Lilacs in the Air, or in the Genes?

I've always loved lilacs. We used to have a large lilac bush at our old place on Snickersville Turnpike. I've been known to clip a couple when I've been on the road and stick them in a water bottle to freshen up the van during a spring tour, even once or twice without permission (see "The Great Lincoln Lilac Larceny").

When we moved to this Lincoln in 2009, there were a couple of small leafy lilacs that never blossomed. Despite my best efforts to care for them and coax that magical scent out of them, they simply probably never got enough sun. I even transplanted one from my parents house in Connecticut. All to no avail.

Our neighbor bought the foreclosed property across the street three years ago. He has been working hard since Day 1 transforming the landscape, including taking down a bunch of ratty trees that shaded our front yard. And lo and behold, finally one of the lilacs bloomed last year. It's blooming again now.

It has been passed down in our family and in various histories of Connecticut that the first lilac seeds were brought to the New World by my 7-times great grandfather, a French Huguenot and doctor named John Durand. I suppose I could thusly say that it's in my genes to love lilacs. But even with 9 or 10 generations of his descendants, doubtless numbering in the thousands or tens of thousands, genetics alone doesn't account for the lilac's popularity. Must be something in the air. Today it's something in the air in my "office" as well as my yard.

Here's hoping your lilacs are having a great spring too.

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