Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ABC Wednesday: L

ABC Wednesday this week brings us the letter L, which is for . . .

The Lipizzaner Stallions

The world-famous Lipizzaner Stallions performed in a show at the Assembly Hall on the University of Illinois campus a few weeks ago. While I didn't get to attend the show, I was able to see a few of these magnificent horses later. A neighbor, who is an avid horsewoman, told me that some of the Lipizzaners were being boarded at her horse barn for a few days after the show and invited me over to see them. What she didn't realize is that I was bringing all the grandkids!

I explained to the grandkids some of the stallions' famous history, but they were more interested in just seeing the horses themselves. Two of the younger grandkids were more taken with the owner's friendly colt than any of the Lipizzaners. Much thanks to Kathy for inviting us to her tidy and comfortable horse barn--the grandkids loved it!

Turning to the garden . . .

L is also for Lilac

I love the smell of lilacs in the spring, and I've always wanted to add more to my garden besides the old-fashioned shrub that now is more like a small tree. A few weeks ago, a local garden center had these "Bloomerang Purple" Syringa x on sale, and I quickly snapped up two of them. This is not your typical spring-blooming lilac; it's a re-bloomer that is supposed to bloom from spring until frost. The sales assistant told me that they had had so many requests for this plant in the spring, but they hadn't been able to get them until now. As you can see, when I bought this in September, it still was in full bloom, and yes, it had that wonderful fragrance.

Some other facts about this plant from Proven Winners:

"Bloomerang Purple" Syringa x

Growing information:
Zones 3-7
Full Sun
Flowers: blue-lavender
Height: 48-60"
Spacing: 60-72"
Bloom time: Spring and summer, through frost (may rest during summer heat)
Good resistance to powdery mildew and root rot
Attracts butterflies
Deer resistant
Remove spent blooms promptly to encourage reblooming.

One of the lilacs is already planted in my yet-to-be completed new flowerbed, and the other found a home at my son's. If it lives up to its expectations, you'll be seeing a lot of this lovely lilac next summer!

And for early readers of this post, if you wonder if I know what day it is . . . yes, I do. I'm posting a little early because tomorrow is the monthly meeting of the Book Review Club, when I'll be posting another L . . . a review of Dan Brown's latest, The Lost Symbol.

For more ABC posts this week, do visit the ABC Blog, hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt.


  1. Those horses are truly beautiful - as are lilacs :-)

  2. How fun to see the Lipizzaners! What remarkable creatures.
    I love lilacs...their fragrance is one of the best!
    Dan Brown, like his writing.

  3. What a very nice neighbor you have! How wonderful to see them up close. I'm thinking spring already and lovely lilting smell of lilacs.

  4. Dear Rose....the horses are beautiful......I am sure your grandchildren loved the experience of being able to touch and pet them.

    The lilac is gorgeous....I did not see anything about rabbits on the growing information. I think lilac are toxic so I would imagine they may be okay.
    I can see why you bought them....a wonderful addition to your garden......

  5. I got to see the Lippizan Stallion perform many years ago. They are the most beautiful animals and what they can do is mind boggling. I am glad to know that they get preferential treatment such as getting to stay in a good environment while they are traveling. It must be hard on them yet an exciting existence. L is of course my favorite letter no matter how you look at it.

  6. Love the horses -- saw those for real when I lived in Germany! And lilacs are my all time favorite and your photos are beautiful!

    Have a great week!


  7. Great L choices and the horses are truly magnificient.
    I love the lilac too. It has the sweetest fragrance.

  8. I've seen the Lippizan stallions a couple of times, and they're fantastic. I would have loved to visit that barn.
    That's my favorite L, but I like lilacs, too!

  9. Did I ever tell you about the time I opened the wrong door at the Lippizzaner training school in Vienna, and found myself up close & personal with the horses? (A little too close, in fact.) They are beautiful.
    I'm not sure how I feel about a Lilac that blooms in the fall. It looks pretty, though.

  10. Like you, I adore lilacs, but I must admit I feel conflicted about a reblooming lilac. I guess I just associate lilacs so strongly with spring; it would be like a tulip blooming in September--it just seems too weird! So please, continue sharing information about the Bloomerang (which is a fantastic name, I can't deny that), because I'm afraid my prejudice might be unfair.

  11. Lots of L choices...and I enjoyed reading about all of them, especially the reblooming lilac.

  12. I saw a Lippizaner show ages ago (must have been nearly 20 years now). It was beautiful!

  13. I LOVE the smell of lilacs.

    How are you Rose? Sorry I haven't visited recently, where is the year disappearing to?

    You asked what conkers were. They are the fruit of the chestnut tree, lovely oval brown, shinny things in a prickly green case! (To play conkers you thread string through each one, so that they hang off the end and then you try to hit your opponents conker, in turn. You keep striking until one shatters! Shame really as they are too lovely to damage!) Do you have conkers? And if so, what do you call them?!

    Take care


  14. I see that Lilac is good thru zone 7. Maybe that is why I never see it here in 8. It really is pretty Rose. Smell it for me!

