REPEAT AFTER ME: early, middle, late. That’s the secret. When you are passionate about a particular kind of plant (like lilacs, daffodils, hydrangeas, daylilies…), don’t cart home just one variety from the nursery. Choose some that are early, others that bloom in the middle of that plant’s flowering cycle, and still others that are late. Selecting some early, some middle and some late lilacs, for instance, would mean you’ll have one or the other to enjoy for several weeks, not all at once for just a week or 10 days; with Narcissus you could stretch it to a couple of months; with daylilies to a whole summer. Now what’s our mantra?
Categoriesannuals & perennials for beginners trees & shrubs
Early, middle, late!
Welcome to Gina, who understands EXACTLY what I mean. Anyone else going to join us in the chant? And Gina, love your blog…such determination, such passion. Wonderful.
My early lilac is a common white-flowering lilac, my middle lilac is S. meyeri and my late lilac is ‘Miss Kim’. Sometimes middle and late bloom at the same time, but not this year. And for good measure, I’ve added a tree lilac (S. reticulata, I think), which is very late, but doesn’t really have that lilac smell, anyway.
Good advice, early, middle, late!
Early, middle, late. I’m learning something new everyday here!
Okay.. late, early, middle.. no, wait.. middle, early, late… darn it! One more time.. early, middle, late! Got it! Truly a lesson all gardening types can use! I remember one of my first attempts at gardening.. lush wonderful blooms early.. and then the rest of the season was left with a few blooms here and there. Early, middle, late – the best way to keep it beautiful all year long!
Early, Middle, Late – thanks for the reminder. It’s easy to forget. I first learned this “mantra” when ordering tulip bulbs for the first time. Should I order “early” or “late” bulbs? I still think it’s an art to plant (time) these – when I notice other gardens around me. I don’t think I quite have it down yet. :)
I JUST MOVED INTO A HOUSE THAT HAS A LONG ROW OF LILACS. THE PREVIOUS OWNER HADN’T TRIMMED THEM IN YEARS SO NOW THEY ARE A BIT WIDE AND ABOUT 7-8′ TALL. THE CITY WANTS ME TO TRIM THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE SLIGHTLY ON THE BACK LANE. THEY SAID YOU CAN TRIM BUSHES ANY TIME OF THE YEAR AND IT WILL DO NO HARM TO THE BUSH. I LIVE UP IN MANITOBA, CANADA AND RIGHT NOW ITS WINTER. I DO WANT TO TRIM THEM DOWN TO 5′ AND TRIM THE EDGES BUT I WAS GOING TO WAIT TILL SPRING AFTER THEY FLOWER. AM I ABLE TO TRIM THEM NOW WITHOUT KILLING THE BUSH?
Welcome, Mike. Generally all you will lose by pruning now if next spring’s flowers, because the buds will be cut off in the process, but I normally wait as you were going to until after bloom. Did you read my lilac-pruning how-to page? I don’t just cut off a couple of feet from the top as the shrubs will be misshapen; have a read and see what you think.
For early Lilacs you want hyacinthiflora hybrids like Syringa H. ‘Sister Justina’. For mid blooming you want Vulgaris cultivars, such as Syringa V. ‘Avalanche’. For late you want Prestonae hybrids like Syringa P. ‘Miss Canada’. Of course, S. patula ‘Miss Kim’ is also late and Bloomerang reblooms.