Flowering Shrubs and other lovelies

We returned from vacation last Tuesday, and as I stepped out of the car, all I could smell was lilacs! Mmmmmmmmm…….divine…...
I have 3 lilac bushes in bloom right now. Two are the common lilac Syringa vulgaris and one is a Korean lilac Syringa meyeri 'Palibim'.

The common lilac is in the Olive tree family. One of mine is about 12' feet high and the other one at least 18' tall.

The buds of one are pale mauve, opening to a whitish mauve.

The tall one at the side of the house are a deep pinky-purple opening to mauve. Both are delightfully fragrant.

Did you know that the best way to make lilac branches last in a vase is to smash up the bottoms of the stems with a hammer before placing in water?  Lilacs have a woody stem and this gives the water more surface area to enter up into the stems.

The Korean lilac is an almost perfect plant: it has fragrant flowers, it has a manageable size (5' x 5'), it's winter hardy and easy to grow.

It's grown over the years but never outgrown its spot.

Several types of viburnum are also in bloom right now. Above is Viburnum plicatum 'Popcorn', a tough plant whose corrugated leaves have never succumbed to the rotten beetle that's eaten my other viburnum leaves over the past years.

The flowers are not fragrant but very lovely nonetheless.

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum 'Mariesii' is a gorgeous shrub, whose flowers bloom HORIZONTALLY along its branches. I had a lot of die-back this year (probably due to last summer's drought) but even though it's not as full, it's still one of my favourites.

It's a large shrub averaging 8-10' high and 9-12' wide. I have three side by side so it's quite a show.

Also blooming right now are my Giant Ornamental Onions Allium giganteum. These beauties have self "seeded" all over the front area (they are actually bulbs). They make great cut flowers and make a terrific bouquet when added to lilacs and bleeding hearts.

And be sure to drop by my recipe blog to check out tried-and-true recipes plus restaurant reviews!