* Common name: Dwarf lilac ‘Tinkerbelle’
* Botanical name: Syringa ‘Bailbelle’
* What it is: A small-leafed, dwarf lilac that flowers a fragrant pink in May. You’ll smell it across the yard. Resistant to borers and powdery mildew. Be patient because ‘Tinkerbelle’ needs about three years in the ground to hit full stride. Then it’s like fine wine and vegetable gardeners – it gets better with age.
* Size: About 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide.
* Where to use: Great specimen for sunny foundations, house or patio corners, on either side of walkways or near a window for inside sniffing pleasure. Much better choice for smaller yards than old-fashioned lilacs, which too often grow into gawky, mildew-infested small trees.
* Care: No spraying usually needed. May need light trim every few years right after blooming. Once established, very drought tolerant. Annual spring fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer is helpful but not critical.
* Great partner: Open base is best underplanted with low-growing flowers, such as purple annuals (petunias, verbena or alyssum) or white, pink, blue or purple perennials (creeping phlox, dianthus, plumbago or veronica).