Heads up! A recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens featured a new "reblooming" lilac called 'Bloomerang'. It's sold by White Flower Farm and probably others. A word of warning: It might grow well in the Northeast, but trade nurseries in the Midwest won't carry it. The reasons: 1.) It is very susceptible to powdery mildew, leaf spots, and blights! 2.) To get it to rebloom, you have to shear it back by a third and then wait. You can do this to dwarf Korean lilac and get the same result! 3.) The color is pale purple... blah!
Not worth it... especially at the asking price! (However, if anyone has had a good experience with this plant, chime in!)
Hortusthird: I'm so glad that you've had a great experience with 'Boomerang'. Perhaps it's successful in your northern zone with less humid summers than farther south.
My comments were based on information I was given from two of the largest wholesale nurseries in the Midwest here in the Indianapolis area. They ship to a five-state area and do millions of dollars in business with local landscaping companies yearly. I had read about 'Boomerang' in a few magazines and the White Flower Farm catalog and inquired about it at both nurseries where I received the negative reports.
New plants are usually field-tested for at least a few years before being released for sale. Then, many plants are first released only to wholesale nurseries (as was the case with the revolutionary 'Endless Summer' hydrangea) for the first year or two. I think this is the exclusive release you refer to. After this "head start", the plants are released to be sold at both independent garden centers and big box stores. This was the case with 'Boomerang', which is why and how the wholesale nurseries were familiar with this plant. Again, both of THESE major nurseries refuse to carry it because of the result of field trials for THIS area.
Again, it's great that you have had success with this lilac. The photo is beautiful (Was this rebloom or first-flush bloom?). If your experience is any example, perhaps 'Boomerang' will become a great and welcome addition to northern gardens.
Keep DG posted as to how this lilac overwinters and performs next year. You've certainly piqued my curiosity. If I find 'Boomerang' at a store next year, I just might try growing it to see how it performs in this area.
My comments were made, with only good intentions, to give a head's up to fellow DG'ers. The info was practically verbatim from the nurseries.
They certainly weren't meant to be "vile".
My final comment on the original post above was "However, if anyone has had a good experience with this plant, chime in!"
I'm glad you did, for the benefit of all of us!
If I've done my research correctly, the lilac 'Boomerang' was created by Tim Wood of Spring Meadow Nursery, as a cross of 'Josee'. Spring Meadow Nursery is a wholesale nursery located in Grand Haven MI. Grand Haven is geographically contiguous with Spring Lake MI, hortusthird's location.
I just purchased a Boomerang Lilac from Sugar Creek Gardens here in St. Louis. The owners have grown it themselves with great success. One of them got 5 bloom "seasons" by dead heading after very bloom. My plant is already full of fragrant blooms.
Last spring, the garden center where I worked had to send back their entire shipment. They never leafed out. Most likely the fault of the grower and not the cultivar itself. However, those who have tried it here have not been impressed. After the initial wave, and with careful deadheading, later blooms have been few and small. Maybe its a zone thing.