Fragrant Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
With an abundance of fragrant lavender and purple blossoms, the lilac has long been a favorite for the garden, and it's as popular as ever with its nostalgic scent signaling that spring has sprung.
Like so many small trees, the lilac tree would be happy living life as a big shrub, growing up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) high and with a 12-foot (3.6 meter) span. But with some pruning and encouragement, the lilac functions well as a single-stem tree.
The lilac will grow well in full sun or in partial shade, and it's versatile enough to use as either a specimen tree or lined up for a windbreak or privacy hedge. The flowers are long-lasting, so don't hesitate to bring them inside and toss out your chemical air freshener in favor of the real thing.
Speaking of nostalgia, the tree on the next page may remind you of Southern hospitality.