Sunday, May 4, 2008
The Scent of a Lilac
Lean close. Can you smell it? Oops. Careful. There's a bee.
Try this one.
Is there anything sweeter than the smell of a lilac?
New Jersey State Botanical Gardens in Ringwood, NJ has a collection of 200 lilacs planted in the 1920s. They have spent years carefully pruning them so that they are at the right height to allow not only for viewing but more importantly (at least for me) smelling pleasure. The plants start to bloom in late April and peak around Mother’s Day.
We wandered among the heavily scented beds. The sun-warmed blossoms wafted their perfume into the air while we gently lift the heavy panicles to breathe deeply. I overheard conversations about the beauty of these flowers, the exquisite color of those and above all the comparisons of the various scents. Some were sweet, some spicy, others delicate, or woodsy. Families moved from bush to bush to sniff and examine the different shades of color. The flowers were white, violet, blue, lilac, pink, purple and a startling magenta.
I encourage you to go sometime this week to the gardens while the lilacs are at their peak. (They are down by Parking lot B.) It is lovely anytime of the year, but this week is my favorite.