Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tulips in Skagit Valley

Each April, the Skagit valley holds its annual tulip festival. The area is blessed with rich soil and ideal growing conditions for tulips, daffodils, and other flowers. During the festival, two of the main growers let tourists visit their fields. By now, this has grown in the a huge festival, with art shows, wine tastings, music, and cultural events. The chamber of commerce estimates that this "Christmas in April" brings a 20% increase in sales tax receipts and a 56% increase in lodging tax receipts to the region.

Tulips are planted in the field in rows spaced widely enough to allow tractors to drive through.

In one field, we saw workers carefully remove blooms:

If you think these are to be sold as cut flowers, not so fast. These flowers ended up in a dump truck. Normally, flowers are cut by machine, so that the plants direct their energy towards making bigger bulbs.

A field of daffodils

We saw tulips in all shapes, colors, and sizes

tulip shaped  tulip (Darwin Hybrid)

double or peony flowered tulip

lily flowered


double flamed

species (tarda)

double fringed
 And then there were acres of display gardens. If all this looks "Dutch" to you, no wonder, While bulbs have been grown here since the early 1900's, the two biggest farms were started and are still run by Dutch immigrants.

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