Monday, July 6, 2009

What happened to the Lilac Bush

I've talked about the lilac bush in the backyard before:
This is how it looked when I pruned it in June of 2008.
It did pretty well.  I heard from the neighbors that it really liked being pruned and had lots of blooms.  However, we had storms and more storms of heavy snow last winter.

and the branches were weighted down by snow over and over again.  This picture is in April.  You can't see the other side of the bush, but it pretty much looked like hair parted down the middle.
Then, June, and blooms again.  This was the first time I saw our lilac bloom.  It blooms about 3 weeks after our neighbor's lilac, it's more of a violet color, and it smells heavenly, just like a lilac.

You can see how spread out it has become, and below,
you can begin to see the long, straggling branches.  A lot of the branches on the right are dead, and there are branches from both sides that wind their way over to the other side due to being broken once, or just looking for light.  They snake all over.  So, we waited until the blooms died off, and we pruned drastically.  Since blooms only appear on shoots that are three years old, in order to completely renew a lilac, it's suggested that you prune 1/3 of the old wood.  While our neighbor has a nicely shaped tree due to diligent pruning yearly, we have a long-neglected one and it was impossible for me to find a coherent structure on which to base my pruning.  So I opted to cut off the right side dead and ground-dragging branches.  Joe came over with a borrowed chain saw.


You can see that we actually have a platform on which to put a potted plant, or a Laughing Buddha, if I can find one.  Or a Fatty Kitty statue! 

Now I have to figure out which shoots I want to keep growing out of the 20 or 30 growing in the right side.  But for now, I am slowly harvesting the branches.  What, harvesting?  Yes.  Look what I've got, besides a few big pieces to burn in the wood stove, and lots of little branches to bring to the chipper at the dump:
Garden sticks: 
and origami mobile sticks:

Do you need an origami mobile?


Nancy said...

OOO I like the idea of an orgami mobile. I recently used my sticks to make a trellis for my morning glories. I will try to post a picture of it soon. It is quite rustic.

Mary Drew said...

I'd love to see the trellis picture. What did you use to stick it together? Wait a second..."I recently used my sticks.." Do you have a stick pile?

A sad consequence of pruning the lilac, and earlier, the Mountain Ash, is that there is no longer a squirrel highway through the back yard.

Nancy said...

No I don't have a stick pile, I have a woods. But yes I did prune my white Lilac this year. About a week and a half ago. I pruned out all the water sprouts and many of the suckers and had Jim throw the detrius into the woods. Then when I needed a trellis I went back in and dragged some out. I took a picture of it this morning and if I am a good sister I will get a post up this afternoon.