Getting the most from your lilac bush
This cool spring has made many aspects of our wildlife late in arriving, or slow to bloom or to emerge. However, the lilac bushes I have seen in people’s gardens and the odd one dotted around the countryside are all just flowering well on time. The Lilac was brought into Britain by John Tradescant in 1621, who was a naturalist and then became the gardener to Charles I and his queen Henrietta Maria. Lilac originates from Eastern Europe and across Asia and has quickly become a popular garden shrub. A vast variety of lilacs were developed, mainly in France, during the 19th century by a horticulturist called Victor Lemoine. The incredibly scented varieties are used by a number of insects through the spring, along with fruit tree blossoms which are important early nectar sources in the spring. The tree itself is deciduous and if you want blossom each year, don’t prune it. That tends to generate young growth and it will take several years for the shrub to reflower. The shrub itself can have a number of stems growing from the base and the traditional flowers are a purple colour in big spikes. The leaves grow in pairs opposite each other on the stem and they are generally oval shaped and pointed.