… and a lilac bush …

Is there a prettier sign of spring than blooming lilacs?

Behind the gang of kids – my siblings, cousins and assorted others, not to mention Finnigan the dog – in this photo from way back, and in front of the maple tree, you can see the lilac bush that used to be in the Manse’s front yard.

We used to have a lilac bush inside the fence of the front yard at the Manse. (If you squint a bit you can see it in the vintage photo at right.) I loved the colour and the smell of the blooms in spring. I could never decide which was prettier: the dark mauve of the unopened buds, or the lighter mauve when they opened up. Perhaps a mix of the two.

Anyway, that lilac bush, like the glorious giant maple tree that made the front yard so beautiful, is long gone. (There is a small lilac bush against the fence in the back yard – at least, I think that’s what the bush is; its blooms came and went so quickly this past spring that we didn’t even see them to confirm.)

So I think it’s time to replace it. But while I’m writing about lilacs: Have you ever heard that a lilac bush on an old property is a sign that someone is buried there? (Presumably a long, long time ago, in rural places where community cemeteries hadn’t yet been established.) I’ve heard that a few times over the years, and I wonder if there’s any truth to it. Anyone know anything about that? I’m thinking my friend Lindi Piece, an expert on historic architecture and an inveterate explorer of historic buildings and properties, might. Lindi?

5 thoughts on “… and a lilac bush …

  1. Hmmm, hadn’t heard re: burial sites, but have heard that you can often find an old homestead’s ruins when you come across lilac’s in the middle of nowhere… someone’s long-ago garden…that outlasted them and their buildings…

  2. How kind of you to call me an expert…in nothing, however. Certainly not family burial plots. I doubt it however, as many of the old farmsteads I know had lilacs by the road – not the spot you’d choose for a final resting place. I enjoyed your first poster’s comment about feral lilacs honouring old homesteads – those and black locust trees always tip me off that I might want to have a closer look for an old building or two. I have wonderful lilac memories too, like the peonies you posted about, they’re another flower that brings back such rich scent memories. I have several books on old cemeteries – I’ll have a look.

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