What’s Wrong with This Picture?

It’s August, and this is a LILAC flower.

Not a so-called summer lilac (which is really a buddlia–I have one of those, too) but a plain old May-blooming syringia, one of a half dozen along the property line between our screened porch and the neighbor’s house.

Problem is, it hasn’t been May for, oh, 11 weeks now, and yet here it is, one lone lilac stem blooming its little lavender heart out. In the 20 years I’ve been living alongside this particular hedge, nothing like this has happened before.

Spring came three weeks early this  year, and all I can think is that the early bloom plus the intense heat of July and the nearly month-long drought caused the lilac to go dormant, and when the rains finally came along with a few 50-degree nights, the lilac woke up and thought it was spring.

So I hauled out the tripod and took a picture of it for you. Happy Sprummer. Or Sprautumn.

© 2012 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

This entry was posted in Notes from the Neighborhood, Seasonal and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to What’s Wrong with This Picture?

  1. Mike Starr says:

    Lovely… Maybe my lilac will bloom again as well.


  2. So pretty. And yes, our flowers have also been very confused this year. I just hope they don’t start trying to bloom during the winter…


  3. Pete Hansen says:

    Very nice!


  4. What a beautiful sight. Bless its little lavender heart for giving us a second spring, and you for bringing it to all of us.

    Sprintumn, maybe?


  5. vijaya says:

    Oh, but there’s nothing wrong at all … flowers bursting forth into glory at any time is just right. Little miracles. Thanks for sharing.


  6. Joel Habush says:

    Or Happy Urban Sprall.
    “In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings,
    Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
    With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
    With every leaf a miracle — and from this bush in the dooryard,
    With delicate-color’d blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
    A sprig with its flower I break.” Walt Whitman


  7. Marcia says:

    One branch, out of all of them, thought outside the box.

    Or — just the one of them fell for “August fool”!

    What a happy little surprise to find.


  8. Mirka Breen says:

    Actually, nothing is wrong with this picture. It’s lovely.
    And outside-the-box of time and place is the stuff great stories are made of. Tell a story…


  9. vijaya says:

    I have milkweed and monarchs! But I love lilacs, love to cut a sprig and bring them into my kitchen …


    • Anne Bingham says:

      I do too. In fact, in December I always cut a smallish branch, spraypaint it silver and then gold, stick it in a wine bottle of water, and hang angel ornaments over our Nativity scene. If I get my act together in time, the lilac blossoms around Christmas. Often it’s mid-January, though. And then we start to get stuffy noses and sneeze, so it has to go. But that first day or so, before the pollen builds up (even from tiny forced buds it affects my husband and me), it’s really fun.


  10. Marcia says:

    Really? You can spray paint a lilac branch, bring it inside, and it’ll bloom?

    Did you see on Twitter that somebody in Canada said her apple tree is blooming?


    • Anne Bingham says:

      The spray paint doesn’t stop the buds from opening, which was a surprise to me, too. The first year I just wanted something to hang the angels on. The next year I wondered if I could force the leaves into bloom; the flowers were a surprise (they actually look like miniature wisteria). Then I took to mashing the bottom of the stem with a hammer-style meat tenderizer to help with the water uptake. I didn’t add the spray paint until about 10 years ago (not that anybody notices but me–did I mention I’m the only female in the family?–but it’s fun). I started with gold, then went to silver with a gold overlay, some years do white first, then silver, then gold. Last year I added a spray gold glitter (because the hardware store was sold out of the regular gold) but didn’t notice it made any special difference. How many layers/colors depends on the weather; I stick the branch in the snow to spray (or a bottle if there’s no snow). If it’s too cold to keep running in and out and shaking the darn can, things are less elaborate. When there is snow, the overspray creates a nifty blend of color on the snow until something tracks through it.


  11. vijaya says:

    Fascinating … I’m going to have to try this with other flowers/leaves. It sounds like great fun.


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