Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
And each time I pass a lilac in bloom, I inhale deeply in hopes of recreating those childhood memories. The problem is that I live along the coast of California, in a zone 9 climate, which means it rarely gets cold enough for most varieties of lilacs to bloom. Lilacs fall within a category of plants that, in order to bloom the following spring, require a specific number of cold days with temperatures ranging between 32 - 45 degrees. While those of us in warm climates can certainly go ahead and plant lilacs, if they don’t receive the required amount of cold temperatures, the plants will decline. Those once full and bountiful lilacs found at the nursery (fresh out of a greenhouse with ideal temperatures) will slowly show signs of distress throughout the years; thinning foliage, random flowering and a slow but certain death.
Thank goodness there are a few varieties that have been bred to tolerate warmer climates! If you live in a warmer zone, consider the variety 'Miss Kim' for consistent and fragrant blooms. I have one in my garden that’s been growing for years, and while it’s not as fragrant as traditional lilacs, it comes pretty darn close. ‘Miss Kim’ is a compact shrub, growing to 8-feet tall and wide with light lavender flowers that bloom in mid-March. This variety is also one of the few lilacs whose leaves turn fall colors, with deep burgundy tinges to them.
Other varieties that do well in temperate climates are ‘Lavender Lady’ and ‘Blue Skies’ (both with traditional dusty purple-colored flowers) and ‘Angel White’ (with prolific white flowers) all quickly growing to 12-tall by 6-feet wide.
Besides their delicious scent, people love lilacs for their large and conical shaped flowers (called ‘panicles’) that burst forth in the early months of spring. These flowers not only herald in spring with their beautiful shades of purple, pink and white but they’re also an important source of nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds.
And if you’re someone like me who can’t plant enough lilacs in their garden, consider using other plants that have a very similar flower, both in color, shape and size.
For example, the Chaste Tree (vitex agnus-castus) has flowers that are very similar in color, size and shape to a lilac’s. One advantage, though, is the Chaste Tree blooms for months and months at a time, versus a lilac’s fleeting blooms that last a few weeks. The Chaste Tree is a large, multi-trunked deciduous shrub quickly growing to 15’ or so. However, it’s easily kept much smaller by pruning when dormant. The Chaste Tree not only produces hundreds of lightly scented flowers, but it’s an excellent choice for a drought tolerant garden, requiring very little water once established.
Another lilac substitute is the Butterfly Bush (buddleia species). These semi-deciduous shrubs vary in size from a diminutive 2-feet to a towering 15-feet, all preferring full sun. The flowers come in a rainbow of colors and have a delicious fragrance similar to vanilla.
In many areas throughout the country, the Butterfly Bush is considered very invasive, so check with your local extension office to verify before planting. Luckily, though, there are a few varieties that are either sterile or produce fewer seeds and are much more environmentally friendly. ‘Lo and Behold Blue Chip’ is a charming dwarf variety (growing to only 2-feet tall) with purple-blue flowers. ‘Miss Ruby’, with its fragrant deep pink flowers, grows a little larger topping out at about 5-feet tall. Again, this variety produces very little seed and is a less aggressive choice for your garden.