their names. Thank you for sharing the lovely lilac collection.

  2. Yes, the air is heavy with the heady/sweet smell of lilacs and lilies of the valley blooms. I planted 2 lilac bushes today at work. Someday in a next lifetime, I would like to work with someone who could teach me all about hybridiziation.

  3. Wow, Brian, never known anyone to cross lilacs before...didn't know it was possible...I love learning new things :) My favorite is Miss Kim...smaller bush and pretty in pink. Yes, I agree, not enough time in the day to do all you want. Good luck with your crosses.

  4. Oh, your wonderful photos have left me craving the aromas to match. Somone needs to work on this scratch-and-sniff garden blog concept.

  5. I miss the lilacs of my hometown, Spokane Washington (the "lilac city"), thank you for taking me back!