26 March 2012

April 6th Meeting: Guy Guinta Jr presents "Lilacs"

 “Lilacs” 

Friday, April 6th
7:00
Goodwin Library

presented by
Guy Giunta, Jr.
Landscape Specialist for NHDOT

The Presentation will be held at 7:00 PM in the Museum in the lower level of the Goodwin Library on Main Street in Farmington.  Light refreshments will be served.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Following the presentation, the regular meeting of the Farmington Historical Society will be held.

Did you know there are 20 Lilac Species, 15 Lilac Species (Hybrids), over 1500 named lilac varieties? Lilacs have 2 centers of origin, Eastern Europe and the Orient.  The oldest lilacs in New Hampshire date back to at least 1750. These were purple lilacs that were imported from England and were located at the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion in Portsmouth.  The purple lilac, Syringa vulgaris,was adopted as the state flower of New Hampshire in 1919.  That year the legislature considered many bills and amendments promoting the apple blossom, purple aster, wood lily, Mayflower, goldenrod, wild pasture rose, evening primrose and buttercup as potential state flowers. After a long and lively debate regarding the relative merits of each flower, the purple lilac was chosen because it represented the hardy character of the men and women of the Granite State.

Purple lilacs may be seen throughout New Hampshire on private and public lands having been planted by many generations of citizens.  Beautiful and fragrant blossoms in a wide range of colors appear in May of each year.  The Governor’s Lilac Commission was established by Governor John H. Sununu in 1984 to promote extensive planting of lilac’s throughout the State. It encourages the efforts of many individuals and groups to be involved in establishing our State Flower on public lands for all to enjoy. The Governor’s Lilac Commission provides plant materials and recommends cultural practices for growing lilacs to insure the best possible results. In an effort to help beautify New Hampshire’s highways, the Commission has taken on the additional responsibility of purchasing and assisting in planting wildflowers. Because of these efforts, Governor Stephen Merrill renamed the Commission on August 1, 1995.

The Governor's Lilac and Wildflower Commission partners with New Hampshire garden clubs, schools, youth groups, and other public organization to promote planting of lilacs and wildflowers throughout the state.

Learn More

Governor's Lilac and Wildflower Commission
http://www.nh.gov/lilacs/lilacs/index.htm

Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion
http://www.nhstateparks.com/coolidge.html

US Department of Agriculture Plant Profile: Syringa vulgaris
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SYVU

Syringa vulgaris on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syringa_vulgaris

"In American colonies lilacs were introduced in the eighteenth century. Peter Collinson, F.R.S., wrote to the Pennsylvania gardener and botanist John Bartram, proposing to send him some, and remarked that John Custis of Virginia had a fine "collection", which Ann Leighton interpreted as signifying Common and Persian Lilacs, in both purple and white, "the entire range of lilacs possible" at the time."

 








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