This dwarf Korean lilac gives me the fragrance I love in a yard where space is at a premium. Where a normal lilac gets 8 feet or taller, this one maxes out at 4 feet high and wide. It blooms at the side of my pond in my north facing front yard.
What is it about the scent of lilacs in May? It reminds me of grandma, the springs of my teen years, first love. Like Sister Mary Leo sings in Nunsense, "Every time I smell lilacs /I remember my first romance. I was putting on a ballet in my backyard /When I fell in love with the dance." Maybe it's because lilac blooms coincide with the time of spring when things warm up enough to spend comfortable time outside after a winter cooped up indoors. Lilacs always smell alive to me. Alive is something a cancer survivor notices.
Why am I musing about lilacs and spring in the heat of July? Because it's been so hot here all month. After several weeks of 95 plus degree temperatures, my garden is gasping. Even regular waterings can't seem to cool the plants. Their transpiration process has kicked into overdrive...more like crying, begging for relief. And today it was a mild 83, which felt like spring all over again after the last three weeks. And so I thought about lilacs, even though it's the lillies that are blooming now.