Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lilac Festival

In Ridgefield, Washington, about a 39 minute drive, there are the Hulda Klager lilac gardens. Each year from April 17th to May 9th the gardens are open to the public. The gardens are a creation of Hulda Klager. She came to this country from Germany in 1865 as a two year old. She always had a love for flowers so in 1905 she began hybridizing lilacs and by 1910 she had developed 14 new varieties. By 1920 she had so many varieties that she decided to hold an open house each spring to share her gardens with other enthusiasts. Hulda experienced many hardships and tragedies in her life including the early death of her husband and the 1948 flood of the Columbia River that totally destroyed all the plants, in her garden, with only the tall trees surviving. At the age of 84 she began rebuilding the gardens and grounds with the help of starts from many who previously purchased her plants. After her death and in 1960 the property became a National Historic Site, thus saving it for the public to enjoy forever.

This year we decided to take a "family adventure" to visit the gardens. Nana and Papa joined us for the day and we had a great time. We really enjoyed walking through the old house that is still in it's original condition. The grounds are AMAZING with all varieties of plants and trees including Wisteria, Dogwood and Redwood Trees, Azaleas, and of course Lilacs. Although, I hadn't been for over 10 years I think this is going to be a new yearly family tradition.

Hulda Klager's childhood home built in 1877

I love Azaleas.

Nana & Delaney resting in the front lawn.

This is the biggest Rodendrum I have ever seen.

Some of the gardens.

Laney & Momma.

I can't remember the name of this bush, but it was the size of a fairly large tree.

Pete is teasing Papa by squatting down so he looks like a "Giant".

What's with all the sour faces?

Nana next to my favorite variety.

What a little cutie!

This is Pete's favorite "Pres. Lincoln".

Nana & Cooper

I thought this was so neat with all the winding trunks.

This is my second favorite... It looks like Popcorn.

Same bush up close.

Nana's favorite.

1 comment:

Scott and Megan said...

I love lilacs!!!!! I have tried to plant 2 different bushes, 2 different times at my house and have killed them both! I have no green thumb of any kind. Those pictures from Multonomah falls make me smile and feel like "home". I have made multiple lil headbands and have just not asked you how many you want, and which colors (pink, purple, brown/purple, black, etc.) The kids are adorable! Delaney is so tubby and cooper looks like he's old enough to drive....sheesh!