The Great Tulip Tour
I had the opportunity recently to take a bus tour of the Skagit Valley tulip fields. What an experience! During the day, we stopped at three tulip specimen gardens (with gift shop, of course) and two fields. Although I had heard about the tulip fields, I was still amazed at the panorama of totally-red fields, or yellow, or orange. It was truly amazing.
One of the places we stopped was called Tulip Town. I've shown a picture of their front-door display above. I have to admit, I'm just about ready to go looking for an old wooden wagon and whiskey barrel to recreate the scene. While I wasn't terribly impressed by their "Inside Flower Show", I had to admit that, when you could see the tulips, they were truly gorgeous. I picked up the order form and marked my selections. I'm not into ivory as a color (looks great on some people, but I'm not one of them), the HUGE ivory tulips on display made me decide that my garden would not be complete next year without at least one "clump" of the ivory wonders. I can imagine them now next to my Temple of Beauty lily-flowering tulips. The picture above doesn't show it well, but the tulips in the basket were a short-bowled, clear lavender tulip. I just wish that they had put tags on them, 'cause I couldn't find them in the inside display anywhere. I'll just keep looking, I guess.
Tulip Town had a good-sized barn-type structure with displays of just about all of the tulips on their order form. It was really a shame that the light was poor enough to make seeing the true colors almost impossible. I did mark down the Blue Heron fringed tulips and the Princess Diana tulips as some to consider for next year.
Next we wandered through the fields. Even though some of the fields had been topped already of blooms, the ones that were left were fantastic. The wannabe artist in me thrilled when we drove past a field of yellow tulips with one lone red tulip in the midst of the sea of yellow.
The tulip growers in the Skagit Valley put on quite a show, and I was thankful that we picked a Tuesday near the end of the growing season for our trip. The bus driver said that the line of cars was literally miles long of people trying to see the fields just three days before. I know that I don't have the patience for that. In fact, that's the reason I haven't gone up for the Tulip Festival in the past. Of course, if you're coming from Seattle, there's a ferry that will take you straight from the Seattle docks to a quaint dock in La Conner where the Tulip Transit bus is ready to take you to the fields. So, one needn't drive the trip, and the Tulip Transit busses have priority parking at most of the fields and markets..
We stopped at one of the fields to take pictures. I thought that the picture above said a lot about our trip to tulip country. After a very pleasant lunch at an out-of-the-way inn, we stopped at one more tulip stand for everybody to buy tulips to take back to brighten our homes and remind us of a glorious day.
If you get the opportunity to visit the Skagit Valley during the months of March and April, I can heartily recommend it.