To this day I remember learning a particular new word and can still 'feel' my mother explaining that a plant that sprouts up out of the earth, that grows on it's own rather than being planted, is a 'volunteer'. The perfect word, simple and obvious. That was one word that would stick with me forever.
Los Angeles, more specifically, thermal pocket Woodland Hills, is not lilac-friendly. That did not deter me from planting two baby lilac trees from Descanso Gardens. Slow growing and determined to live, they managed six years in Topanga, four on Alhama Drive and ten more on Dolarosa St. They didn't survive the move to Gilmore St. but a stubborn volunteer has dug it's roots in deep enough to find nutrition and cool earth. And this year, at last, there are blossoms. More blossoms than ever.
So proud of my little volunteer.