The first lilac planted in the garden has done so well that I planted a second. OK, I probably would have planted another even if the first had struggled. But after mentioning my worries about the garden yesterday it is nice to have a plant that seems to be well settled in the garden. The lilac has been in the ground three years now and, though it had a few flowers the first year it bloomed quite well last yer, despite the mid May frost that did so much harm to other plants. This spring it is growing quickly in the current, short, heatwave.
Those new shoots are so packed with buds they look like broccoli – I am excited. But then I looked over the bush (it is not a tree yet) and was a bit perplexed. I would not want or expect every shoot to be a cluster of flowers – it would not make any new growth – but it struck me as slightly odd that some of last year’s shoots are producing lots of flower buds, with growth shoots below this, but others have no buds at all and just growth shoots.
Because of the rather dichotomous branching of lilacs each shoot of the pair tends to be similar and these two shoots seem to be of the same size and vigour. I am happy to accept that on most shrubs weak stems will not bloom but this does not appear to be the case here. You can see that the one on the left is going to be an explosion of colour and the one on the right just green. That top shoot looks very vigorous so maybe it will be the one that will flower next year. I am not sure. Some people have lilacs that rarely flower, often because of pruning, so I am really not complaining, I am just curious.
As in the children’s rhyme, I do not like thee, Dr. Fell, I don’t like lilacs!