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HomeLatest NewsHow self-taught breeder Leonid Kolesnikov grew Russian lilacs in the garden of...

How self-taught breeder Leonid Kolesnikov grew Russian lilacs in the garden of his dreams – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: June 25, 2024 Time: 10:59:54

From collection to selection

The future breeder was the youngest of five children in a family that lived in a private house with a garden in the village of Vsekhsvyatskoe (present-day Sokol district). He planted the first two bushes of French lilacs, of which he was a great admirer, while studying economics at the Moscow Commercial Institute. During World War I he became a driver. He rose to the rank of head of the engine depot. However, his heart did not belong to cars, but to lilacs. At first he collected lilacs, which he brought from old ruined manor estates. Having collected more than a hundred varieties, I decided to develop my own. He borrowed methods from Michurin’s works. “During five decades of his work, Leonid Kolesnikov bred more than three hundred varieties of lilacs, choosing the most resistant to climate and the best in color and shape. For comparison: three generations of the Lemoine dynasty, famous breeders of French lilacs, grew up. There are so many varieties,” Lolla Samsonenko, the chief dendrologist, told RG VDNH.

Stalin Prize

Kolesnikov presented his first varieties to the public in the 1930s. Among them was, for example, the “Banner of Lenin” variety with bright red and purple flowers. But his main creation is the variety “Moscow Beauty”, which in 1947 received world recognition. It is a lilac with dark pink buds and pearly white flowers. When not the entire cluster is in bloom, the combination of dark buds and pearly star petals creates a magical attraction.

Syringaria is easy to find; It is located next to the Church of Saint Basil the Great. Photo: Alexander Korolkov

In 1952, Kolesnikov was awarded the Stalin Prize, the only time in history that a state prize was awarded to lilacs. And in 1973, the International Lilac Society posthumously awarded him the “Golden Branch of the Lilac.” By that time, his creation, new varieties of lilacs, had spread throughout the world. For example, Kolesnikov’s lilac “Galina Ulanova” grows in the garden of Buckingham Palace, and “Lenin’s Banner” and “The Path of Communism” grow next to the US Congress building…

“Lilac Paradise” was buried

Kolesnikov dreamed of turning Moscow into a “lilac paradise.” Poor me! Even of his own “dream garden” in the family house on Peschanaya Street, nothing remained: the territory was occupied by new buildings. Of course, in the Sokol area there are many lilac bushes, but they have nothing to do with Kolesnikov.

There are no varieties left on Sirenevy Boulevard, which received that name in 1960, when Kolesnikov and schoolchildren planted their lilac variety there. The experimental demonstration nursery created in 1964 in Koloshino on the Shchelkovskoye highway also disappeared.

Lilacs do not grow even on the breeder’s grave at the Vagankovsky cemetery: there is no place for them there. But some varieties were preserved in Moscow.

Rebirth of a miracle

“A large collection of Kolesnikov varieties is presented in the VDNKh syringarium,” assures Lolla Samsonenko, “about five hundred bushes of lilac varieties grow on it, but not all of them. of the teacher. To attribute the varieties of it, we are now investigating. This is not so simple, there are no more than ten lilac specialists in the world. We are lucky, one of the leading specialists in lilacs, dendrologist from Tsitsin Main. The Irina Okuneva Botanical Garden is working with us for the second spring, we are observing the flowering, taking measurements and taking photographs. ” According to the specialist, the works are expected to be completed in the fall. It will become clear which varieties are missing. “Our idea is to collect all varieties of Kolesnikov existing on this site, it is a national pride, a heritage of the country!” says Samsonenko. “So far 13 varieties have been confirmed.” Among them is the snow-white lilac “Soviet Arctic” The glowing “Olympiad Kolesnikov” (the variety is named after his beloved wife) is of extraordinary beauty, almost like a fire. It also has a unique “feel”: in the shade it looks lilac, and in the sun, pink.

You can admire the lilac flowers until mid-June. Such a long flowering period is the merit of the famous breeder;

In addition to the syringarium, in VDNKh there is a lilac alley, located next to pavilion No. 29 “Floriculture and gardening”. Old bushes grow here that look like trees: with a thick, solid, twisted trunk from which young shoots grow.

Interestingly, the syringarium, like the lilac alley in VDNKh, are objects of cultural heritage of federal significance. But they also often become a target for vandalism. “Do not break the branches; this does not lead to vigorous growth of the plant; on the contrary, it may die if a fungus gets into the broken area,” clarifies Samsonenko. “The soil under the plants should not be trampled; this compacts it.” In the ground, the plant may die again, but be sure to come see it and enjoy the aroma. Thanks to Kolesnikov’s selection work, the lilacs bloom until mid-June.”

You can find the Kolesnikovskaya lilac in the collection of the “Apothecary Garden” of the Botanical Garden of Moscow State University, in the “Museon”.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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