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James MacFarlane lilac

Posted by schoolhouse z5/ohio (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 27, 10 at 12:24

Just came in from planting one of these lilacs down in the orchard near the property line as part of my future hedge screen. It was on clearance at Lowes for $4.49. How could I resist?

I may have planted it a little too close to a multi-floral rose but that wild shrub is in decline, so perhaps there won't be much of a problem. Not that I hate multi-floral rose in places, makes a great screen; but gets out of control pretty quickly where you don't want it.

I'm anxious to see how much bloom I'll get next Spring, there are lots of buds, three pretty decent leaders but not all with leaves. I can tell it had been pruned back pretty hard but is appx. 3' right now.

The soil is awfully dry still, and it even rained overnight and once really hard this morning. I know you're not suppose to amend the soil much but I mixed some good composted dirt in with that which I took out and then put it in the planting hole first and gave it a good drink.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

I always amend my soil. If I didn't it would be solid clay and nothing would grow well.

What a great deal on your lilac! What color are the blooms? We have some that are white, many different shades of lavender and even dark purple...and I think they have pink now, too :)


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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

The tag says the MacFarlane is pink. My other lilacs near the garden are blue, lilac and white and are tall and ancient.


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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

This lilac is a beautiful pink, is well behaved, tolerates dry soil and blooms two weeks after the common lilac, but the best part is the smell!
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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

Tolerates dry soil? Good, because the area in which I planted it is close to pines and the soil in general stays thin. Yours is up front in the photo or behind? I'm hoping it spreads out.

Thanks for posting!


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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

It's the shrub on the left.


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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

schoolhouse, I would try to get rid of the multiflora rose.
It harbors the microscopic mite that causes rose rosette disease.

I have lost many roses to this and got rid of the one in my yard, but am surrounded by them in the countryside.


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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

I've lived with multiflora for 32yrs., I'm also in the country and surrounded by them. Didn't know they can cause disease in other roses, thanks for the info. Multiflora has the sweetest, almost sickening sweet, scent when blooming doesn't it?


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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

'James MacFarlane' is a famous lilac but there are some things you might want to know before settling on a permanent spot for it in your garden.

It is not the same species as "regular" lilacs. It's a hybrid of two other species.

It blooms later and doesn't have the same fragrance.

It gets very big and needs a lot of space--like a small tree.

The flowers are pink, not lilac, and are very pretty.

Like all lilacs, it wants full sun and lots of air circulation. Not a shrub for part-shade or root competition with trees or shrubs.

'James MacFarlane' is one of the Preston hybrids, so-called because the original crosses were made by Isabella Preston at the Ottawa experiment station in Canada in the 1920s.

Tho a Preston hybrid, 'James MacFarlane' was developed at the University of New Hampshire and introduced to gardeners in 1959. It became very popular and is widely available. But it needs a lot of space and a lot of sun and air circulation, like all lilacs. Hope you're happy with yours!


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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

It gets very big and needs a lot of space--like a small tree. I hope so.

Not a shrub for part-shade or root competition with trees or shrubs Right now it isn't the nicest looking specimen, so we shall see. For $4.49, I'll give it a chance.

Thanks for the tips.


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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

Oh Regina,
I just love and adore your home and gardens!
Love all your many, many dreamy roses, the huge pergola in your back yard and the immense rose arch. Your place is my dream home come true. So happy to see you on here. I have only caught glimpses of your house in your photos on the Rose Forum, but it is all beautiful and home sweet home to me. I have wanted to visit with you about your plantings and creations.

Dear Schoolhouse,
What a lucky find! That is a beautiful Lilac. It will be so lovely in your beautiful gardens. If I ever thought of you in terms of a color, it would be a soft pink. What a perfect lilac. Lilacs in the orchard - how lovely that will be in Spring!

~Annie
...getting ready to rip out all my gardens and start over.


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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

Oh wow! I never thought pink was my color, I feel more like brown or dark green - or Tinkertown green! ha.

The orchard blooms white in the Spring, so I thought some other colors would look nice down there. I have three young Redbuds there that I hope will add color some day too.

Don't go ripping your gardens out, you have a great place.


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RE: James MacFarlane lilac

Sent you an email.


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