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Photo - Holly Kerr Forsyth

Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

Description: small tree/large shrub with perfumed flowers in spring.

Size: 2-3m x 2m

Cultivation: lilacs need 1000 hours of temperatures below 10 degrees to flower well. That’s well over a month of real cold so don’t consider it where winter doesn’t require a beanie! Lilac tolerates most soils and can be grown from cuttings or as grafted plants. Plant a selection of different colours and tones to extend the show.

Special comments: cold-climate gardeners will have no trouble with this beauty. The rest of us will have to make do with armfuls of bloom from the florist. Gardeners in borderline climate zones could try applying ice cubes around the plant four times during winter to enforce a cold snap.


Text: Linda Ross

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Author: Linda Ross