I had the occurrence to compare ecosystems while walking under a tall, flowering purple bush with Amanda the other night. Jogging, really, and I reached up to touch the blooms as I identified the rhododendron as 'not a lilac' which made Amanda laugh.
We don't see many lilac here. They are in well tended gardens here and there, yes, but growing semi wild, 10 feet tall at a forgotten corner of the property? Not happening.
I miss the arboretum garden in Madison, with its 50 shades of lilac that seem to bloom all at once in a heady, thick flood of scent. When strolling through, I would forget to exhale.
Here, of course we have the rhodos, which grow in the deep woods as well as along the city streets, but also roses, which seem to be the default planting because – and this seems as odd to me as the lack of lilac – they take little effort. Roses just kinda grow.
I need to find Shakespeare's roses, rather than the overbred, pretty garden specimens that have taken over the landscape. He described the scent in fragrant words, and the wild breeds as a delight. I would hope it rivals the lilac of my memory.