Sunday, April 15, 2018

On Lilacs and Beach Roses

Photos by Salt Water New England
WASP Decor had sent this comment to TDP:
I was sitting, of all places, in the McDonald's parking lot in Bucksport, Maine, sipping a Newman's Own coffee and when I opened up my sunroof , this overwhelming smell of Lilacs flooded my wagon. I parked right under a towering lilac. I sat there, made a few phone calls enjoyed my coffee *and* the lilacs. 
Growing up, we had a monstrous, round bush out in our front yard. The center made for a great spot as a kid for hide and seek!
{Off topic: My all time favorite scent/flower is the Rose rugosa, or beach roses; neither of which are in my new yard. So, I must get on this and plant some. What is more heavenly than to drive around any beach community (in New England) and smell the beach roses and fresh salt air.}

WASP Decor was known for his many pitch perfect thoughts, not the least of which being the list of attributes on the header of his much missed blog:
Summers in Maine.
Winters in Georgetown.


  1. As a child, I looked forward each year to the blooming of the large lilac bush in our yard. It grew next to an outbuilding, and one of my favorite things was to sit on the steps with a favorite book, enjoying the intoxicating fragrance.

  2. I’ve done a fair amount of business travel to Maine over the years (too many trips in February, not enough in July), and one of my great treats during the rare summer trips was looking at the beach roses. Wish they could grow around here (the mid-South).

  3. I loved Wasp Decor and miss her posts.

  4. We had a lilac bush at the bottom of the garden when I was a child. It was pulled up by one of my Dad's friend's Land Rovers when my parents decided to make a car port in the garden. The smell of lilac takes me back to the mid 1980s.

  5. My mother's seaside garden in Maine is lined on three sides with mature and established lilacs, both white and purple. The sea roses line the front fence on the fourth side, and the hyacinth line the front walk way. They are the scents of my childhood. I can see her in the yard in autumn before the frost yelling at the squirrels to get away from her bulbs and I can see the squirrels double-fisting a good tulip bulb now.

  6. Beautiful photos as always - would love to see a feature on sea grapes along the coast on the edges of the dunes.

  7. This photo of Rugosa roses is so evocative to me, of sunny happy days at the shore. I can almost feel the warm air and smell the roses. I recently learned that Rugosa is native to Asia. However there is a similar native rose (Rosa virginiana -- see, Zones 3-8. I haven't grown it, but plan to try. It could be that in fact some of what grows along our coast is rugosa, and some virginiana.

  8. I grew up with a large very old white lilac "tree" outside my bedroom window and I reveled in the smell of its lovely spring flowers. In those days Mary Chess was a perfumer whom many women revered for her creation of true to life floral scents. She sold them as exquisite gifts--perfumes, colognes, powders, soaps, sachets, lined hangers, etc. Her white lilac--which really did smell like white lilac--became my signature perfume since the white lilac tree outside my window was my special hallmark. My mother's favorite was gardenia. There were also tuber rose, heliotrope, carnation and the more sophisticated scents Strategy, Yram, and Tapestry. These were much loved in the 1950s on both sides of the Atlantic, but are now alas forgotten. Occasionally they are available on ebay. Sometimes even half used bottles of the cologne sell for a premium so loved are they by those who remember them. White lilac in a bottle as a remembrance of spring for all the year round--was a wonderful thing.