  15. Lilac is my favourite. I have loved it since I was a little girl. Isn't it supposed to be unlucky if you bring it into the house?

    Nuts in May

  16. It always makes me smile when I see words I wouldn't have thought of right away for the letter of the week. Such as, Lipizzaner horses!

  17. Grandkids and Lipizzaners are memory makers of the first order! I'd never heard of this lilac but with any luck I'll be able to find one - the one I have blooms from mid-May to end-May - which is not long enough! Great post!

  18. The Lippizzaners are magnificent Rose. I remember reading a novel which featured them years ago and they have always fascinated me since, how lucky you were to visit them, a wonderful memory for your grandchildren!

    Looking at your lovely photos I could almost smell the Lilac!

    I noticed a comment about Conkers. Our homes over here apparently have an invasion of spiders at the moment and Conkers in the house are reputed to deter them. I have no idea if there is any truth in this but I have Conkers in my home and haven't seen any spiders whereas my brother who lives quite near to me says he is overrun with them...he is going to look for Conkers now! (The more I type the word Conkers the sillier it looks and sounds, I have never noticed that before!)

    I have left a late comment on your previous post too :)

  19. The Lippizaners are beautiful aren't they? We've seen that show a couple of times.

  20. Rose, so glad you showed the Lipizzaners. I have been wanting to show a couple of my pictures also. I can just imagine the grands with the horses. Don't all young ones find them fascinating?

    The lilacs look beautiful and glad to know the have the right fragrance. I'll see how yours do before I try one though. :)

    Can't wait to read your review. I have been tempted to get the book, but hadn't heard any thing about it, good or bad.

  21. Nice choices for L - both beautiful. Horses are splendid and the lilac so fragrant.

  22. What a fun experience for the Grands! I adore Lilacs, and love the thought of being able to smell them throughout the whole growing season! I hope it does well for you and we see a lot of it next year.

  23. These are brilliant L-words. I like the smell of the lilacs!

  24. Have to read D.Brown again.
    Best country in the world does not mean we are satisfied with everything.

  25. Great L choices! I saw the Lipizanners when I was only 18 and I've never forgettten their beauty. And just the memory of lilac has made my day. Thanks!

  26. Hi Rose, I love the horses but got all excited about the reblooming lilac! It looks wonderful and if it has that same amazing scent, well we will be on the search. We are on the very southern edge of being able to grow lilacs here, and the old common S. vulgaris is what is seen in older gardens and is what we have. How fun for your grandkids too. :-)

  27. Thanks everyone for dropping by; instead of replying to everyone, I'm going to try to visit your blogs today. But a few replies to specific comments or questions:

    Tina, Kathy was very gracious to let my clan troop through her horse barn.

    Cheryl, I don't think rabbits like lilacs, but that would be a good thing to check out before you get one.

    Lisa, I wondered where the stallions stayed while on tour. They certainly were very well-cared for at my neighbor's. I was so impressed with how clean and comfortable her horse barn was.

    MMD, I hope you didn't let one out of his stall:) I saw the Riding School in Vienna many years ago, too; a beautiful place.

    Rose, My lilac blooms so early in the spring, often when it's still cold that I don't get to enjoy it as much as I'd like. I'll keep you updated next summer on how it does.

    Suburbia, So good to hear from you! I remember looking up conkers last year to find out what they were, but I'd never heard of this game. Thanks for explaining it for me. Sounds like something SS would love to play:)

    Susie, It smells heavenly.

    Maggie May, I always cut a few sprigs in the spring to bring inside; I do hope it's not bad luck:)

    Tumblewords, My feelings exactly about lilacs, which is why I wanted this one.

    ShySongbird, I don't know if we have conkers here or if they're called something else. I wonder how they deter spiders. Your mention of a novel with the Lipizzaners has sparked a memory--I wonder if I read the same book.

    Beckie, I'm sure you have some better photos than I; this was the only one with a head in the picture:) I bought the book, which you're welcome to borrow--as soon as it finishes the rounds through my family:)

    MG, This was an impromptu outing, but one the grandkids loved!

    Frances, I was surprised to see this listed only as far as zone 7; I didn't realize lilacs don't grow in the South. I'm sure I'm going to be posting updates all summer about this plant.

  28. I hope you will let us know if the lilac does have a long blooming period. I have debated with myself for years about getting one but it just seems too good to be true.

  29. beautiful stallion! & I love Lilacs, both their fragrance & their beauty.

  30. The name of the Stallion was new to me...and the lilacs offer such a beautiful view.

  31. I could have sworn I left a comment! Oh, well....The Lippizans are pretty incredible horses and their history is remarkable. i read someplace how they were protected during the wars...fascinating. Can't wait to read your book review! gail

  32. Lovely, lovely horses and so creative!
    I also love the smell of lilac and having one that blooms all summer would be amazing.
    Enjoyed catching up with you this rainy afternoon!

  33. Lovely lyrical post! My dad (a proud Austrian) would be proud to know that I remember Lippizaners were bred from Spanish horses by the Habsburgs and were used in the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Good Lord, now I sound like him!


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