Tuesday, May 4, 2021



Welcome to the month of May.

"May is white clouds behind pine trees/

Puffed out and marching upon a blue sky,

May is much sun through small leaves/

May is soft earth/

and apple blossoms,/

and windows open to a south wind.

May is a full light wind of lilacs."

Amy Lowell

The lilac is one 
of my most favorite flowers.  
I love everything about them. 
 If I could, I would wish
 to be surrounded by lilacs 
my whole life long. 
 My farthest away memory
 is of my great-grandmother, Susie,
 standing in the doorway
 of her Victorian farmhouse
 with a lilac bush
 in full bloom beside her...

"A faint smell of lilac filled the air,
There was always lilac in this part of town,
Where there were grandmothers, 
there was always lilacs."

Laura Miller

When we lived in Santa Cruz, 
our neighbors from across the street 
gave us a small off shoot
 of their lilac bush. 
 We planted it
 in a corner of the garden
 and it thrived.  
When we moved to the Cottage 
we took a piece of it with us, 
although everyone said 
that it couldn't be transplanted, 
and it thrived here also.

 of how it was trimmed (or wasn't)
 throughout the years,
 it was always beautiful and fragrant.  
This bush has been here at the Cottage 
for close to 30 years 
and a good 20 years in Santa Cruz before.

  This bush and I 
have always had an endearing relationship 
up to about two years ago.  
When the first tiny buds appeared 
on the slender stems, 
I couldn't wait to pick a big bouquet 
and bring all of its glory into the house. 
 It was a sad day
 when I realized that,
 in close quarters,
 the scent was overwhelming to me
 and I could not endure it.

The last Cottage lilacs in the guest room
 Today, I have taken a chance, 
and for just a little while,
 I brought an antique pitcher
 full of lavender blooms
 into the Cottage 
to share with you, 
along with some words that I found
 that convey their beauty
 to the poets in all of us.

"You are the smell of all summers,
 the love of wives and small children. 
 You are brighter than apples, 
sweeter than tulips."

Amy Lowell

"Now that the lilacs are in bloom, 
she has a bowl of lilacs in her room".

T.S. Eliot

"The lilacs stood close 
to Elizabeth's window,/ 
all purple with bloom.../
 but a wind is stirring the lilac blossoms,/
 and a wonderful sweetness
 came floating in."

Mary E. Wilkins
"The Message of Flowers", 1905

"A pewter bowl of lilacs in the room/
 seem to him to weigh 
and change the gloom."

William Faulkner

"If you have a garden and a library
You have everything you need."

Marcus Tullius Cicero

"Just now,
 the lilac is in bloom/
 all before my little room."

Rupert Brooke
"The Old Vicarage"

In the Language of Flowers:
The first emotion of love.

I love the colors 
of the flowers and the walls together 
along with the shape
 of the oval frame
 behind it...

...and its elegance
 against a rustic background...

...but lilacs and blue skies...
it doesn't get much better
 than that!

I am so sorry,
 for myself as much as
 for everyone else, 
that this beautiful flower,
 with its vibrant colors and sweet scent,
 has to be removed 
out to the front porch. 
 It still is my most favorite
 but I will have to be content
 with its beauty
 only in passing.

"The smell of moist earth and lilacs
Hung in the air
Like wisps of the past
Hints of the future."

Margaret Millar

"To be overcome 
by the fragrance of flowers
 is a delectable form 
of defeat."

Beverly Nichols

"In the dooryard
 Fronting an old farm house
Near the white wash'd palings
Stood the lilac bush tall growing
With heart shaped leaves
 of rich green."

Walt Whitman

Have a wonderful week 
and take in the beauty
 of the lilac 
in springtime.


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  1. I agree about the scent indoors, but your bush is spectacular! I love them on the bush best. And how nice that you remember your Great Grandmother that way!

    1. Thanks so much, Jacqueline. I was sneezing for days after I did this shoot, but it was worth it! xxoJudy

  2. I love your lilacs. I know exactly what you mean about that scent. I have that with a number of things (including hyacinths and my beloved lily of the valley, too). I'll try it for a bit and realize it's time to say goodbye. I can relate to your memories of your great grandmother because my lilac memories associate most with her and the large bushes at her farm. I wish they were still there -- it is now a small park and the bushes long removed. All your images aer simply beautiful, Judy.

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanie. I fought the headache and sneezing valliantly but it is now a thing. The only other thing that does it is the holly tree when it is blooming. I don't know why that is such a strong memory for me but I can just see her standing there in her doorway. When we were little we were never allowed in her house, so may be that is the reason the memory of so strong..xxoJudy

  3. How beautiful your lilacs are. They smell heavenly. It is always sweet to have memories of our grandmothers and great grandmothers. I never knew my great grandma. Enjoy Judy. I shall miss meeting you in person at Jains. xoxo

    1. Thanks so much, Linda. They do smell heavenly but even the small swift time I get their scent when we let the dogs out before bed bothers me. I will miss meeting you also, but there will be another time..xxoJudy

  4. Your images are beautiful especially in that lovely pitcher. My Lilac bush flowers later here around the end of June.
    I have the same problem with the scent. But I do love Lilacs, like you.

