As a child, the arrival of Spring meant being able to go out and play in the evenings. Going out and playing in the evenings meant climbing my friend's lilac trees. A mere whiff of their scent sends me back to the carefree days of being eight, with all of the summer to look forward to.
For years I have embarrassed SomeBeans with my surreptitious sniffing of lilacs in other peoples' gardens. It's a bit of a bad habit, but mostly harmless. Overhanging lilac flowers have their aroma inhaled as I stop for a moment, for instant mental time travel.
I was delighted to inherit a lilac tree when we moved house. Well, lilac 'lollipop' may have been a better description; along with most of the shrubs in the garden, the lilac bush had been trimmed into a neat, round shape. It's taken two years to produce a reasonable number of heaven-scent blooms, and I sniffed my first sniff of the season on Saturday. Bliss.
Today, it looks as though someone has taken a blow torch to parts of the bush. Having experienced potato blight last year (as did everyone), it looked blight-like and I wondered if there was a similar problem for lilacs. There is. The effects can be seen here:
I'm off out to prune and burn in the hope that I'll be able to sniff my history again next year, without having to resort to guerrilla lilac sniffing, if only to save the embarrassment of SomeBeans.