Forum home Plants

Which Syringa to buy?

LIZ72LIZ72 Posts: 5
My sister passed away two weeks ago and I’m looking for a small shrub to plant in her memory in my garden. Lilac was her favourite colour so a Syringa (Lilac) would be lovely. My grandmother had lilac bushes in her garden 60years ago and the perfume from the flowers was lovely so hoping to find something that has a strong fragrance and is a lilac colour if possible. My garden isn’t that big so need a variety that wouldn’t grow huge. It would be at the end of the garden in front of our Cornish hedge. Would appreciate any suggestions for what varieties would be suitable regarding fragrance, estimated height&spread also colour, thanks 


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,831
    A lovely thing to do to remember someone.  We have Syringa Josee.  It hasn't grown any bigger than 3ft in width/height, with virtually no pruning.  We don't tend to pick plants for fragrance, so I can't advise whether it is notable for that.
  • LIZ72LIZ72 Posts: 5
    Thank you KeenOnGreen,I’ll keep that variety in mind. What colour is it?
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,641
    If you really want a smaller Lilac bush, you should look for the variety Syringa meyeri palibin, it may also be listed under Syringa velutina...   there are several suppliers of this plant online if you google it.. 

    It's very strongly scented and blooms profusely in spring...  it's hardy and will grow to about 4 foot or so, making a rounded bush..

    East Anglia, England
  • LIZ72LIZ72 Posts: 5
    Thank you Marlorena! That looks an ideal colour and seems as if it would be a good variety to choose 🤗
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,831
    Josee looks almost exactly the same colour as the ones above.
  • LIZ72LIZ72 Posts: 5
    Thanks KeenOnGreen will add that one to my list 🤗
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,872
    @LIZ72- it's a lovely way to remember your sister  :)

    Not something I grow, so I can't comment on the variety of Lilac, but I'd just add that, as they don't flower for very long, and aren't the most attractive shrubs apart from when flowering, you could add some bulbs underneath to give a longer season to your focal point. Some lilac crocus, which would be flowering at this time, might be a nice touch, and you'd be able to plant them in autumn very easily when they become available. 
    It would be easy to add more lilac coloured planting too - hardy geraniums come in all sorts of lilac shades, and the lilac drumstick primulas will colonise if happy. They will add interest until the Lilac flowers, and the geraniums will flower later on too.
    I'm sure others will think of some summer planting that will also extend the season if you decided to do that. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • That is a lovely way to remember your sister, I agree.
    I’ve got a milky bellflower (campanula lactiflora) that is a beautiful shade of lilac 

    ...and also a hardy geraniums that intermittently flowers throughout late spring and early summer, called Kashmir White (actually a milky white, veined with lilac. Very pretty)

  • LIZ72LIZ72 Posts: 5
    Thank you so much fairygirl and dappledshade for your suggestions. I thought of having a lilac as besides picking a variety that had lilac/mauve colour it would remind me of when we were children as my grandmother had lilac growing in her garden. She often gave us bunches of lilac to take to school to give to our teachers. I will look out for the plants you both mentioned as I think they sound ideal 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,872
    Just to add to @dappledshade's geranium suggestion - I used to have one called Mrs. Kendall Clarke which was pale.
    I had the Kashmir one in a previous garden. They flower for long periods, so they're very good value, and easy to look after.
    I have one here called G.renardii, which is also white with purple veining. It has lovely soft, furry foliage. Not as long flowering, but very pretty too. 
    There are lots of hardy geranium suppliers, so it's worth taking a look. Claire Austin and Long Acre plants, to name a couple.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
Sign In or Register to comment.