Sunday, May 5, 2013


I've had it!  Or rather I haven't had it.  I'm fed up with the cold weather and the damp wind.  If Spring won't come to Kansas, then I'm just going to have to fake it.  So I will. Welcome to Spring in Kansas!

The pictured lonely plant is a 'Declaration' lilac I bought already in bloom almost a week ago, a Sunday present to myself for the simple occasion of sub-Seasonal Depression.  What, you've never heard of "sub-Seasonal Depression"?   That's a near-terminal condition that occurs whenever a gardener is disappointed by the late arrival of Springtime bloom.  It's a depression born of desperation from viewing the detrimental effects of snowfall on lilac blooms.  Believe me, it's not pretty.

But I digress.  After a few days of pulling the car into the garage and dodging the plants I have stashed there to wait out the cold spell, it finally occurred to me that I shouldn't let these beautiful purple, aromatic blooms go to waste.  To paraphrase Bart Simpson, "DUH."   So I translocated the lilac to our sunroom, a place where I'd probably never try to keep it going year round, but where it seems quite content to wait out the remaining cold spell while the planted lilacs near the driveway shrivel up to resemble brown tissue paper.

'Declaration' is a 2006 release from the National Arboretum breeding programs, a purple-red bloomer to join bluish 'Old Glory', and white 'Betsy Ross' as the members of the "U.S Flag" group of lilacs from the Arboretum.  Both 'Old Glory' and 'Declaration' are the selected progeny of a 1978 cross of  Syringa hyacinthiflora ‘Sweet Charity’ and S. ×hyacinthiflora ‘Pocahontas’.    'Declaration' is a vase-shaped shrub  that will grow to approximately 8 feet tall and bears purple single florets on thyrses up to 30 cm long.  Like other Arboretum releases, 'Declaration' is not patented, and so it may be propagated and freely sold. 

But all of that is just "book-learn'n'", and not really important.  What is important is the heavenly perfume that now spreads over the house from our sunroom into the living room and kitchen.  What is important are the deep purple-red blooms that brighten up my currently-sunless sunroom.  What is important is the lift in my spirits and the contented smile on the face of Mrs. ProfessorRoush.  Based on visual evidence in my household, I believe that Da Vinci must have painted the Mona Lisa while she gazed on a purple lilac in the midst of an otherwise late and boring Spring.  It's the smile of the cure for sub-Seasonal Depression.


  1. Methinks Kansas is in the grip of Jadis, the White Witch. You need some dwarves, a Lion and a bunch of lost kids. Oh, and some talking beavers. In the meantime, your lilacs look really beautiful. I hope you break free soon. Gean

  2. I have loads of plants in my garage, too, just waiting for it to be safe to plant outside. Seems odd - it's May, in Texas! I hope the scent of your lilac calms your can't-wait-for-spring jitters. You were smart to move it inside so you could take pleasure in its blooms. I think summer is going to arrive before spring finally decides to show up!


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