Sunday, 22 January 2012

Lilac rescue

There is a hedge of lilac shrubs, or rather trees, stretching from our house to the far end of our back garden, meaning some 35 metres or so. I agree this is one of the many things that are more or less in a state of neglect around our house but I haven’t had the energy – nor heart – to start any renewing. I believe the somewhat uncared-for lilacs fit rather well in the old-style farmhouse setting of our place. After all, they have been that way for decades. And I do love the couple of weeks in early summer when they are blooming.

However, every now and then we have to do some rescuing to save the tall and thin lilacs from the actions of nature. Sometimes when we have heavy snowfall at a temperature close to the freezing point, the wet snow is packed on the branches making them so heavy they can no longer carry the weight. The trunks then start to lean downwards and in the worst case they may be broken unless some of their burden is taken off.

We had these conditions last night. So I had to put on my breathable, windproof and waterproof winter gear, only for the second time this winter I might add, to plough my way in the untouched snow on both sides of the hedge. Shaking the trunks and hammering them with a long stick released most of the snow, although much on my own face, but the trees immediately sprung up to their normal position.

A similar shaking is sometimes necessary also in the summertime if we get heavy rainfall when the lilacs are blooming, which happens almost every year. At that time, the wet lilacs are forming a hanging garden of perfumed purple-pink cascades. I miss the sight. I miss the smell. I miss summer. I think I’m getting old.

Teresa Maria

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