Lilac, Syringa vulgaris
The arrival of each Spring brings a renewed life. It’s rebirth. Migrating birds come back to their summer home and plants and trees start flushing with life. After a cold winter, the heady aromas fill the senses with anticipation. Every year I have documented the first blooms of Lilac in mid-May. I look forward to the feast for the eyes and their heavy perfume slowly waltzing in a dramatic Tango. Its’ intentions to tickle excitement of the warm months to come. I find that sweet, yet floral aromatic also produces hunger in my heart to dive my hands deep into moist soil. I want to be a part of this rebirth. The energized anticipation is deeply soothing and calming. As if that aroma could bring peaceful thoughts yet firmly ground my feet to the land. When harvesting the flowers, I use my teeth to scrape the sugars off my fingers, so deliciously forming at the tips. Careful not to overdo my Lilac lust, I let it linger slowly through the few weeks she presents herself to the world. By early June the flowers are gone. In place a seed grows to the delight of chipmunks everywhere. The bushes beside my house are full to the brim. Both Lilacs and Chipmunks.
Botanical and other fascinating info.
Besides being beautiful, Lilacs have a few very practical uses. I love practical. Living ‘Off-Grid’ everything you do is accounted for. There are no superfluous actions or additions to your day or lifestyle. At the time of year it grows and the medicinal attributes it offers really go to show you that nature is taking care of us. When taken correctly, Lilac and Lilac leaves are known to combat fevers and moderate digestive problems. If we adhere to a local and seasonal diet, jumping into ruffage (eating lots of greens) that our bodies are craving at this point. It is no wonder that our system might revolt. Adding a little Lilac tea to our daily diet can help keep the pipes working clear. We also are craving warmth and sunlight. With the oncoming on the Spring season we, no doubt, overdo it and are susceptible to colds and fever. That same cup of tea used for digestion can also keep away any potential illnesses creeping in hoping to avert you from your gardening passion.
Another use for Lilac is, for me, purely fun. I mix fresh Lilac flowers into sugar, let them dry and infuse. Once the flowers are fully dried. I crush them into sugar. The last is fragrant and beautiful. I describe Lilac taste as Lychee meets lemon.
Lilac plants are deciduous, with deep green leaves arranged oppositely along the stems. The leaves are usually simple with entire margins, though the leaves of some species are lobed or compound. The small four-petalled flowers are borne in large oval clusters. The fruit is a leathery capsule. The common lilac (Syringa vulgaris), from southeastern Europe, is widely grown in temperate areas of the world. It is considered naturalized in North America because it does not interfere with native species. There are several hundred named varieties with single or double flowers in deep purple, lavender, blue, red, pink, white, and pale creamy yellow. The common lilac reaches a height of approximately 6 meters (20 feet) and produces many suckers (shoots from the stem or root). It may be grown as a shrub or hedge or, by clearing away the suckers, as a small tree.