There are two reasons I work really hard to bring in lilacs at Mother's Day. One is the fragrance and I love them - and many of our clients love them! And the second is that I have a Lilac legacy that stems from both my Mom and Dad's families.
My Mom grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, and had lilacs around the house, and peonies along the drive.
My Dad's Dad was the first director of the Arboretum at the University of Wisconsin, and designed and planted the Lilac Garden in the 1930's. The Lilac Gardens are still named after him - G. William 'Bill' Longenecker. The Gardens were named The Longenecker Gardens in 1967, when my grandfather retired due to health issues.
Here's a video of the curator, Ed Hassellkus, one of my Grandfather's students, telling about the gardens and their story, starting at minute 1:30.
Here is my grandfather's drawing of the original garden: