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A Bowl Of Lilacs . . .

“Now that the lilacs are in bloom She has a bowl of lilacs in her room”

~ T. S. Eliot

I love lilacs, but can’t grow them. I’ve tried. Epic fail.

Lilacs, Syringa vulgaris, planted in the correct settings are easy to grow but, if planted in the wrong climate, even the “low-chill” varieties, are impossible to grow in my experience. I have the wrong climate. So , every year, my friend Karon and I trek north to Acton, CA in Los Angeles County to the Kilcoyne Lilac Farm for a fragrant lilac day.

Karon and Karen in the lilacs, Kilcoyne Lilac Farm, Acton, CA.

You can read about last year’s trip in my April 2022 article in Let’s Talk Plants! the newsletter of the San Diego Horticultural Society here –


These pictures are all from this year.

Here’s Pat Welsh’s great post about growing lilacs –


If you still want to try growing lilacs in mild climates, here’s what Monrovia says –


At Kilcoyne there are dozens of different lilac varieties growing, all different colors and flower shapes and each with a slightly different lilac scent. Put a bunch together of these different lilacs and the aroma is intoxicating. A perfume that perfumer could only dream of creating.

Using the timer feature, I put my phone in the crook of a lilac branch opposite us to get this picture.
Oh! The fragrance!
Until next year!

One Comment

  • Martha Beals

    Oh Karen those pictures are delightful! My husband tried really hard to imagine the magnificent fragrance! We’re from Colorado and had both purple & white lilac bushes. We had to contend with spring snows that could break the boughs or freeze the bloom. But most springs we could cut and bring the fragrance into our home!

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