Tag Archive | flowers

2019 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

April 13, 2019, Skagit Valley, Washington

The Skagit Valley, just south of my home is one of the most productive agricultural areas in Washington.  Specifically, for flowers.  Even more specifically, for tulips and daffodils.  Every spring, the tulip fields are awash in color as the beautiful flowers peek out through the soil.  Every fall, these same fields are dug up, so the bulbs and their associated baby bulbs can be sorted; the bulbs large enough to flower are sold to people around the world who want beautiful tulips in their gardens.  The rest are replanted to grow bigger!

There are two main growers in the Skagit Valley who have beautiful display gardens.  In the spring, when the flowers are blooming, they charge an admission fee to see the gardens.  They are gorgeous!  Roozengaarde plants about a million bulbs each fall to create their display gardens, and each year the displays are different.  Yes, you read that correctly – a million bulbs!  In addition to the tulips, there are daffodils, narcissus, muscari and hyacinth.

Katy and I went down to see the gardens before continuing on to our other friend’s house further south.  The weather was dark, rainy, freezing and windy, but we didn’t let that stop us from enjoying the bright pop of color!  You can see in some of the photos just how windy it was.  The gardens are planted to create patterns; stripes and waves, and there are always a few surprise features.  This year it was the Seahawks football team logo!  Enjoy the tour!

After our visit, we stopped at the Porterhouse Pub for a bite to eat.  I had the salmon fish and chips and a cider, which were both absolutely delicious!

March Sunrise…

The sunrise yesterday morning was beautiful!  It wasn’t quite so stunning a few hours later as it was pouring rain, but I guess I will take what I can get…

March 2018 Sunrise

And, at long last, I finally have the beginnings of flowers!  Spring might finally arrive!

Crocus! Spring is coming!

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Jon and I took some time on Saturday to make a trip down to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.  If you are from this area, you either love it or you hate it – or some of both.  Because although the flowers are beautiful, and make for some excellent photo opportunities, they also produce some of the worst traffic jams north of Seattle.

Jon and I got there before lunchtime, and while we did experience some traffic back up as we made our way out to the fields, it was ten times worse for the poor folks that we saw heading out on our way back.  A line of cars several miles long.

We visited RoozenGaarde, a family farm that was founded by Dutch immigrants William and Helen Roozen in 1955.  It has grown from a 5 acre farm to over 2,000 acres in the Skagit Valley, with about 1,000 acres dedicated to the production of tulips, daffodils, and irises.  Fun fact: Even though the Skagit Valley is famous for its tulips, there are actually more daffodils grown there!

The RoozenGaarde display garden is 3.5 acres, and each year it is planted with an incredible 1/4 million bulbs – tulips, daffodils and muscari.  ONE QUARTER MILLION!  It makes my back hurt just thinking about it!

I would love to have a garden full of tulips, but unfortunately the resident deer that do the rounds of my yard each day would be thanking me for the appetizers long before any tulip blooms appeared.  Sigh…  So, I will just have to enjoy the flowers in the display garden.  I hope you enjoy them too!

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Bye Bye Summer! See You Next Year!

The rain and wind have moved in this week, making it abundantly clear that summer is over.  Although it may clear up for a sunny, dry fall, I am reminded about how fleeting summer is and all the things I will miss.  In no particular order:

Being warm.  You know, that warmth that just radiates all the way down into your bones?  I love that feeling.

Fresh berries.  Raspberries are one of our largest agricultural crops here.  There is even a raspberry festival.  I love those freshly picked berries – even better when they are warmed by the sun!

Skirts.  I go several months at work in the summer months without ever wearing pants – I love skirts!

Hiking.  No mud, great blue skies and clear views; there is nothing quite like hiking in the summer.

Jon Heading Up Into the Arboretum

Jon Heading Up Into the Arboretum

Dinner on the deck.  With food grilled on the BBQ.  Perfection.

Waking up when it is light out.  That makes it so much easier!

Summer vacations.  Even if I don’t have a summer vacation, everybody else does!  And that means work is quieter, because people aren’t around.  But for some reason this year the summer was insanely busy.  Maybe next year.

The View Behind our Hotel in Pendleton, Oregon

The View Behind our Hotel in Pendleton, Oregon

Rosé wine.  I do buck the trend and drink Rosé all year long, but is certainly goes better with summer.  And dinner on the deck.

The Crusher - Pinot Noir Rose

The Crusher – Pinot Noir Rose

Lower bills.  I have to admit I do love the lower costs of gas and electric when the heat is off and the lights aren’t needed.  I know this isn’t true for all, but in a region where air conditioning is rare and almost always not needed, that $19 August gas bill is wonderful.

Flowers.  I love walking the neighborhoods and seeing all the beautiful flowers blooming in yard.  Dahlias, hydrangeas, lilies, Black-eyed Susans; there is something about seeing flowers that soothes the soul.

What are you going to miss now that summer is gone?