Lilac Season

May is my favorite month out of the whole year. It’s the anticipation month. The last month before school gets out. The last month (usually) for random snowstorms (in Montana anyway).

But, it is also the first month (and arguably only) month of lilac season.

white lilacs

They come in multiple shades of purple, every one of which is my favorite color, the buds are pleasingly symmetrical, and I can’t think of anything that smells better. They smell like nostalgia for a memory I haven’t had yet. There are few things in this world that make me gushier than lilacs.

So, when I discovered the McLaughin Gardens, in South Paris, Maine, I thought fate had introduced me to my own square of heaven on earth. Every year over Memorial Day Weekend, the Gardens host the Annual Lilac Festival and I have been a loyal patron for the past four years. The Gardens not only have lilacs, but a wide variety of flora that could produce Claritin-popping fits from even the most hearty of botanists.

This will be my first year to miss the festival. Luckily, lilacs are growing like crazy in Billings, Montana. Now, the nostalgia I feel when I smell the lilacs in my  backyard will finally be attached to a real set of memories.

If you find yourself geographically located anywhere near South Paris, Maine, over Memorial Day, take a sniff for me. In exchange for letting my olfactory glands live vicariously through yours (is that gross?), here’s a sampling of pictures from four years of festivals.


yellow flower

blue violets

two white flowers


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