We drove north into Washington State to visit the tulip fields at Holland America Bulb Farm in Woodland: what a delightful outing! Row upon row of amazingly bright and beautiful tulips: all labeled so that you can buy your favorite varieties. I’m afraid I went a little crazy and ordered over a 100 bulbs: they will be shipped at the proper planting time in the fall.

Gail at Holland America Bulb Farm in April

Gail at Holland America Bulb Farm in April

I plan to put them in some big pots for a marvelous springtime display next year. While in Woodland, Washington, we happened upon the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens. This delightful home and garden is the legacy of one very determined woman who loved lilacs! Born in Germany, Hulda’s family came to the US in 1865. Throughout her life she was an enthusiastic gardener, but in 1903 she read a book by Luther Burbank and became determined to hybridize lilacs. She quickly had success with hand pollinating to develop new and better lilacs, eventually developing over 250 varieties which can now be found in arboretums and parks across the country. Her home and gardens are now maintained by a non-profit, and we were lucky enough to visit on a perfect sunny day with the lilacs in full bloom: what a treat to wander through 3 acres of fragrant beauty! There is also a historic house which you can explore to see what life was like for Hulda.

Where: Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, 115 S. Pekin Road,Woodland, WA 98674

What to do there: explore gardens, restored home, gift shop, and snack bar

Company website: www.lilacgardens.com

How to get there: About 1 hour north of Portland,Oregon, off Highway 5

Cost: $3 per person

Time: 10am to 4pm: Best lilac viewing dates are April and May

Food: cafe on site

Family experience: The smaller children will enjoy exploring the garden paths and picnicking on the lawn.