One of two Manchurian lilacs (Syringa pubescens subsp. patula ‘Miss Kim’, below) is just about gone. This is a familiar story, oft repeated in this thirty-one year old garden, and rarely are the losses of much concern. Plants grow, and occasionally one conflicts with another. One must be moved, which sometimes happens, or the more the dominant of the two shades out the other. Fortunately, I find that despite growing into each other, many trees and shrubs are able to coexist. The jumble of flowers and foliage are the best parts of the garden, to my thinking, though the only thing that irritates my wife more is when the garden’s paths are obstructed by overhanging branches. She prefers more organization, but, too late for that.
The surviving lilac is also shaded, and I expect it too will perish some time in the near future since I’m unlikely to try to move the large shrub. There’s no good place to put it if I was inclined to transplant it, and since I can smell only the strongest scents, flowers with fragrance are not typically at the top of my list. I’m not looking to get rid of it, but if it goes, oh well.
A larger lilac was lost long ago enough that I can hardly remember what crowded it out. I suspect it was in the neighborhood where three yellow tipped Japanese cedars (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Sekkan sugi’) were planted, and they’re monstrous, so anything in close proximity is long gone. Again, over three decades there will be casualties, and dearer plants than this lilac have been lost.
A Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata ‘Ivory Silk’, above) planted in a small piece of ground between the three ponds just off the deck is just starting to flower. The tree lilac is not a shrub, but a single trunk tree with congested masses of white blooms. I suspect that the limited soil has had a detrimental effect, with a lack of its previous vigor that I notice in recent years, though with no issues that would be readily noticed by a visitor. With upswept branching, the lowest flowers are now far above my reach, but they are viewed beautifully through the kitchen window.