For the fifth year in a row, we visit the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in beautiful Mount Vernon. This year the tulip festival is celebrating it’s 28th anniversary.
Tulips and daffodils are grown in a 15-mile triangle of fields between Highway 20, the Skagit River, and the Swinomish Channel. These fertile acres are home to two major display fields, Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde.
We start at the display garden of RoozenGaarde, one of the largest growers of tulips in the US. The beautiful 3 acre display garden features over one quarter million bulbs and over 140 varieties. This authentic Dutch windmill makes a great place to take a family photo to remember your visit to this beautiful display garden. 90 plus tulip varieties in addition to many more varieties of daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, iris, and specialty flowers are on display in tidy beds marked for your convenience so you know which ones you want for your garden. Strolling through the garden we can see some of the 140 varieties on display and unique floral designs, brilliant color combinations, and flowering rivers of deep blue muscari.
Next we visit Tulip Town and the International Peace Gardens. The tulip is the peace flower of the world and there’s an abundance of them here at Tulip Town. The world peace garden features flags from many countries of the world behind the historic Tulip Town windmill and canal. Tulip Town’s owner, Tom De Goede, visited his family in Holland in 2003. After returning from his visit, he was inspired to build a replica of one of the beautiful original windmills he saw in Holland. Master builder Michael Kerley constructed this recreation according to blueprints of the original design.
This year like all the past years, the fields are blooming with beautiful tulips in all the colors of the rainbow. This year there are 19 new varieties of tulips on display in the fields.
Inside there’s a 110’ wall mural depicting beautiful scenes from the Skagit Valley and from Holland where Tulip Town owner Tom de Goede grew up and lived until the mid 1900s. These beautiful wall murals were painted by native Anacortes artist Jennifer Bowman. She is a third generation local artist who also is the winner of the coveted Skagit Valley Tulip poster contest for 2004.
This year’s Tulip Festival poster artist is John Ebner. He grew up on his family’s farm in Sublimity Oregon. He has been painting in watercolors since 1973, when his wife enrolled him in a watercolor art class.
After our visit to the tulip fields, we love to see the tiny Washington State University Discovery Garden nearby. This wonderful little garden showcases plants of the pacific northwest. Master gardeners of the WSU maintain the garden and are often on-site to share their gardening expertise. This lovable garden was created back in 1994 by the master gardener class of that year. It took two years to plan the garden and then in the fall of 1996, the first of the garden was installed. Over the next two years, with the help of the community, the rest of the garden was planted.
The entrance features a small statue in the center and three separate paths that lead to gardens which feature Pacific Northwest themes and plants for each season.
There’s a shade garden that feature idea plants for shady spots in the garden such as hostas, ferns, astilbes and other shade loving plants. The cool color border features plants that create a border of texture and shades of blue, green, purple, lavender, and silver. The hot color border features annuals, perennials and bulbs in hot colors like red, orange, and yellow. The cottage garden is a combination of ornamentals, vegetables, herbs, and fruit. It has a delightful character and whimsical appeal. The late Dr. Richard Hoad was one of a small group of WSU master gardeners who started this great garden. This arbor was created in his memory.
After the WSU Discovery Garden, we visit the 26th annual street fair in the picturesque downtown area of Mount Vernon. There was live music at two stages and a variety of food and arts and crafts booths to explore. Much of the artwork on display in the booths is by local artists and will be judged by a panel of local judges and awarded prizes later in the day.
We hope you’ve enjoyed traveling with us to this year’s Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. It’s always a pleasure to visit this great festival year after year and see the magnificent tulips and other floral displays. It’s time for us to head back home and we look forward to visiting again next year.