The lilacs were there when we bought our little farm. Four bushes, ten feet high, spaced out along the fence between the young orchard and the paddock that enclosed the chicken coop. The trunks were sturdy, and so big I couldn't wrap my hands around them. I still remember that first spring at the farm, when the lilacs bloomed. I cut armloads to bring inside, and put a vase in each room in the house, even the laundry room.
For years the lilacs bloomed without fail, then a couple of especially hard winters took their toll. Branches broke under the weight of ice, and one shrub was killed. To save the remaining lilacs, we decided to cut them back and hope that new plants would eventually grow up to replace them. It took a few years, but they're back, lush and green and bursting with buds. In just a few days, I'll be able to cut blooms to bring inside, to fill the rooms with the sweet smell of spring.
Lilacs aren't the first thing to bloom here, but I think they're the flowers I look forward to the most. I love the fragrance, the gorgeous color of the buds, the sheer presence of their color next to an orchard in full bloom. But I especially love that these lilacs have been here just as long as my old farmhouse.