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Add The Floral Poetry Of The Lilac To Your Yard And Garden

Lavender lilac blooms on green branches outdoors.
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Beautiful and fragrant, lilacs grow well in yards and landscapes. Try new varieties with yellow flowers!

Revered in poems from Walt Whitman to T.S. Eliot, the lilac is a beautiful symbol of spring in New England. You can grow the traditional lavender-hued variety, which can grow quite large or branch out and try smaller varieties in many colors!

From deep lavender to lighter hues, lilacs are a gorgeous flowering addition to your yard and landscape and you may already have more traditional white and purple lilac trees showing off their colors right now.

If you're looking for more varieties, you can plant some of the French hybrids like Charles Joly, which feature less aggressive plants with different flower colors and great fragrance.

The Meyer lilac grows only five to eight feet tall and resists mildew. A variety called Miss Kim only grows between four and eight feet tall and keeps a rounded shape with smaller flowers.

For purple flowers with white edging, try Sensation. Want to try yellow lilacs? There is a variety called Primrose, which grows golden flowers.

Reblooming lilacs such as Bloomerang, and Josee bloom twice making for a spring and summer show.

As for pruning, you can drastically cut back a lilac tree and suckers will grow up and begin flowering again.

The three-year rotation pruning method involves reducing the height of the tree by cutting it back a bit, then leaving the suckers to grow, cutting it back, letting it grow. In about three years, your lilac will be more evenly shaped and ready to flower on newer branches.

Q: I typically cover my asparagus bed with straw over the winter. A month or so ago while removing the straw, in one area of the row, the soil was full of worms or maybe larvae. Any idea what they were? — Lauren, in Bristol

There are certain worms that sound similar to what you've described, like hot worms. These mostly eat organic matter, and shouldn’t be an issue.

A pest called the wire worm might also be the culprit. Those can tunnel into roots and tubers, like potatoes and will cause damage to your crops. Since you’ve removed them, you should be all set.

What plants grow well in the shade? Send in your questions for next week.

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All Things Gardening is powered by you, the listener! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie may answer them in upcoming episodes. You can also leave a voicemail with your gardening question by calling VPR at (802) 655-9451.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch by tweeting us @vprnet.

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