Holland America Bulb Farm in Woodland, WA

Barbed-wire fence and tulip fields

One of the volunteers at the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Woodland advised us to drive about two more miles down the road to see the tulip fields in bloom.  I hadn’t realized that there were tulip farms in southern Washington.  This one was owned by the  Holland America Bulb Farm.  In contrast with the many tulip fields in the Skagit Valley north of Seattle, this operation was much smaller.  Instead of big fields planted in one color, the Holland America Bulb Farm planted just a few rows of each color, side by side, so the fields were a riot of bright colors. 

Mailboxes mimic the colors in the tulip fields

Patch of pink tulips

I particularly enjoyed watching workers cut fresh tulips in the field and gather them in baskets for sale.  What a beautiful setting for their labors!

Worker carrying her basket of cut tulips

Another basket of fresh-cut tulips

Fresh-cut tulips for sale

“The lilac scent, the bushes, and the dark
     green, heart-shaped leaves,
Wood violets, the little delicate pale
     blossoms called innocence . . .”
     — Walt Whitman, “Warble for Lilac-Time”

My husband and I just returned from a weekend in Portland.  On the drive down on Friday, we stopped at the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Woodland, Washington (about 20 miles from the border of Oregon) and met up with my sister, her husband, my niece and her two children.  None of us had ever visited the lilac gardens before.  It was a perfect time to visit, with many varieties of lilacs in full bloom.  The fragrance was heavenly. 

The gardens were not very large, but they hold about 150 varieties of lilacs.  I’m not sure I would make a special trip from Seattle just to visit the lilac gardens, but if you were planning a visit to the Portland area, it would definitely be worthwhile to stop in to see them.

Bouquet of mixed lilac blooms greets visitors at the Hulda Klager farmhouse

White bench amidst the blooming lilacs, Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens

Purple lilacs

White lilacs

Multi-colored lilac

Smelling the fragrant lilac blossoms