Where Lilacs Still Bloom (2012)



One woman, an impossible dream, and the faith it took to see it through. German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife. Through the years, seasonal floods continually threaten to erase her Woodland, Washington garden and a series of family tragedies cause even Hulda to question her focus. In a time of practicality, can one person’s simple gifts of beauty make a difference? (c.2012)

The "Lilac Lady"


In 1905 Hulda Klager began hybridizing lilacs and by 1910 she had created 14 new varieties. By 1920 she had developed so many new varieties that she decided to hold an open house each spring when the lilacs were in full bloom to share her efforts with other lilac enthusiasts. This practice caused her to become known as “The Lilac Lady.” This is the story of a woman, her garden, and the lilacs that reflected God's Grace!

Visit the Gardens




"The beautiful Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens - A National Historic Site, located in Woodland, WA - is an exquisite example of the turn of the century garden. Many of the Gardens were planted by Hulda or her parents beginning in the late 1880s. An arboretum describes some of the special exotic trees while a typical 19th century Victorian-era Garden graces the front of the Historic Victorian Home. This area contains many rare and unusual trees and shrubs." For more info visit their website: lilacgardens.com

Garden Video

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Praise for Jane Kirkpatrick's Where Lilacs Still Bloom

"Rarely does a book inspire me as much as this one has. To learn about what this one woman and her family did in their lifetime makes me want to try harder in my own life. I could never do what she did with flowers, but I can hope to live in such a way that my passion for God, my love for my family, and my hope for a beautiful garden will be remembered. I highly recommend reading this book!"  - Sandi Smith, blogger


Most of all refreshing and touching, Hulda was indeed a real person, and the author brilliantly brought this special person back to life. I was so enamored with the story that I wept right along with Hulda, just as if she were my own grandmother. I would be remiss if I didn't pay homage to the lilac: the fragrance of the flower that I can still recall after leaving behind my lilac bush seventeen years ago. I still think of that very lilac bush from time to time. I wish the lilac would bloom in Texas, but I will have to settle for the memories, which will now include this fantastic and mesmerizing novel.

With both historical details and factual details regarding flowers, Where Lilacs Still Bloom incorporates many elements which makes it indescribable. This book goes to top of my list as the Best of 2012. - Marie. burtonbookreview.com




Writer's Recollections

Walt Whitman’s, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” written upon the death of President Lincoln inspired my original title, “When Lilacs Last Bloomed” and my publisher liked it. One day, the historian at the gardens, Judy Card, said "but the lilacs are still blooming here..." and I realized - Lilacs are still blooming despite the challenges Hulda, her family and community faced. So, "Where Lilacs Still Bloom" became the title!

The Oregonian Interivew


Quentin Smith of OregonLive.com interviews Jane. Read it here.


A Pacific Northwest
Best Seller


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2013 Carol Award Winner - Historical Fiction