A lilac in full bloom, with its heavenly fragrance, is a breathtaking sight. A mainstay of the spring landscape in northern and colder climates, lilacs are one of the most effective flowering shrubs. Easy to grow, tough as nails, deer resistant and relatively free from major pests, these hardy shrubs have been tailored to meet the needs of all gardens, including small gardens. There are now lilacs that rarely grow more than 3-4 ft. (90-120 cm) tall, which makes them suitable plants for small gardens and containers.

Lilacs come in a wide range of colors (white, blue, pink, purple, lilac, magenta). Depending on where you live, and the lilac varieties you choose, lilacs can provide color and fragrance from April through June. However, some lilac shrubs do not only bloom in spring for a few fleeting weeks. They prolong their presence as they repeat bloom in summer and fall, bringing their wonderful color and scent in the garden. If your space is limited, you may want to choose a dwarf lilac that repeats bloom and rewards you with a second flush of flowers.

Although lilacs are not known for fall leaf coloring, there are some notable exceptions. Some varieties boast terrific fall foliage in shades of orange, gold, and burgundy, further extending their season of interest. You may want to consider this when selecting the perfect lilac shrub for your garden.