Red and Yellow Tulip fields and the mucky mud that surrounded them
Every weekend we try to go out and explore our new area, whether hiking, canoeing, biking, or driving up to British Columbia and finding a new spot up north. After a hike with the kids down at Deception Pass State Park (breathtakingly beautiful) near Mount Vernon, we decided to take a slight detour to see the Skagit Tulip Festival. The festival is a month long 'driving tour' where you can stop at different farms to see the luminous fields of flowers and choose to pick a few to buy for your home.
I had first seen the site of Dutch Roozengaarde on another blog, and I had thought it looked worth the drive, especially if we were in the area. Going on a Saturday wasn't the best time because there were huge crowds everywhere, but we were able to snap a few pictures and gawk like tourists at the colors that illuminated the otherwise dreary landscape.
Light Pink (distance), Dark Pink, and Orange Tulips
Roozengaarde, unfortunately, was a bit of a let down, since we weren't aware you had to pay to go and walk around the fields or into the main area where all the decorative landscaping is. We didn't think a 20 minute jaunt to see flowers was worth the money with two hungry kids in tow, so we decided to stay on the other side of the fence, snap a few pictures, and return home for lunch sans mud thankyouverymuch. As I talked to other locals about it the next day, I found out that payment was a fairly new thing. It used to be completely free, and now all the farms charge for parking, or if they don't charge for parking, for the walking.
I did enjoy learning the history of Roozengaarde ("Rose Garden"), which is that the Roozen family of Holland and now United States, have been a tulip-growing family for over 300 years. The family now owns thousands of Skagit valley acres, all growing tulips, iris, and daffodils. From a quick search online, it appears that they ship year-round from order via www.tulips.com.
a cheap shot
Since the Tulip Festival is only a once-a-year thing, and we were in the area for a hike, I was glad we made the stop. Even spying the tulips from the car while driving from farm to farm was worth it. I've never seen anything like it, the colors so vibrant. There is a chance we won't be in Washington this time next year, so I'm glad we took the opportunity to enjoy it. At the very least, it gave us a chance to get a family shot with an interesting background, even if the it's "the long arm" version.
If you want to see more just google (images) Skagit Tulip Festival, and take a peek!