I can't help but smile when I notice the daffodils, tulips and grape hyacinth peeking up through my garden for the first time each year. I don't know if anything shouts Spring louder than these friendly bulbs (except of course actually yelling "Spring!", but that would be strange to do so). Tulips + baby birds singing + crisp, sunny mornings = days like no other in Seattle.
Washington's most colorful treasure is found in the Skagit Valley, nestled between the Puget Sound and the Cascade range. According to Wikipedia "Tulips are indigenous to mountainous areas with temperate climates and need a period of cool dormancy"...sounds about right. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is one of twelve tulip festivals in all of North America, I'd say that's a rare treat to have in your backyard.
We always enjoy making a day of walking the fields and strolling through the shops in downtown La Conner. If you come during the festival, especially on weekends, be prepared for heavy traffic on two lane country roads. Many people choose to bike from one garden to the other, my sister and I did this one year and felt that drivers were pedestrian conscious. The two farms to visit are the sophisticated Roozengaarde, and the lively Tulip Town, which both have an admission price. Some years we have paid to walk the impressive gardens, but other years, we've been content to visit the free ones, sprinkled throughout the valley. This is such a happy place, everyone's cheerful mood is contagious.
Crates of Tulips
One of my favorite varieties: Angelique
My husband is so artistic
What a sweet face
Even the grassy fields are beautiful
We have always had good food at Seeds.
The sister restaurant: Calico Cupboard Cafe and Bakery
has a fresh menu of salads, sandwiches, and amazing Peanut Butter Bars.
Gifty shops, I particularly like Go Outside, located on E Morris,
which has an assortment of books, gardening supplies, journals, gift wrap, etc.
Old fashioned charm
Another jewel to hit on your way out of town, Snow Goose Produce serves homemade waffle cones and fun ice cream flavors. Bring cash!
For Skagit Valley Tulip Festival dates click here.