    1. Thanks so much, Thelma. I love them so much and don't have any idea how the allergic reaction happened but I paid for taking the photos, but it was worth it..xxoJudy

  5. Beautiful post! Lilacs don't grow here. Wish they did!

    1. Thanks so much, Sarah. I'm sorry you can't grow them, they are so beautiful. I love them and am so upset that they don't agree with me anymore..xxoJudy

  6. Lilacs are one of my faves and the fragrance is so beautiful. Yours are gorgeous. Happy New Week. xoxo

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. The fragrance is beautiful but my nose and head don't think so anymore and I am sick about it. Happy New Week to you to my friend..xxoJudy

  7. There was a lady who lived across the street from us growing up and every spring, she would wrap up a bunch of lilac stems in tin foil and give it to me to bring home to my mom. The flowers were always so beautiful and smelled amazing...xxoo

    1. Thanks so much, Kim. They do smell amazing and when we let the dogs out at night, I can faintly smell their fragrance from the bush by the porch. It is too bad that that is about all I can take anymore..xxoJudy

  8. Oh, Judy, what a lovely post, and I adore the last photo---so sweet! Hugs, Sandi

    1. Thanks so much, Sandi. I love that last photo too. When I first got the smart phone it had a part that could turn any photo into many different ways, pencil sketches, etc. this one was a water color. The darn phone was so expensive and I truthfully don't use any phone only in emergencies so we changed our plan and now I can't get that same way to change up the photos. Can't have it all, I guess..xxoJudy

  9. A beautiful bush indeed! My grandma H loved her lilacs. At my old home I actually had every color of lilac, from white, to multi white and purple, light purple, dark purple, 2 shades of pink and even a yellow. I loved them! Janice

    1. Thanks so much, Janice. I would love to have all those colors too. I don't think I have ever seen a yellow one or didn't even know one existed. Very beautiful, I imagine..xxoJudy

  10. my gosh what gorgeous lilac! I have a white one that has traveled as your lilac has. Mom had it taken from her sisters yard and I took it from moms to mine. I just wish now I had a pinkish or purple one. The white is heavily scented. The scent sometimes in a room here gets to me also. Peonies are another that are very heavy perfumed. I see some homes here in town with large flowers in big vases on their porches near the door. I think it's so pretty seeing them like that arranged. What a treasure you have of your Grandmother taken with the lilac bush. Enjoyed your post. Take care, betsy

    1. Thanks so much, Betsy. I can understand why the lilacs are displayed outside by their front door. If I pass quickly then I do get a passing glance at them but not the overpowering smell. They never used to effect me that way, I don't know what changed. Just another old age thing, possibly. They still are one of the prettiest flowers around, I think, with peonies a close second..xxoJudy

  11. Lilacs! I just love them and like you, they bring back so many memories. Growing up, there were three huge lilac bushes just outside my bedroom window. In the spring, my room was filled with their beautiful scent. They also provided a shady "fence" on one side of my play house, which my dad made out of old wooden grain bin from a farm truck. As always, I just love your posts Judy! I've been terrible about leaving comments lately, but I have been reading for sure! Jane

    1. Thanks so much, Jane. I love all those memories. There was a white lilac outside my kitchen window (in neighbors yard) when we lived in the Bay Area. Now our daughter and SIL live there and when we were down there last week, I noticed that the neighbor had cut it all down. Memories seem to be all we have sometimes..xxoJudy

  12. I love lilacs too.. have lived a few places where they grow WILD everywhere! But none seemed to have much of a fragrance at all! We have two in our yard and although they get nice and green, the little tiny flowers NEVER open up! Don't know what's wrong. There are a few here and there in our town, mostly in vacant lots, and they are huge and they do flower. But I don't know why they don't flower in our yard. Must be something wrong with the soil I guess. I sure don't remember them having any fragrance though anywhere I've seen them! Weird. the first year we were here in our house, in 2015, the bush did get a few blooms, but no smell.. then we had to transplant it and since then, only a few tiny flowers that never open up. this year, there were tons of the little tiny flowers, but they have never opened! I wish they would! Have a nice weekend... Marilyn

    1. Thanks so much, Marilyn. I don't know why you would only have little buds on the lilacs unless they are a different specie. I'm not a good enough gardener to know what those species might be. I do remember when I would go to my grandmothers and hike through the woods we would see what my dad always called wild lilacs. Mostly they were white with little tiny blooms. They did have a smell but were certainly not as strong as the ones in the gardens..xxoJudy


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