My Lazarus Lilac

That snowstorm Tuesday and Wednesday did a number on everybody’s landscaping here in northern Vermont. As you can see by the first picture, the wet snow completely smushed my favorite lilac bush down.

I knew it would survive, of course. It’s almost impossible to kill a lilac. After the snow melted,  I figured I would have a good portion of it left, and in a few years, it would be fine again,

But my good old lilac did much better than I thought, due to its resiliance, mostly. I’ve named the lilac bush Lazarus, after the bible character that Jesus brought back to life four days after he died. You can see in the second pic in this post how well it was doing Friday morning, two days after the storm.

Some tender loving care on my part helped with this revival. I’ve been through this drill before, helping people get their lilac bushes back in shape after they were clobbered by ice chunks falling off roofs, battered by flash floods or squashed in snowstorms like the one we had the other day.

(Pardon the mess below the lilac. That’s where I’m building a stone wall, and it’s a construction zone at the moment.)

I gently pulled the branches from the remaining snow. They stayed somewhat bent, as you’d expect. I gently took the limbs where they were bent, and carefully straightened each one as best I could. They generally, sort of stay in position if you do that.   These limbs won’t ever be as straight as before,  but they’re OK.

These formerly pretzeled lilac branches will never be as strong as they once were, and the weight of blooming lilacs might bend them somewhat again. But these branches will do for now.

Other lilac shoots will grow and become productive bloom producers in a few years. I’ll gradually cut out the older, weakened branches over time,  and let the young whippersnapper branches take over.

There are a few broken branches in the lilac I haven’t gotten to yet, but I’ll cut those off, making sure to make a clean, not ragged cut to keep what’s left healthy.

And I’ll pray poor Lazarus the Lilac never has to endure a 16 inch, late April snowstorm ever again.

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