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The sweet smell of Spring–The Lilac

Did you know that Rochester New York is considered the Lilac capital of the world? In 1892 John Dunbar planted 20 varieties of lilacs on the slopes of Highland Park. Every year, there is a two week long Lilac Festival that over a half a million people attend. The park now has in excess of 500 varieties over it’s 155 acres.

The lilac’s scent is only second to that of roses for the distance that it carries. The Lilac’s presence in the United States dates back to the 1750’s. A favorite of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, they were also grown in some of America’s first botanical gardens. The lifespan of a single bush can be hundreds of years.

There are over 1,000 varieties of this sweet smelling flower available. It is also available in pink and white in addition to it’s signature lilac or purple colors. Lilacs range in size from 4 foot to a variety that grows up to 30 feet. Because of their longevity, Lilacs are the perfect gift to plant to mark the birth of a child. They also make a wonderful wedding gift or a memorial tribute for the same reason. Because Lilacs tend to bloom just as spring is beginning, they are most often associated with rebirth and new life. They are also a popular floral gift at Easter time. The white Lilac symbolizes innocence and youth and the purple Lilac symbolizes first love.

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