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100 Year Old Lilac

old lilac

When Jim and I first moved into our house in 1982, we had an elderly neighbor living in the house to the south. She was highly opinionated, somewhat difficult, and rather bossy. She made it quite clear that she didn’t like the way I gardened. I might have been afraid of her if she wasn’t old and frail, and occasionally friendly. She’d lived in the neighborhood for 40 or 50 years and was a fount of information, stories and rumors.

One time she told me that the lilac bush in our backyard was 100 years old. I smiled indulgently. First of all, I couldn’t imagine that a plant could live that long! And secondly, a 100 year span seemed an impossible amount of time.

old lilac

Over the last 25 years, I’ve learned a lot and gained more perspective. I’ve come to see my now-deceased neighbor as a lonely old person rather than a threat of any sort. I’ve learned that some plants actually do live a long time. And 100 years doesn’t seem nearly as impossible of a time frame to imagine.

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3 Responses

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  1. Muum says

    Great story. I have a start from my grandmother’s lilac, I wonder how old hers is. love the premise of your blog – twenty minutes! great!

  2. Jardinier says

    How wonderful to have a start from your grandmother’s lilac! Thanks for your comments. We’re having double fun with our garden, both in gardening and writing about it.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Spoils of Winter — Our Twenty Minute Kitchen Garden linked to this post on April 8, 2009

    […] The unexpected, late season snow storm that rewarded us with a Snow Day-off from school had a less generous effect on our 100 year old lilac (seen here in bloom). […]