Day 141 of 366: Lilac Time

May is a beautiful month. Spring is in full swing, woodland floors are covered with carpets of delicate flowers, the land is painted with spring’s colourful brush, trees are heavy with bountiful blossoms.

May is also a month that witnesses a short life of dainty lilac flowers. Their strong scent carries quite a distance and their sweet, almost intoxicating fragrance and delicate colours flood the streets and gardens.

One of the places that used to be famous for lilacs is Kew Gardens, as Alfred Noyes wrote in his poem:

Go down to Kew in lilac-time, in lilac time, in lilac-time;
Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn’t far from London!)
And you shall wander hand in hand with love in summer’s wonderland;
Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn’t far from London!)

So I followed the poet’s advice and wandered into Kew Gardens to look for the famous Lilac Garden. To my disappointment there was not much left of it. The lilacs succumbed to a disease and most of the garden had to be dug out a few years ago. However there are still a few shrubs left. Enough to enjoy a sunny morning filled with fragrant spring air.

Unfortunately, lilacs bloom for only a very brief couple of weeks, but they are magnificent in their short lives. They make the most of the time they have been given. So like lilacs, enjoy life and love while they last and do not regret the past.

Just now the lilac is in bloom,
All before my little room;
And in my flower-beds, I think,
Smile the carnation and the pink…

Rupert Brooke

Lilac Time

“The wind shook some blossoms from the trees, and the heavy lilac blooms, with their clustering stars, moved to and fro in the languid air.”

Oscar Wilde

Sweet Fragrance

I am thinking of the lilac-trees,
That shook their purple plumes,
And when the sash was open,
Shed fragrance through the room.

Anna S. Stephens

 I couldn’t leave the gardens so easily. It is a place of beautiful landscapes, plants and flowers. I could easily spend the whole day there and not get bored. Though it is hard to find a quiet corner later in the day. Not surprisingly it attracts a lot of visitors each and every day.

In the Wood of Flowers

I went to the Wood of Flowers
(No one was with me):
I was there alone for hours.
I was happy as could be
In the Wood of Flowers.

There was grass on the ground,
There were buds on the tree,
And the wind had a sound
Of such gaiety,
That I was as happy
As happy could be,
In the Wood of Flowers.

James Stephens

 

When the sun is shining overhead
‘Tis nice to make a leafy bed
Deep in the shady wood;
To lie and gaze towards the sky
Peeping through the leaves on high,
Above the shady wood.

E. M. Adams

Above the Shady Wood

Last Bluebells

The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirits care

Emily Brontë

Sun Roses

A flower was offered to me,
Such a flower as May never bore;
But I said ‘I’ve a pretty rose tree,’
And I passed the sweet flower o’er.

Then I went to my pretty rose tree,
To tend her by day and by night;
But my rose turned away with jealousy,
And her thorns were my only delight.

William Blake