Beep, beep…beep, beep…beep, beep…
It’s Monday, my alarm is going off, and I’m hitting the snooze button. I don’t want to get up. A lovely scent of lilac is drifting over from my night stand. Ah…spring! I guess I can force myself into the upright today.
This is not a flower blog; nonetheless the beautiful and fragrant lilacs (syringa) have arrived here on the Seacoast of New Hampshire. As a Mainer living in exile, I love the New Hampshire state flower. It was selected because it symbolizes the “hardy character of the men and women of the Granite State.” I don’t know if people in New Hampshire are any more or less hardy than people from Maine; I do know lilacs are magnificent. If New Hampshire could just figure out a way to make lilacs bloom perpetually, I might live here forever.
My parents have a lilac border at home and our house always smells like lilacs during this aromatic season. My mother, Horticultural Helen, shares her lilac bushes with other people, sending my father out to dig up lilac shoots for them.
Here at the chicken coop-sized condo complex, we have one lilac bush near the See-Mint pond. The condo commissars don’t allow residents to cut the lilac flowers, so the purple beauties die unappreciated. It’s sad. I’m not going to live here forever, though; one of these days I’m going to bust out of here and wherever I go, I’m going to make sure there are lilacs. Maybe I’ll plant a hedge on The Farm some day.
I have found several places where lilac bushes grow in abundance and I help myself to the flowers. I keep a pair of garden snips in the car for this. Maybe I am breaking the law by clipping a few; please keep my secret safe.
It’s delightful to live in New Hampshire during lilac season. I can have some now and then I can have some later when they bloom in Maine (hardiness zone 5a) about a week from now. They’re such old-fashioned shrubs, growing into natural hedges where they are planted. They grow best when left alone and their stature resists the gas-powered gardeners who seek to lop every plant into stylized miniature oblivion.
I have labored to write these pedestrian words about lilacs. Please forgive me. Emily Dickinson made it seem so easy with her 23 words:
Upon a lilac sea
To toss incessantly
His plush alarm
Who fleeing from the Spring
The Spring avenging fling
To Dooms of Balm
Today would be a good day to find some lilacs. Don’t forget your snips!