Yes, I get lilacs are not blooming right now, so why talk about them now? Well, now is the time to plan and plant them for next spring. If you were missing fragrance in your garden, you want more birds visiting or are in need of some spring color next year, lilacs will give it to you. And yes, there are some small lilac plants that will fit most spaces.
Small is relative so one lilac may be all you get to have, so wisely chose your lilac. Consider a Japanese lilac tree. A smaller tree adds some shade to a cottage or cutting garden and Syringa reticulata is a tough but smaller tree.
If fragrance is what is missing in your bid to stay gardening, consider designing a garden that incorporates several scented plants then add annuals every summer for color. Magnolias, lilacs and peonies can start you off.