Sunday, January 19, 2014

Other Gardens: Lilacs. Soon!

by Forrest Campbell
Another gem from our garden crew: our fellow-docent, Forrest Campbell,  just penned an article for the Pacific Horticulture's winter 2014 issue about the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden and Lilacs (in Woodland Garden, WA,  located off I-5 exit 21, 30 minutes north of Portland, Oregon or 2.5 hours south of Seattle, Washington).

I can only copy up to 4 paragraphs, without being sued for copy-right issues, but you can go to the link on the end of my copy, and read the rest…  Congrats Forrest on your authorship and beautiful photography! aleks

• • • • 
Hulda Klager Lilac Garden

A Spring Showcase of Blossoms and History
By: Forrest Campbell

Our timing was perfect! Last year my wife, Rene, and I began our spring vacation in a garden filled with color, fragrance, and history. On previous trips through southern Washington we’d seen signs along I-5 for the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden in Woodland, Washington, but we were usually too early or too late to catch peak bloom. Not this time. Staying in nearby Vancouver, we spent two days taking in the wonderful lilacs and their stories.

Syringa x hyacinthiflora 'Sweetheart'. Photo 2013  by Forrest Campbell

Hulda Thiel (1864–1960) was born in Germany on May 10th and arrived in North America when she was two. The Thiel family pioneered in Wisconsin and Minnesota before settling in Lewis County, Washington, near the town of Woodland when Hulda was 13. In her early teens, Hulda married Frank Klager.

Mrs. Klager’s interest in horticulture began at home. She studied botany and read gardening books and catalogs. From New Creations in Plant Life by W.S. Harwood (Macmillan Co., 1905) she learned of the work and methods of Luther Burbank. Mrs. Klager began hybridizing lilacs in 1905, and in just five years created 14 new cultivars. The cornerstones of her crosses, her “Magic Three” according to lilac expert Father John Fiala, were Syringa vulgaris ‘Mme. Casimir Périer’, a fine double white bred by Lemoine in 1884, S. v. ‘President Grevy’, a double blue bred by Lemoine in 1886, and S. v. ‘Andenken an Ludwig Späth’, an excellent purple bred by Späth in 1883.

Hulda’s breeding objectives were to create vigorous, disease-resistant plants; extend the plant’s flower color range intoclear blue, pink, and rose; and to create variations in flower cluster forms and floret size. In his book Lilacs, A Gardener’s Encyclopedia, Fiala states that Hulda Klager introduced more than 100 cultivars. The “Lilac Lady of Woodland” died in 1960 at the age of 96.

For the rest of the article and more pics  go here...


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