There are only about a dozen French lilac bushes here . . . some being quite large and of various cultivars. We also grow several Syringa vulgaris or common lilac shrubs, (which most other cultivars came from originally), as well as, the more delicate Persian lilacs and a few Korean lilacs. There are three late blooming 'Miss Canada' or Preston lilacs Syringa x prestoniae in bloom just outside from where I am writing now . . . luring many Eastern Tiger Swallowtails with their profuse pink blooms and filling my studio with their subtle, sweet perfume.
Every early lilac shrub, Crabapple and Apple tree bursts into bloom all at about the same time beginning around the second week of May. My photography focuses on specific shrubs and trees as seen from different perspectives. The lilacs are the last to be featured within our May gardens and panoramic landscapes.
Now, the lilac blossoms are turning brown and beginning to form seeds. The deciduous shrubs are being carefully pruned so that the plant does not waste energy forming seeds, and so as not to interfere with the newly forming buds for next spring.
A tour of the Bygone Lilacs . . .
In the upper garden just south of the farmhouse, we call our south gardens, standing near French lilacs . . . looking east over the top of our oldest Apple, towards Walnut Hill, Carey Hill and High Ridge.
From our second-level terraced garden of white French lilacs looking up towards the upper garden and purple French lilacs. I can only guess at the exact names of these cultivars for my records are shamefully lacking.
Still on the second-level terraced garden with the French lilacs, 'Bonsai' Apple (right) and Magnolia stellata (left) still holding a few blossoms . . . looking down towards the 'Gateway' Apples. The Apples are full blown, while the lilacs are just beginning.
Back in the upper garden looking east again towards Walnut Hill. You can see a bit of the purple Persian lilacs that also grow on the second-level terrace in our south gardens.
Looking northeast through lilacs, our oldest Apple . . . out towards a stately Oak and the forest edge.
French lilacs and viburnum before giant Rock Maple, as seen looking west towards the road.
Standing on the second-level terrace looking up and north towards the old farmhouse framed by two giant Rock Maples on a bright sunny day my camera offers another view of our French lilacs and viburnums.
Inside the upper garden again looking out in the direction of the old Rock Maples on a misty day the fully blown lilac blooms are a bit wet and heavy.
An Eastern Pine Elfin enjoys the lilacs too. The tiny butterfly is nectaring on Syringa vulgaris 'Alba'.
The same lilacs and viburnum as seen above looking up from the rock garden beneath the 'Bonsai' Apple.
Outside the upper garden a hedgerow of viburnums, lilac and the most willful wisteria stand before a Shagbark Hickory with a climbing hydrangea.
Fully opened blossoms.
Magnolia soulangeana before French lilacs standing more to the left of the hedgerow above.
The last image from the south gardens on the second-level terrace garden, which features Persian lilac topiaries.
Looking towards the north garden and wildflower field . . . from behind the farmhouse.
Moving out behind the barn studio.
The view from inside the barn studio looking east towards Walnut Hill.
Along the edge of the Crabapple Orchard a smaller Korean lilac 'Fairy-tale' just beginning above and fully open blooms below.
Though I feel my gardens are too big for me to manage even with help . . . especially with all the invasives I have to battle, I must confess that May is a most intoxicating and joyous month for the most part. This year we did not even have the bothersome black flies . . . mostly thanks to the early drought and the Tree Swallows.
It was glorious walking about the May gardens with all these delicious shrubberies in bloom. The Hawthorns Crataegus made their show after all the lilacs were spent. Now walking into June with countless wildflowers, roses, iris, poppies, peonies and more unfurling and promising . . . the garden is a constant theatre of form and color attracting this writer/gardener, as well as, a diversity of wildlife that adds so much more happiness . . . with exception to the rabbits and ticks.