Friday was a beautiful day for the start of Rochester’s Lilac Festival. I saw many people carrying lilacs back to their cars and I plan to pick up several myself when I return to the festival on Tuesday as a bus tour guide.
If you’re thinking of planting lilacs this year, or you’re looking for a good source for other plants and expert information, you can find it all at the festival. The Cornell Cooperative Extension has a tent set up outside their building located on Highland Avenue, as well as a larger tent set up behind their building. There you can find lilacs as well as a large variety of beautiful and healthy other plants and flowers for purchase. Master Gardeners are available on site to answer your questions. All of the plants have been cultivated by the gardeners and proceeds go to support the Master Gardeners’ Program.
Just outside Lamberton Conservatory in Highland Park, you’ll find a tent set up with a wide variety of lilacs for purchase. When I was there on Friday, I had the good fortune to speak with Kent Millham, Horticultural Aide for Monroe County’s Department of Parks. Kent is responsible for caring for the lilacs in the park and also works designing and caring for the seasonal exhibits at Lamberton Conservatory. He is well known among lilac lovers because he edits to journal of the International Lilac Society.
In case you’re coming in from out of town and wish to purchase lilacs that will thrive in southern states, be sure to take Doc Lilac’s list of lilacs for warmer climates. If you can’t get them at the festival, you can order them directly from Doc Lilac.