Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens
Each year, thousands of visitors step back in time to discover the 1880’s Victorian Farmhouse and country gardens that comprise the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens.
To showcase the site, the Gardens and historic buildings have been lovingly maintained by the Hulda Klager Lilac Society, a nonprofit volunteer organization. The Society fully funds the care and upkeep of the historical site from the proceeds of Lilac Days, dues and donations. With the help of our volunteers and members, the Society continues to carry on the work of growing and showing the beautiful lilacs including those hybridized by Hulda Klager many decades ago.
Lilac Days 2019
April 20th to May 12th
History of Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens
Woodland is perhaps best known as the home of Hulda Klager (1863–1960), who was a prolific breeder of lilacs. The “Lilac Lady” Hulda Klager née Thiel, was long the pride of Woodland. She immigrated from Germany to Wisconsin in 1865, when she was just two years old, and came West when her family bought a farm in Woodland. Later she married and settled down on the family farm. When a friend gave her a book about Luther Burbank, she began creating flowers, hybridizing new varieties of roses, dahlias, even apples, and lilacs in particular. By 1920 she had created such a magnificent array of new hand-pollinated lilacs that she opened her garden on Lilac Week every spring for visitors. The floodwaters of 1948 rolled over her garden, destroying every shrub and hand-pollinated lilac. The loss grieved those who visited her garden or who had purchased her lilacs. From all over the Northwest, people sent starts of her lilacs from their own gardens. By 1950, at the age of eighty-seven, Klager, who loved flowers and who had been honored by the state of Washington as well as such organizations as the nationally famous arboretum at Cambridge, Massachusetts, again opened her home for Lilac Week. After her death in 1960, the Woodland Federated Garden Club, shocked that the garden might be bulldozed for industry, succeeded in raising money to buy it and have it declared a state and national historic site.