I may get strung up for writing this, but, you may be disappointed if you visit your favorite garden center and ask for, let’s say, two early-blooming `Assessippi’ lilacs, a mid-season `Krasavitsa Moskvy,’ and a late-blooming `Minuet.’
While most local garden centers are likely to carry a modest selection of named lilac cultivars - most likely including Dwarf Korean lilac, `Miss Kim,’ `James Macfarlane,’ Japanese tree lilac and three or four mid-season common/"French" hybrids, don’t be surprised if you find your choices limited to `white,’ `pink,’ `blue,’ or `purple!’
Therefore, for the widest selection of named cultivars - which is going to be the only way that you can guarantee blooms for the better part of two months - you’re going to need to place orders with mailorder nurseries. Fortunately, there are several that offer very wide selections of lilac cultivars - though in small sizes that are practical to ship inexpensively.
So, with the disclaimer that I've never ordered from any of the sources listed below, if you want to try some of less common lilacs mentioned here, the following specialty growers may have exactly what you're looking for? Several of these sites also have very good pictures of the flowers of many of the lilac varieties they sell.
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