Went to the tulip fields on Saturday. Degoede Bulb Farm, to be exact. You know it’s a good day in the tulip fields when you have to use the “jet” setting on the hose attachment to clean the mud off of your car and your rubber boots when you get home. I really should have taken a picture of the mud so you could fully appreciate the situation, but I forgot. Oh, well, another time.
I left the husband home for this little adventure. We agreed that it was unlikely he would have enjoyed spending two hours in tulip fields while I sloshed around in the mud taking pictures. That being said, the two of us have a history with tulips.
Tulips are one of my favorite flowers. I did graduate work up at Western Washington University in Bellingham. If you’ve not heard, there’s a little town south of there called Mt. Vernon that happens to be surrounded by some of the most amazing tulip fields I have ever seen. They even have an annual festival. The problem is that the single lane farm roads become impossibly clogged during the festival. When I lived up there I would go down on a weekday prior to the festival when it was just me and the farmers.
The husband and I got engaged in November. We had originally planned on getting married six months after engagement, which would have been May. However, when we started looking at locations for the reception we discovered that summer rates kicked in effective May 1st. That took care of that. April it was! And, what flowers bloom in April? Tulips!!
The wedding colors were sage and…some kind of light purple. I don’t remember what I called it. It’s been almost seven years.
I had a florist set to do the arrangements for the church and the bouquets and boutonnieres. But, I wanted very simple decor for the tables and mantle at the reception. I decided to DIY it, so I contacted Van Lierop bulb farm in Sumner and arranged to purchase 300 tulips. I got a little worried as the ceremony approached because you can’t dictate when certain colors of tulips are going to bloom when they’re field grown.
Amazingly enough, we had two beautiful shades of purple as well as ivory on our wedding day. And thanks to the amazing design work of my cousin’s wife (who used to work in a florist shop) the arrangements came out beautifully. And, of course, it remains one of the best days of my life.
So, Degoede. I arrived under cloudy skies. Had some rain off-and-on during the drive. Eh, who cares. I had my boots, I had my raincoat. Rain keeps the people away. I parked in the lot next to the garden center and headed to the field. Only to find…well…very few tulips in bloom. Most were still tightly budded.
At first I was pretty disappointed. But, the more I tromped around the more I began to see the beauty in those buds.
I spent about an hour in the fields, then headed into the garden store to buy tulips for the house. I chatted with the cashier and she told me that there were a couple of fields in bloom. Down the road, around the corner. Look for the signs. Well, okay then!
Down the road and around the corner I went. Onto a farm road. A muddy farm road. I have a Toyota Corolla. I love it, but it’s really not a performance vehicle. I talked my way out to the field, assuring myself that if I got stuck there were lots of workers around to assist (but really not wanting to embarrass myself by getting stuck). I got out there and, sure enough, it was a thing of beauty.
As I was pulling my boots back on a young family pulled up. They were in tennis shoes. They didn’t stay long. Which left me. All alone. In the tulip field. Now that, my friends, is bliss.
I spent another hour tromping around in puddles and mud, getting my fill, before heading home. All-in-all a good day.