Monday, May 4, 2009

The Hulda Klager Lilac Garden

Last friday as a bit of a Mother's Day pre-celebration I took my mom up to the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens for their annual spring Lilac festival. In general my mom has a black thumb but adores lilacs. She has five and when she moves she's taking them with her. Oh yes. She really looks forward to this every year and I'd never been. It's pretty cool if you click over to the website and read the history of the place.

In brief it was the property of Hulda Klager, The Lilac Lady. (1864 - 1960). After her death it was maintained for a number of years by a new owner but it got to be too much and they sold it to a party that was going to bulldoze it and turn it into an industrial site. It was saved by being named a historical landmark. A society was formed, money raised and it was brought back to it's former glory. It really is a lovely, lovely place. This was my first time visiting there. Even the old farm house was restored and full of quilts! What's not to love? We stopped and got coffee on the way in so it was, coffee, gardens and quilts. (Three of my favorite things) We had a great time!

This is Hulda Klager and her family at the world's fair in Chicago in 1893.
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This isn't even a drop in the bucket of all the lilacs they had! Imagine this 100 times over. There are rows of lilac bushes that go back all the way to the white bench on both sides of the path and again beyond that and in front of the property and behind the farm house and pretty much, well - everywhere!
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This was "sensation" and one of these *might* have come home with me. ;^)
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The whole property is pretty neat. There's an old windmill to pump water from the well (hand pump is at the base) with a water tower near by and the old carriage house which is now a gift shop and the "shed" to the left of those buildings is where you can buy lilac bushes ranging in size from 5" (like mine ::g::) up to five feet.
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There are many other plants there besides lilacs with sweet little garden spots that call you to walk their paths and discover their secrets.
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Like all real gardens there are even a few weeds here and there... and yup that's my kiddlet running around by the side of the restored old farm house. Inside was cool too with antiques (many were pieces that had actually belonged to HK and one amazing piece that was donated but had come by wagon over the Oregon Trail)
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HK was a hip lady. I'm diggin' her gardening hat. How ahead of her time she was - gotta keep that hot sun off your skin, nothing like a big ol hat!
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These were also at the HK Gardens but it'll be a nice segue into our next planned outting, the tulip festival just down the road from the Gardens. We're just waiting for it to stop raining so we can go! (Maybe Thursday?)
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5 comments:

Annie's Granny said...

How pretty! I'll bet the aroma of lilacs was intoxicating. Thank you for "taking us along" with you.

Randy Emmitt said...

Jenn,

I would never of though of a garden mainly focused on lilacs. Must have been awesome, the aroma too! Thanks for sharing.

Joanne said...

What a lovely place! Life would be peaceful and serene... and a lot of hard work in a place like that.

Liisa said...

I wanna go! I'll have to try and plan a trip this time next year.
Thanks for sharing.

Liisa

Just Jenn said...

Granny & Randy, it smelled divine! Of course I don't have allergies. ;^)

Liisa, I hope you can make it! If you're up this way hope let me know, I'd love to walk through the gardens with you.