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Lilacs for the Garden

Lilacs for the Garden
Jennifer Bennett
Firefly Books
Publication Date: 

paper, 127 p., $19.9

Jennifer Bennett, in her book Lilacs for the Garden, brings out memories of old New England farmhouses landscaped with lilacs. Beginning with the history, she illuminates the sentimentality people have for these heritage plants. Inspiring quotations head each chapter, and the text is sprinkled with quotes from famous people and professionals who are involved in lilac breeding, growing and maintaining. She also includes selections from numerous authors who have written earlier works about lilacs.

The color photographs are excellent — especially the close-ups and color renderings, which are comparable to live flowers. Detailed lists with descriptions and interesting facts offer further reference. Other lists include lilacs for fragrance, hedges, lilacs with interesting leaves, and sources and public gardens specializing in lilacs.

The author gears this recommended book for the gardener who is looking for the best and easiest way to grow lilacs. The information is all there: what lilacs to select; how to plant, prune, maintain and propagate them; and what to observe when diagnosing pests. She uses current scientific nomenclature throughout and encourages readers to do the same instead of searching for a purple, white or red lilac. Thirty-eight pages are devoted to plant lists.

This book is excellent for beginning gardeners who remember the mystique and allure of their grandmother's plants, as well as for the professional seeking current information on lilacs and their use in the landscape.

— Peter W. Bristol