The fragrance is superb and the colours are pleasant - relaxing - but they don't last all that long.

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 25th, 2018



Imagine over 800 species of lilacs in one location.

A heavenly fragrance is drifting through Royal Botanical Gardens’ (RBG) Arboretum, marking the official start of lilac season! Visitors to RBG can experience one of the largest and most magnificent and diverse collections in the world as it reaches peak bloom.


The fragrance is so distinct – but this flower doesn’t last for vert long – and cutting them to put in a vase is a very disappointing experience.

French hybrids form the basis of the collection, but also displayed are Preston hybrids (originated in Canada by Isabella Preston), early-bloomers, such as hyacinth lilacs and a selection of species found in the wild. On more challenging terrain, The Katie Osborne Lilac Collection in the Lilac Dell is one of the most assorted and one of the definitive collections to demonstrate the range of the genus Syringa. This popular seasonal attraction provides visitors with weeks of delightful springtime colour and fragrance. Peak bloom time for lilacs generally lasts two to four weeks.

Weekend visitors can visit RBG’s Discovery Cart to learn more about the seven colours of lilacs then take a guided tour to learn about the collection’s history. Weekend entertainment helps to bring these incredible plants to life.


The Lilac dell.

Additional activities at the Arboretum include Biodiversity Festival taking place on Saturday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. As Canada’s biodiversity hotspot, RBG is offering a day of exploration and hands-on fun with local animals, plants, and ecosystems. Children’s activities, guided walks and more await visitors to this activity-packed celebration of the International Day of Biological Diversity.

RBG’s Arboretum (located at 16 Old Guelph Road, Hamilton) is open 10.a.m to 8 p.m. seven days a week and is more like an English landscape park than a garden. It has a wide variety of trees and other woody plants and, with the exception of the lilac walk and the shrub collection, has few formal paths.

It is a great place for watching and experiencing animal and plant interactions and connects with many of RBG’s nature trails. RBG general admission is required to experience the Arboretum. Admission is free to RBG members.

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