For five weeks in the spring, locals and out-of-towners flock to Washington’s Skagit Valley countryside. Tourists fly in from around the globe to view the rainbow of tulip farms that dot the landscape.
Lasting the entire month of April and typically the last week in March, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival revolves around the blooming of these lustrous bulbs. The height of the festival is the cream of the crop, when tulips, daffodils and irises line the fields and an array of manicured gardens.
But the flowers are plucked from their beds just nigh of the end of their prime. Afterall, the festival is, in fact, celebratory anticipation of the impending harvest. Soon, the tulips finish out their lives adorning coffee tables and countertops.
Washington’s temperate climate makes for the ideal locale to grow these temperamental, ambiguous petaled beauties. Whether they are perennials or annuals depends on their geography.
Native to Eastern Turkey and the Himalayan lowlands, tulips migrated over to the U.S. with the Dutch. Not surprisingly, the Netherlands host suitable weather for the plants to flourish. Holland, Michigan is also known for its tulip festivities.
This year’s Skagit Valley Tulip Festival did not disappoint. Though it’s come and gone, you can mark your calendars for next year’s blooming celebration. In the meantime, get ready for wild berry season in the Pacific Northwest! Homemade jams await!