About five years ago I was browsing at a local country nursery when I happened upon a small, delicate reblooming lilac. Since I’ve always loved lilacs, I put the plant in my little red wagon and went looking for a more knowledgeable person who could tell me more about this tiny gem. When I located a member of the staff she admitted that she didn’t know much about this particular variety of lilac or how it would perform. She went on to say that it was the first season they’d ever carried it, and this hybrid was relatively new. The lilac wasn’t cheap so I hesitated, but I finally threw caution to the wind because I loved the small fragrant blossoms and I thought it might be fun to be a testing ground for a brand new variety of lilac.
I took my treasure home and set out to find a new spot to plant it. Typically, I have an idea of where something might go before I do my shopping, but this was an impulse purchase and I had to do a little scouting about for the right location. I had been told this lilac was a dwarf and would probably reach a mature height of about four or five feet and should grow to be about equally wide. I finally settled on a site near the back corner of the garage that had good sun and decent drainage, but was otherwise dull and boring. I hoped that once fully grown, this little shrub might improve the dreary landscape.
The first year the shrub almost doubled in size. It didn’t bloom repeatedly that season, but that spring it produced delicate, fragrant, long-lasting blossoms that butterflies and bees loved. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that the foliage seemed to be rust resistant; something that spoils the greenery of so many lilacs once they finish blooming. I hesitated to prune the young shrub, but it soon grew leggy and started to encroach on neighboring perennials. So I clipped the bush back and held my breath, not knowing if I’d foolishly done the wrong thing.
The next season the little lilac was no longer small. In fact, it was straining to stay confined to the site I’d chosen. Once again, it produced lovely pale pink blossoms in the spring, but as soon as they were done I pruned the shrub back with confidence. I didn’t think the bush would bloom again that season and was starting to doubt it’s “rebounding” ability, but in early August it produced a second showing of very tiny blossoms. The second blooming was much less prolific than the first and I was somewhat disappointed to think that this was what all the fuss over reblooming was about. But I was delighted with everything else about the shrub and I didn’t consider this a very big mark against it.
This year the lilac is in danger of taking over the plot where it was planted. I’ve decided to do some revamping this fall and make more room for the little shrub that isn’t nearly as dwarf as previously stated. I pruned the lilac hard after the first burst of blooms and right now I’m being treated to a lovely second display of beautiful pink blossoms. I’m so thrilled with this hardy little shrub that I’m seriously considering getting another for a site that I hope to resurrect this fall.