Day 75- Fill the house with lilacs

#188, Fill the house with lilacs

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I am very fond of lilacs, but many of my favorite varieties don’t grow where I live. They require a cold season. So every March when the lilacs are in the florist shops, I try to buy some. For the past several years, I have seen lilacs in Trader Joe’s. Sometimes I catch them, sometimes I don’t. I put lilacs down on The List, because I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss them this year.

I was overreaching when I said “fill the house” with lilacs, but I did want to find a bouquet. I thought I might head downtown to the LA Flower Mart, but I did a quick google search and turned up something I liked better.

There is a lilac farm in Acton, named Kilcoyne Lilac Farm. It looked like it would be a nice drive, about an hour from my house. I called the phone number listed on the website and a recording told me they were out working in the fields. It was a beautiful day so I decided just to head out there.

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As soon as I parked the Jeep, lilac farmer, Elizabeth Kilcoyne came down the driveway to meet me. Her dogs let her know I was there. She has two dogs, both sweethearts. This is Maisy.

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I can’t remember the other dog’s name, but he kept a good eye on the place.

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Elizabeth is kind and friendly and she told me that she used to work in the garment industry in Los Angeles.  Her husband is a retired LAPD officer. They started farming in 1992. They initially planted 200 Syringa Vulgaris (Common Lilac). They continue adding more lilacs each spring.

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With the first harvest, Elizabeth was selling lilacs out of her Nissan hatchback. She now sells hundreds of bunches to wholesalers in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The majority of their cut flowers are available in two varieties: The Common (also known as Old Fashioned) which is a traditional lavender color and is considered to be the most fragrant of the lilacs, and an unspecified dark reddish-purple variety with broad clusters of large single florets which is extremely popular with floral designers. They also have a pinkish violet variety with double florets that are quite fragrant. These are only available by special order because of their limited supply.

Water is an issue, of course, and the drought is affecting her plans for the future. For now, though, the farm is thriving. IMG_2445

They are having a family wedding at the farm in April, and if the weather cooperates as well as it did today, it will be perfect.

IMG_2456I had a lovely time chatting with Elizabeth. I told her that I’d like to buy some lilacs, but she reached into her cooler and gave me this gift.

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I thought they looked cute in the Jeep. I put them into a cup in my cupholder for the ride home.

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This is what I love about The List. Even something as simple as buying flowers for the house can become an interesting adventure with a little effort.

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Spring fever is only four days away. I think I’ve got an early start.

290 days to go!

 

 

 

 

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