My neighbors’ gardens sport glorious lilac clusters, and I wanted my bush, who (to me plants are “whos,” not “whats”) had a special place in my yard, to be like that. I researched on the Almighty Internet and found detailed instructions: “In late fall, cut away twiggy growths. Strive for uniform shaping of branches. Spread 2 pounds of bonemeal around base, and water.”
I followed directions, watered, and looked forward to spring.
In March, the pretty heart-shaped leaves looked to be a joyous prelude to masses of lilac blooms. In April, the leaves grew thicker. Around the middle of May, I searched in vain for blossom buds at the tops. By early June, I knew there were to be no flowers, while lilac bushes on other properties flaunted them en masse. One neighbor’s lilac even had deep blue blooms.
Back to the Internet. I clicked on another pruning authority and read this: “Prune lilacs after they have bloomed in the spring. Do not prune much later than summer or you will be cutting away next year’s buds.”
I stared at the page and slowly grew a very hot burn. Very funny. Hilarious. I went to find the joker who had posted the first advice and give him a poke to remember, but his site was gone. I wondered how many lilac-tree owners he had caught. As for myself, I was reminded that not everything you find on the Internet is Gospel.
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