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Lilac Delight in Dobele
Just like many other years, countless cars will stream to Dobele, so people can spend wonderful moments in the largest garden of lilacs in the world.
Dobele is called the city of lilacs; and as the end of May arrives, more than 200 varieties and hybrids of lilacs bloom in the garden covering the area of over 4 hectares.
Selectionist Peteris Upitis (1896 – 1976) began to lay out the garden in the outskirts of the sunny Dobele in 1957. He had a dream to turn Latvia into a blooming garden. Even though the legendary selectionist long walks the heavenly gardens, each year thousands of people who are interested in gardening and who love nature visit the garden he had cultivated in Dobele, called by the nation the garden of Peteris Upitis.
During the blooming period of lilacs, the garden is visited by especially many guests. Fragrances, colours, variety of shapes: the display of these decorative shrubs does not leave any visitor of the garden indifferent.
Long are gone the times when only simple white and blue lilacs were known. Since the middle of the 19th century, selectionists all across the world have created approximately 1,500 new varieties and hybrids of lilacs, and Latvian selectionists have made a great contribution to this work of selection.
As you walk through the garden accompanied by a guide, you can learn many interesting facts about the history of creating different varieties and their significant names (for example, Peteris Upitis has given such names: 'Mother Ede Upitis', 'Joy of Existence', 'The Pearl Fisher', “Little Prince’).
Quite a few real rarities grow in the garden of Peteris Upitis, for example, 'Rochester' variety that has been included in top ten of the most excellent white lilacs in the world, and 'Primrose', the only yellow lilac variety in the world, and it has been included in the world's TOP 10.
Concerts of classical music in Dobele lilac garden have also became a tradition, thus adding the artistic enchantment of sound to the beauty of blooming lilacs.
Memorial exhibition tells the story about the founder of the garden and selectionist Peteris Upitis, but his work is carried on by the scientists of Institute of Horticulture. The garden covering approximately 45 ha hosts more than 5,000 varieties and hybrids of fruit plant cultures.
Even though the blooming time of lilacs is rather short, the visitors of the Dobele garden can spend quite a few hours in an interesting and pleasant way at other times too, because pear trees, plum trees, apricot trees, wine trees and other fruit and berry plants grow there as well. For example, in July you can participate in harvesting and tasting of sweet cherries. Autumn arrives with a manifold and abundant harvest of apples, and the apple festival is held in honour of it.
While visiting the garden, you can also purchase seedlings and receive advice from the specialists to promote the culture of gardening.