Like most garden geeks, I get seasonal obcessions with different plants. Usually this is when the plants are blooming. For example, this year I already had a little daffodil obcession where I was pawing through all my catalogs looking at ALL the different daffodils I could and should be growing. I don't usually go nuts for tulips so the next one to set in this year was lilacs.
I planted several lilacs a few years ago but they are still too small to yield flowers for cutting, so I rely on friends to let me cut their lilacs for Good Scents bouquets. This year I have had good success getting lilacs to hold after cutting. In the past they often pooped out in one or two days and this year they have looked pretty decent for 4-5 days. My own lilacs are about a year or two from reaching the size where I can cut from them freely so naturally I began thinking it was time to get even more.
I wanted to add more colors and hopefully some later blooming varieties but a quick tour of area nurseries revealed very few available kinds. Apparently everyone now wants 'Miss Kim', a dwarf Korean lilac. I have 'Miss Kim' and it is nice, but I was looking for older varieties bred to have huge flower trusses, double flowers, and so on. I decided to visit Gee Farms and came home with the following varieties: 'Pocahontas', 'Beauty of Moscow', 'Sensation', 'Miss Canada' and 'Marie Frances'. 'Miss Canada' is a Preston hybrid lilac which blooms a couple weeks later than the others and is still in bud. Gee's had several others I also wanted - 'President Lincoln', 'Charles Joly', 'Yankee Doodle' - but I have to draw the line somewhere.
'Beauty of Moscow', 'Marie Frances'' and 'Sensation' are pictured below.
Now that I have my new lilacs, the obcession has passed. I've now moved on to peonies and am trying to figure out where I can plant another 20 this fall.