Photos by Cheryl Landes
Every spring at the site of an 1880s Victorian farmhouse in Woodland, Washington, the fragrance of the blooming lilacs fills the air. Dozens of varieties of lilacs, many as tall as trees, grow at the former dairy farm of the Klager family.
Hulda Klager discovered lilac propagation while recovering from an illness and began experimenting. Over the years, she successfully created many varieties and became “The Lilac Lady”, a leading hybridizer in the United States. Many garden organizations, including the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, and the State of Washington presented honors to her for her work.
She continued propagating lilacs until her death in 1960 at age 96. Eventually the property became a national historic site. In 1976, the Hulda Klager Lilac Society was formed to preserve the estate. Volunteers from the society maintain the property and care for the flowers.
Her beautiful lilacs bloom in April and May. Today, we’ll go on a walk through the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens at peak bloom.