Tuesday, April 21, 2015
I have been wanting for years to visit the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens during their peak lilac bloom, but somehow never made it past the "invisible fence" that is the Columbia River. Surprise! Turns out it's no further than many places we go regularly and very easy to get to. This little garden is bursting with charm and something I cannot possibly photograph...a heavenly scent! This place has an interesting history. Hulda Klager was a farmer who decided in 1905 to begin hybridizing lilacs in her spare time, just for her own enjoyment, and she created many new and stunning varieties. This year, shifting climate patterns have pushed the bloom time for many plants up about two weeks. Yet many local festivals that celebrate specific flowers (the tulip festivals, the Trillium Fest, the Sakura cherry blossom festivals, etc.) did not have the flexibility to change their schedule accordingly. Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens has an annual celebration called "Lilac Days" which includes the tree weeks prior to and including Mother's Day. I fear all the lilacs may be gone well before the end of their festival. The garden also has azaleas, rhododendrons, tulips, peonies, and many other gorgeous flowers, and lots and lots of chairs and benches where visitors can rest in the shade and soak in the beauty. They sell many different and unusual lilac starts for the discerning gardener, since inspiration to plant lilacs is sure to strike. The are actually open all year, and admission is only $3 for adults, and free for anyone 11 and under.