Design with lilacs in the garden
Because of their showy, scented flowers, lilacs are popular shrubs to grow in the landscape. In cold climates these shrubs can grow to the size of a small tree. They usually grow with multiple stems in a form that looks like a large shrub. Some lilacs can grow on a single thick stem that makes them look more like a tree. Lilacs (Syringa) have been a favorite for decades and are ideal for a romantic, woodland, English or old-fashioned style garden or can be integrated into many other beautiful garden themes. Many varieties offer good cut flowers that will provide a decorative indoor bouquet that will fill your home with a delightful perfume.
The most frequently grown lilac is the Syringa vulgaris. This lilac comes in purples, blues and whites. There is a group of plants developed especially for warmer climates known as the Descanso hybrids. These come in an assortment of colors including pink. Most tend to grow to only about six feet tall. These are more likely to bloom well in the south and the west of the country despite the lack of cold winter temperatures.
Grow lilacs for beauty where they can soften angles by filling corners with soft foliage. Use a lilac for a focal point or to drape over fences and arbors. The lilac will also make a fresh green backdrop in the back of a large flower border. Plan on the lilac losing leaves in the winter showing the branch framework until it leafs out in the early spring. The flowering period is relatively short but leaves form a good fill with handsome foliage. Plant them neat seating areas or by windows and entryways where the fragrance of flowering lilacs can be appreciated.
Give lilacs a rich soil and good drainage. They need full sun and room to grow. Lilacs don’t suffer from a lot of diseases and pests and are best trimmed to control size and shape. Easy to cultivate, grow lilacs for their beauty and scent, they are a welcome addition for most any garden.
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