Sweet Lilac and Barbara Cartland etiquette


Today’s bouquet is a sugary pink concoction, with a sweetly scented sprig of lilac. It’s such a saccharine pink that I almost named it Barbara Cartland, but chose to call it Sweet Lilac instead. Cartland fans read on, as I have a few tidbits from her Guide to Etiquette later.

But first, the blooms. The lilac is a dwarf variety called ‘Syringa Meyeri Flowerfesta white’ which the label states ‘is a series of three attractive colours’ pink, white and purple. It has a wonderful aroma and tiny delicate pink & white flowers. I’ll keep an eye on it and post updates if the colours change.

The mythology of the lilac is pretty strange, as these stories often are.

According to Greek mythology, Pan, the god of the forests and fields, became enthralled with the nymph Syringa. Syringa was frightened because Pan had been chasing her through the forests. She turned herself into a fragrant flowering bush to escape his advances.


Another version of that tale has Pan cutting sprigs of lilac and using the hollow stems to make his Pan Pipes. I might have a go at lilac pan pipe-making at a later date, keep your eyes out for an overpriced ‘workshop’ this summer.  😉

The apple blossom has a softer scent, and a paler tone, and complements the lilac well. There’s probably a couple more weeks of apple blossom to enjoy, but I’ll only cut a few more sprigs for bouquets as I want to eat the apples, and cutting the flower means you won’t get the fruit. img_5396

The weigela is blooming abundantly, and so these lovely pink trumpet shaped flowers are featuring in most of my bouquets this week. I’m not tired of them yet, and love the bright colour and multitude of flowers.

The pink, lilac and blush tones of the bouquet really remind me of Barbara Cartland, a legendarily prolific romantic novelist and pastel pink enthusiast. Here is a typical portrait of Mrs Cartland, who wrote 723 largely identical romantic novels.

Dame Barbara Cartland

She advises in her astonishing ‘Guide to Etiquette’ that ‘a woman should always appear to be a nymph fleeing from a satyr’. If only the nymph Syringa had heard this advice she might have avoided transmogrification into the lilac bush, and things could have been quite different in the garden.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s