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Purple and lilacs

2013 May 10


Wild blue violets

In the spring, my eyes are so focused on green that it becomes a single-minded pursuit, waiting for green grass, green shoots on the trees, green seedlings breaking through the soil.

This year was the first spring that I noticed how much purple is in my yard. Everywhere I turn, surprising splashes of purple, lavender, redish-blues and bluish-reds.

In a season of green, it’s positively magical.


Butterfly Blue


[Mystery flower]




Ranunculuses (ranunculi?)


Rosemary flowers


Blueberry blossoms



The lilac tree is in full bloom right now — if any flower was heaven sent, it surely was the lilac. I’m certain my neighbors are mocking me behind their curtains at this point, watching me stick my nose deep in the bloomy cloud every time I pass by.

Lilacs have a very special meaning in my family. Many, many years ago, my brother planted a lilac tree on a standard in my parent’s front yard. It grew and grew to an amazing umbrella of lavender perfection. Somehow, every year — no matter the weather — the tree timed its all-too-short bloom with Mother’s Day, mid-May.


After my parents passed, we put their home on the market. It was November but, along with the economy, the housing market was depressed. It took months to get any interested parties, but at last, we had a buyer. Paperwork and milestones passed smoothly, and the closing was scheduled: late April. I thought of the tree — for the first time in 15 years, I wouldn’t see it bloom on Mother’s Day, with my mom.

I hadn’t been to the house in weeks. On closing day, I visited one last time, to say goodbye and wrap up a few more memories to carry forward.

Pulling in the driveway, my breath caught in my throat. It was April 24th, weeks away from Mother’s Day.

The tree was in full bloom. It was only April 24th, but somehow … the tree knew.

I snapped the photo above and took a clipping, which thrived in a small white vase for weeks beyond what it should have. Sometime later, my brother bought a lilac tree on a standard and planted it my front yard. And, today, it’s in full bloom. Mid-May, just in time for Mother’s Day.


I hope your Spring is colorful and sweetly scented.

Hug your mom and dad. Time is fleeting, and like the lilac’s bloom, all too brief.



4 Responses
  1. May 10, 2013

    How beautiful! Lilacs have always had special meaning for me, too. The house I grew up in had lilacs planted all around the perimeter of the back yard, and in the spring it was like a wall of purple. As a little kid, it was almost like a fairy tale! The smell was intoxicating, and to this day is one of my favorite scents. A couple years ago I met my (now Fiance), and in our first spring together I was amazed to see that his back yard was lined with lilacs, just like the house I’d grown up in. They are full of bright purple buds right now (just a few flowers opening up here and there) and will be in full, glorious bloom just in time for our upcoming wedding. Just as you said, if any flower is heaven sent, it is lilacs. :)

  2. May 11, 2013

    Lovely post, Karen.

    Lilacs were always a favorite of my grandmother, whose birthday was May 18th. It always makes me smile to see the lilac trees along my driveway bloom each year around her birthday.

  3. May 13, 2013

    I think of my grandfather whenever I see roses–he was a meticulous gardener and although he grew lots of different flowers and veggies, his roses were his pride and joy. It’s comforting to have those physical reminders of your loved ones when they’re no longer with us. Your lilacs are beautiful!

  4. May 16, 2013

    What a sweet post, and a sweet memory each time you see lilacs or smell the lovely aroma!

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