Stop and smell the lilacs

Lilacs are in bloom around the state, and you can see a beautiful display at the Maxwell Arboretum on UNL's east campus.

Horticulturist Emily Levine has been working with the lilacs for many years. "I think they were put in here in the late 80's", Levine said. "People like the nostalgia of lilacs. I think everyone has that memory of going to grandma and grandpa's place. I grew up in an old farmhouse, and we had lilacs. The smell transports a person."

Lilacs bloom typically the last part of April and first part of May, but to keep them going longer, you can plant different varieties to bloom at different times. "One thing we do here at the Maxwell Arboretum, is grow different species of lilacs, from the early ones to the late ones," Levine said. "This means you could actually have about four weeks of bloom from start to end. It's a good way to keep your lilace around longer."

Levine says that lilacs originally come from Europe or Asia. They are not native to Nebraska, but seem to really like the Nebraska weather and soil. You can see lilacs and many other plants throughout the year at the Earl G. Maxwell Arboretum on UNL's east campus. The lilacs are just to the east of the UNL Dairy Store, and you are more than welcome to walk through the shrubs and experience the sights and smells.