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Anyone got or had a lilac tree?

(22 Posts)
oksonowwhat Sat 15-Sep-12 20:14:58

Every book i have read this summer mentions a Lilac tree! There is always someone relaxing beneath the lilac tree reading a book or sipping an ice cold drink....and now i want one!!!!

Havent a clue what one looks like really?? Anyone got one and can tell me what to expect please?

Pancakeflipper Sat 15-Sep-12 20:22:08

They are over-rated. Well no they are lovely when flowering. They have masses of tiny flowers. Dont have it near a pond or you'll have blossom covering the water. Spindley kind of tree. Dont like wind battering th.

Mine is a deep purple colour. I have to cut it back each Autumn and it grows rapidly. My cat loves sleeping under it.

I would prefer a willow.

Butterflies love lilac trees.

Pancakeflipper Sat 15-Sep-12 20:22:42

Oh I cannot sit under mine as the branches would stick in my bum.

baskingseals Sat 15-Sep-12 20:24:38

agree with pancake. plus they smell beautiful but it is apparently unlucky to have sprigs of them in vases in your house.

would also prefer a willow.

oksonowwhat Sat 15-Sep-12 20:25:06

hmmmm....thanks for the speedy replies, so what would you recommend?

I have just cut down the most enormous revolting kind of massive fir tree. The garden now seems alot larger and the edge of the paved area is missing a tree!

I fancy something pretty and ..don't laugh...romanticsmile

floradix Sat 15-Sep-12 20:25:16

They are worth it for the scent alone but can be invasive. They look good with some types of clematis grown through them.
I have a white one and it looks like it is snowing when the blossom falls.

maudpringle Sat 15-Sep-12 20:27:34

We have a lighter purple - well lilac! colour tree and I love it, even though the flowering season is short,the scent is beautiful.

oksonowwhat Sat 15-Sep-12 20:29:28

I looked at a purple coloured one and it said they grow to about 6 or 7 ft, is that right? It was £20, should i be looking at a bigger tree to start with i haven't a clue how quickly they grow?

How long do they flower for?

NoMoreNotNever Sat 15-Sep-12 20:32:33

I've always thought silver birches very delicate, pretty trees - offhand, I can't think of a flowering tree that remains stunning outside of it's flowering time. Willows, and weeping willows, are lovely but can get massive.

Lilacs tend to put out lots of smaller trunks at ground level, so aren't really ideal for sitting under.

maudpringle Sat 15-Sep-12 20:33:30

They can grow really quite tall if you let them, I prune fairly hard every third year.
Once established, they grow well.I cut any low suckers off to maintain a good shape.
Mine flowers for about three good weeks,then the flowers start to fade. But oh that smell for those few weeks.

oksonowwhat Sat 15-Sep-12 20:38:35

A silver birch might be an idea actually.

I just had my heart set on something with a scent. I think i'll go for itsmile

Thank you all very muchsmile

harbingerofdoom Sat 15-Sep-12 20:44:12

Mine is probably getting on for 20 feet high but I suspect it is very old. They don't have one main trunk. The flowering season is short and sometimes bad weather in May can ruin the blossom. They look scruffy after flowering but once it's dropped I think the leaves look attractive. The smell is heavenly.

In some ways they remind me of magnolias-short dramatic flowering but not as messy afterwards.

maudpringle Sat 15-Sep-12 20:53:06

You will have a lovely smelling May smile

echt Sun 16-Sep-12 04:18:01

This is entirely beside the point, but I know of only one lilac in my bit of Melbourne, and when it's in bloom, I pull over in the car to have sniff.

Lovely, and such a memory of England.

I've never heard the unlucky business.

Hawthorn on the other hand...

Thumbwitch Sun 16-Sep-12 04:24:35

Weeping willows are more romantic, IMO. But they get jolly big.

I had an entire lilac hedge - it grew to about 10' tall, mixture of paler and darker purples. My parents have a white lilac, about 12' tall.

We always brought it into the house, never heard of it being unlucky to do so, but Yew - never (we had one of those as well).

I don't recommend white lilac because the florets start to go brown as they age and it looks worse on the white lilac than on the purples.

They don't take well to pruning either, as the flowers grow on new wood - so if you prune the new growth off, you don't get many flowers.

Buddleia provides a similar flower, beautiful scent, can grow to 10' in one season, attracts butterflies (and bees), and can be chopped right back to about 6-12" high after every growth. Also comes in many shades of purple, white - and yellows and oranges, iirc. I'd go for the buddleia over the lilac, even though it's more of a shrub than a tree.

SunshineOutdoors Sun 16-Sep-12 04:56:10

I love our silver birch. We.have a lilac too but the silver birch is better. You can look up at the sky through the lovely leaves if you're sat under it. Not sure how long ours has been around for but it's very big though.

Showtime Sun 16-Sep-12 17:09:56

I used to live at The Lilacs, never heard of it being unlucky indoors but learned to put separate branches of leaves and flowers in a vase otherwise flowers couldn't take up enough water.

MrsJohnDeere Sun 16-Sep-12 17:22:45

Over-rated. We have two huuuuuuuge ones. They ate all the nutrients from the surrounding soil so nothing else grows near them, have very deep roots, and ony look good for about 2 weeks of the year. Keep meaning to get rid if them but it is such a huge task!

MrsJohnDeere Sun 16-Sep-12 17:23:59

We can (and do ) sit under ours but it must be 40 odd years old.

JamNan Sat 22-Sep-12 08:12:00

Our lilac is lovely for two weeks of the year and it has scented blossom. Other than that, it is a mess of sharp, brittle twigs and you can't sit under it although masses of cyclamen are blooming under it at the moment. What about a rose arbor with a seat covered with scented climbing roses.

SloeFarSloeGood Sat 22-Sep-12 08:20:11

How about a magnolia?

purplewithred Sat 22-Sep-12 08:31:46

DO NOT PLANT A WEEPING WILLOW ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR HOUSE! Unless you want to spend a small fortune in a few years digging it out of your drains - willows are thirsty and hunt deep for water.

I'm with the rose arbour idea, with some clematis growing up through it. Philadelphus smells lovely but's a bit shrubby/bushy. I have the most beautiful cercis canadensis at the edge of my terrace, very elegant and romantic, but it does need careful and quite strict pruning to keep it in shape.

Lovely to have something scented but I can't think of a scented shrub/small tree that flowers for longer than a few weeks.

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