Syringa – Popular Shrubs for the Garden
The syringas are the lilacs, not the philadelphus, as many people are led to believe. They have long been popular for their fragrant, appearing from about the middle of May to early June, but although this is a short flowering period few gardeners would wish to omit lilacs from their gardens.
The ordinary lilac,, with its mauve flowers, is a good shrub, but there are finer kinds, developed from it over the past sixty years or so. Because lilacs are easy to grow they are apt to be neglected and allowed to look after themselves, so that all too often they do not give of their best. The trouble is, perhaps, that they will literally grow almost anywhere, in sunny places, no matter what type of they have to put up with.
They will do much better, however, if they are mulched annually with well-rotted compost or a general fertilizer, although this should not be dug in but spread around, to be absorbed gradually into the soil. The shrubs will flower better if time can be found to cut off dead flower-heads and to remove sucker growths.
Among the most magnificent kinds are the double-flowered varieties such as Syringa ‘Katherine Havemeyer’, deep lavender-purple, Syringa ‘Madame A. Buchner’, pinkish-mauve,’, rosy-carmine, and Syringa ‘Souvenir de Alice Harding’, white. All these have large fragrant flowers in large truss Syringa ‘Mrs Edward Hardinges’.
Good single-flowered varieties include Syringa ‘Clarke’s Giant’, ‘Marchal Foch’, and ‘Primrose’.