Perfume in the Air

Do not be fooled by the small stature of its individual flowers, or the soft effect their airy countenance has – the Korean lilac bears a potent perfume. It is heavenly, and one of my favorite parts of the garden right now. I see them being used commercially more and more, and I understand the appeal. Their foliage doesn’t go all mildewy, no matter how hot and humid our summers get. Their blooming period is also later than the traditional American lilac, which makes for a perfect combination. (As such, their blooms tend to fade quicker in the heat, but we’ve not had much in the last few days, so they’re hanging on for a bit longer this year. A happy trade-off for cooler temps.

They are also a more manageable size – I cut mine back every few years to keep them in bounds – do so right after they flower so as not to reduce next year’s crop of blooms which actually set in the summer.

Another thing that sets them apart from their common counterpart is their well-behaved tendency to stay put wherever they are placed. No trailing suckers or unwanted shoots appear in their vicinity, and such manners are always appreciated in the garden.

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