Monday, June 25, 2012

Lilacs, New Hampshire and Walt Whitman


'Peace' in Arabic, spoken in Kuwait

Kuwait children flashing peace signs in Kuwait City,

I've been wanting to do another section in my on-going blogs about

The Language of Flowers


The Meaning of Flowers

I've been researching 'LILACS'.

Lilac and Chickadee flag,

As always, the subject has turned out to be very extensive!!!

First, the purple LILAC is the state flower of New Hampshire.

Second, I was searching for poems about lilacs.
I found one that was mentioned on most if not all of the sites I checked:

"When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd"

by Walt Whitman

Well, that opened up a whole 'nother door!!

Then there is all the history,
and events associated with the LILAC.
purple lilac: streptpcarpuscape primrose or nodding violet

Oh! and have I mentioned all the different colors and kinds of lilacs?

So let's jump in!

The traditional Victorian meaning of a lilac is:

First Love

and if it is a white lilac, it means:

Youthful Innocence

Lilacs are in the family of the olive, and are deciduous shrubs
or small trees from 6'7" all the way up to 32'10" tall!

I always thought lilacs were just bushes.
By the way, deciduous means it loses it's leaves with changing seasons.

'Lilac' is about 20 - 25 species of flowering woody plants.
They like well drained soils, and really like soil that is chalk based.
That means they grow in mostly woodland and scrub,
from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia.


You can attend LILAC FESTIVALS in
Boston, Massachusetts;
Lombard, Illinois;
Mackinac Island, Michigan;
Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada;

and the longest running Lilac Festival in North America -

the Lilac Festival in Rochester, New York.
It's been going since 1898!!!

Spokane, Washington is known as 'the Lilac City'.


The wood of the lilac is close grained,
making it extremely hard and one of the densest in Europe.
No, I don't mean stupid/dense,
I mean crowded/dense!
Lilac wood is traditionally used for engraving,
musical instruments
and knife handles!

vintage soap label

In Greece, Lebanon and Cyprus the lilac is strongly associated with
Easter, probably because of when they bloom.

Lilacs flower at different times, depending on the species.
It could be mid spring to as late as mid summer.
They like 'old wood'
which means the older the plant, the better they blossom.
Lilacs also produce more flowers if you don't prune them.

"I am thinking of the lilac trees,

That shook their purple plumes,

And when the sash was open,

Shed fragrance through the room."

by Mrs. Anna S. Stephens, 'The Old Apple-Tree'

Back to the colors of the lilac bush/tree.
You can find the usual light purple, but also
pale yellow
and dark burgundy!

Several species have a very strong fragrance
which I associate with lilacs, as most people do.
I mean, really,
why have a lilac bush if it doesn't smell like a lilac bush???

vintage perfume label

Lilac leaves are easy to draw and recognize -
they are a simple heart shape.
The flowers are four-lobed (four petals)
and each lilac is bi-sexual.
That means the lilac has fertile stamens and stigma in each flower.

Spring Lilac Haiku

'Swirling Wind and Rain.
Lilacs Have Come, Spring Has Sprung.
Pink, Purple and White.

A Breeze Sways the Branch.
Heavy Flowers Back and Forth.
Lilacs Drip With Rain.

Now, Sparkling in Sun.
The Lilacs Cheer My Spirit.
Beautiful Flowers.'

by Marie M. Daniels

Well, I think that's about enough info regarding Lilacs for today!
I still want to blog about Walt Whitman's famous poem/elegy,
and about the state of New Hampshire.
So many subjects, so little time....


Oh yes, and I am working on a blog about the
Choctaw Indians
of North America.

Again, many thanks to many different web sites for their info.
Among them are:

The Society of American Florists

'til next time -


'A Paler Shade of White'
original Collage Art Doll by inkspired


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