Unforgettable Lilacs

It’s a bouquet of lilac flowers, the lowest ones in reach, shades of lavender, the kind you bury your face in, to experience the fragrance of blossoms and sun-warmed leaves. Held with two hands with a drawing, signed in big letters, is an unforgettable Mothers’ Day.

When driving by the rows of lilacs against evergreens at Lewis & Clark State Park, west of Yankton, South Dakota, each mature shrub could just as well be one of those bouquets long remembered. 

The lilacs, a few ornamentals in bloom, and trees light green or barely leafing out and sunny days draw us to forget the chores and head outdoors to see it all up close.

Lilacs are a woody shrub in the olive or Oleaceae family. Widely known for its hardiness, it’s the state flower of New Hampshire. Lilacs are native to the Balkan Peninsula of southeastern Europe and naturalized in North America. Cultivated and unmanaged areas, the panicles of lavender or white blossoms are among the first of the growing season, a time to enjoy the outdoors. The lilac festival in Rochester, NY, celebrates its 123rd year this spring. It’s springtime for all!

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