“Spring is the awaited season. . . . Not a season at all but a longing.  At my age it is natural to ask:  how many more times shall I witness this waiting?  The waiting is for a new beginning.  It is not a question of the year being young but of the offer of choices again.  In the winter of discontent, there are not choices.”
— John Berger, The Shape of a Pocket

Tulip field, Skagit Valley

Tulip field, Skagit Valley

Last year in April I was in the Netherlands seeking the elusive tulip — elusive because unseasonably cold weather delayed the blooms until the very end of the month.  This year I was content to travel closer to home.  The Skagit Valley, about an hour’s drive north of Seattle, hosts a month-long Tulip Festival every April.  And many fields are in peak bloom right now.  I never tire of the spectacular, jewel-toned flower fields, so different from the corn and oats and soy bean fields of my Midwest childhood.

Here are some photos from the 2014 growing season:

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Tulips, Soon

April 15, 2011

A little more sun and warmth will bring out the tulips!

Tulip in the morning light

The tulips are late this year.  The ones in my neighborhood are just about ready to bloom.  A little sun and some warmth will help. 

I’m not sure whether I’ll make the drive to the Skagit Valley this year to see the tulip fields in bloom.  The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival runs from April 1st -30th, but the growers’ fields are late, too.  I’ve been keeping my eye on the map showing fields in bloom.  You can link to it here: http://www.tulips.com/bloommap.cfm.

Early Tulips

March 8, 2010

The Skagit Valley is perhaps best known for its annual Tulip Festival in April.  I would expect that the tulip fields will begin blooming in late March this year.  I thought I might see some ribbons of color in the fields on my weekend drive, but I saw only the yellow of daffodils.  I did see a handful of individually blooming tulips in the demonstration gardens at Roozengaarde.  Many more were still tightly furled buds.

Tulip bed at Roozengaarde

Early tulip bud

The promise of a tulip bud

Unfurled tulip

Yellow tulip just about to burst into bloom

Tulips and shadows

Assembling a fresh bouquet in the Roozengaarde gift shop