We bought 10 lilac trees to plant in the back yard at the beginning of the month. All ten of the trees were, I thought, a variety called French sensation. These are lilacs that yield deep purple flowers and every tiny little flower is outlined in white. I carefully chose this variety in order that they be complimented by 10 Spiraea bushes that will yield fountains of white flowers.
It has been a wicked month for my new lilac bushes. The beginning of May was unseasonably warm with highs in the mid 70s and lows in the 50s. These warm temps coaxed the lilacs into many promising buds then Vermont’s characteristically erratic weather began to taunt my lilacs. After two weeks of that gorgeous, sunny, warm weather, the temperatures dropped to unseasonably cold highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. My poor little lilac bushes have suffered frostbite. Not all the blossoms have fallen prey to Vermont’s capricious weather. A few brave blooms on each plant are showing their colors. It turns out that some of these colors are not purple. Five out of the ten plants labeled French sensation are blooming all white.
When I first discovered this, I expected to be very upset. This should really bother me (shouldn’t it)? After all I paid for 10 French sensations. They were all labeled as such. That’s not what I got. They gave me five bushes that were the wrong variety. This is outrageous (isn’t it)? The thing is, I didn’t feel that upset. I still liked these traitor bushes that I watered and worried about.
I called the lady who owns the landscape nursery where I bought the bushes. I asked her for advice about the frostbite and I half heartedly complained that five of the bushes were blossoming white. She was appropriately horrified and immediately offered to replace the bushes. I told her that I would think about it over night and let her know the next day if I wanted to dig up the white bushes and replace them with those that I had originally intended.
I mulled it over at dinner and went out at dusk and looked them over. I still couldn’t figure out why I was not upset about these bushes. They were not the purple ones that I wanted. They were genetically different and they looked different than I had expected. That’s it! These bushes remind me of one of my favorite people on this earth. I called the landscape nursery lady early the next morning and told her I was going to leave those bushes right were they are. They will be beautiful.