Lilacs, hollyhocks, and iris always remind me of my childhood home. I love ’em all, but lilacs do come with a bonus. Colorful blooms and a delicious floral scent that perfumes the air. And that’s just from one bush! Imagine my delight as I wandered through 3-1/2 acres of lilac bushes.
Yes, the lilacs are blooming at the 2011 Hulda Klager Lilac Days Festival in Woodland, WA. Some are the pale lavender color I remember from my childhood, but others are pink, white, blue lavender, and deep dark purple. 150 varieties in all–many hybridized by the “Lilac Lady” herself, Hulda Klager.
This year’s festival continues through May 14th, a concession to the cooler temps and rainy weather we’ve had the past couple of months. Visitors can wander freely around the grounds and then return home with their own lilacs, potted plants offered for sale by the Hulda Klager Lilac Society. On the day we visited, bouquets of freshly cut lilacs were also available.
A narrow brick “plaza’ with benches has been laid in the center of Hulda’s garden, a perfect spot to linger for awhile. There’s also a memory garden tucked away in the back corner of the lot with a gravel path that meanders through the flower beds.
Though lilacs are definitely the main attraction here, Hulda Klager’s old homestead also boasts a unique collection of other flowers, shrubs, and exotic trees. So take time to enjoy it all! Like the 19th century Victorian-era garden known as the “flatiron garden” that’s located directly in front of the house.
The old carriage house is now home to a gift shop which carries an abundance of lilac-themed souvenirs and craft items from local artists. For history buffs, there’s a wood shed, windmill, and water tower on site that have been completely restored. And those who visit before the close of Mother’s Day, May 8th, can also tour the vintage farmhouse.
Hulda Klager’s Lilac Gardens are located at 115 South Pekin Road in Woodland, WA. This year’s Lilac Days Festival runs through May 14th. The grounds and gift shop are open daily from 10am to 4pm. Admission is just $2 per person. Special Note: The farmhouse is only open to visitors through May 8th, so plan accordingly.
Ample parking on site. For a map and detailed directions, please check the Lilac Gardens website.