The most recent time I visited Descanso Gardens in La Canada, the lilacs were in full bloom. They had some available in the gift shop, but the plants grow quite large, so they would not fit in my garden. I did enjoy their beauty and their fragrant aroma while I was there.
Apparently Southern California is warm for some lilacs. Dr. Walter Lammerts, a UCLA plant biologist, developed some lilacs for our comparatively warm winters in the 1940s. In 1945 Descanso founder E. Manchester Boddy hired Dr. Walter Lammerts to continue his research.
These beauties are but a small sampling of the diversity of lilacs at the Descanso Lilac Grove. They say there are 500 plants and 170 varieties!