~photoblog of a WNY zone 6 gardener

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lilac Festival!


In Rochester, NY, often referred to as the lilac capitol of the world, they have a Lilac festival every May, of course. There is the normal carnival atmosphere with rides, lots of food, etc. but as you step away from the fair grounds and cross over into Highland Park, an amazing treat awaits you.


There are hundreds of lilacs in bloom! It is a wonderland of the senses. If heaven isn't like this, I don't want to go.

My friend Hilde and an old lilac

If you have never smelled a lilac in bloom, I hope one day you do. It is intoxicating. The scent carries on the wind beckoning you find it. A whole park full of lilacs is dizzying! It has a surreal quality, very dream like. Yes, it was like a being awake in a dream.


Some people complain that lilacs only last a week. That isn't true. A hot spell can cause the flowers an early demise, but a cool May will be long with blooms. And if they only lasted a week, I would still love the lilacs.


The season can also be lengthened by plantings of various cultivars. Lilacs have been hybridized for a long time so there's a lot of choices out there.



Lilacs are extremely long lived shrubs. In the countryside in this part of the country, you can often see a huge lilac in bloom seemingly out of place growing wild. The lilacs are markers of where a home once stood years ago. Nothing from the garden remains but the lilac.


Some varieties sucker from the base and some just get cool old gnarly trunks like the one below.


I, as always, could go on posting pics, but then the page wouldn't load! So I'll stop here : )

1 comment:

Gottagarden said...

Great pix! Great festival! I have been many years, but missed this year's. Seeing your photos made me want to rush over there tomorrow, because the blooms will still be there. And you're right about the fragrance - strong and intoxicating!

Favorite Garden Blogs

Favorite Tomatoes

  • Humph - Green
  • Stump of the World - Pink, my absolute favorite
  • Little Lucky - Small Yellow Bicolor
  • Prudens Purple - meaty Pink
  • Carbon - Black


About Me

My photo
Plantaholic, from annuals to perennials, from tomatoes to roses. You name it; I love it! I often get very busy with my business and life and don't post as often as I would like.