Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Spring Things - Lilacs and Roses

Today would have been my mother's birthday.  She passed when I was 12, back in the mid 1960's.

One thing I associate with her is the memory of the scent of the talcum powder she used - something called Lilacs and Roses.

Here in upstate New York, our lilac season is ending (the three varieties at my house are long gone) and the rose season is barely beginning.  In fact, I haven't seen any roses blooming here yet, but I did find some, this past Saturday, an hour from here on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York.

In honor of my mother's birthday, I'd like to share with you, some pictures of - what else - lilacs and roses.

This was the only lilac on my property when we purchased it over 25 years ago.  We share a hedge with a next door neighbor who, sadly, has dementia.  When he was himself, he used to let us pick lilacs from "his side" and I appreciated that so much.

This year, for some reason, it barely bloomed.
We planted this lilac some three or four years ago. It's doing well.  The only problem is, it was supposed to be yellow. It's a pale lavender but we really don't mind.  The name of the variety is lost to my memory.

We share this white lilac with our other neighbor.

Not my lilac - but I loved the color.

The scent of all these lilacs reminds me of my mother and her beloved talcum powder. But, strangely, as much as I love lilacs (and my spouse also), our son can't stand their fragrance.  To him, lilacs smell like garbage - literally.  There are some others who have the same issue.

As for roses - so many modern varieties have little or no scent.  But, at Cornell University, we found this rugosa rose just opening up - and it already had such a magical fragrance.

Scents can bring back such wonderful memories, can't they?

Happy birthday, Mom - wherever your spirit is.  I inherited my green thumb from you although there is a story behind that.  (Anyone want to read about it?)

What kind of memories does a particular scent bring back for you?


  1. Hey, those are beautiful photos!! Loved them...your mom would have been happy to see that u dedicated such pretty flowers to her :)

  2. Whenever I think of roses, I think of La Jolla. There's a rose garden that runs along this stretch of beach park up on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The views are gorgeous up there, and when you walk past that garden this rush of rose-scented air envelops you. I love even just the thought of it.

  3. What a beautiful post and tribute to your mom! I live in Houston, TX now, but grew up in CT and have found lilac memories. And Rugosa are my FAVORITE roses! I wanted to have them in my wedding bouquet, but apparently the don't last long. The do smell amazing. Thanks for the pictures and bringing back memories of picking rugosa and trying to make my own potpourri :)

  4. oh wow! These flowers are really beautiful! I lost my father at the age of 12 too! YES! Scents do bring back beautiful memories.....

  5. Very beautiful, I hope I can smell the scent of it. Those memories of yours is a treasure for your mom

  6. Aww, happy birthday to your mom. And yes, we'd like to hear the story.

  7. Beautiful! Sorry for the loss of your mom so early in life :( but wonderful that you can remember her through these scents :)

  8. beautiful pictures...what a wonderful trait to pick up from your momma...

  9. Hello Alana!
    I love your new blog background! It looks lovely. :)
    What beautiful plants you have!


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