Lilac Sunday

On the west side of Lucknow Street is a house with a side lawn that has looked attractive in every season. Unfenced, it is somewhat protected from passing foot traffic by several tall, shaggy hedges which only now have full leaf and the buds of purple blooms. Lilacs are among my favourite flowers and require freezing winters for best results, so I’ve missed them most years in the past couple decades.

In Boston, the Arnold Arboretum celebrates Lilac Sunday on Mother’s Day (their front page currently depicts the wonder of 100 varietiepurples, pinks, yellow, white–in bloom). So here we seem to be running about three weeks, almost four, back. I don’t care about that as long as I get to see the full blooms–and catch the scent!

The Lucknow hedges stand between six and nine feet high and form a line that is about six feet along the sidewalk–a wondrously generous lot of lilac! The buds are tight now and deeply purple so will probably bloom the traditional hue that has been given the flower’s name. The heart shaped leaves are on the small side, in contrast with the height of the hedge. In the morning damp, they are shiny, a true green that balances off yellow and blue.

In keeping with the season, too, tulips are beginning to become dead heads, petals lying on the ground in heaps of yellow and white, burgundy and red. The few daffodils I saw are all gone and, of course, so are the croci.

I had managed to forget about hyacinths’ existing until I saw them the other evening in the Public Gardens. But I’ve never forgotten lilacs, and can’t imagine I ever could.

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