Thursday, May 24, 2012

2012 Tulip Season in the Skagit Valley

Roozengaarde Gardens
Tulip season has come and gone in the Pacific Northwest.  There was no better place to spend it than the Skagit Valley throughout the month of April.

I enjoyed three separate visits to the area.  My first visit was a solo trip to photograph the daffodils - a beautiful precursor to the tulips, which usually peak in late March.
Subsequent photography trips were made with photographer friends Brad Wetli and Kevin Ebi.  Kevin and I were fortunate enough to hit Roozengaarde Gardens at their prime.

Rows of tulips at Roozengaarde Gardens
Of course, we weren't alone when visiting Roozengaarde Gardens.  Not even close.  This place packs them in fast, especially on weekends.  I highly recommend arriving early.

The fields were a little disappointing this year.  The few we could find were still a week away - I suspect the final days of April.  This is extremely late for them.  The exception was the field directly behind (east) of Roozengaarde Gardens, which was spectacular.  Access was the issue, however.  If you wished to photograph it during prime light, I'm not sure access was legally available (though the fact they demanded to see your ticket stub upon re-admittance to the gardens tells me it was possible).

All the fields I have enjoyed photographing over the years were not planted this year.  They remained barren.  This includes my absolute favorite, the field that surrounds the parking lot across the street from Roozengaarde Gardens.  Why do I like this particular field so much?  Because it has a gentle up slope to it to better catch the rows of different color tulips, and offers the snow-clad Olympic Mountains as a backdrop on sunny days.

Tulips at Roozengaarde Gardens in Skagit Valley.
Hopefully the planting rotation rewards photographers next year.  We can hope!

I will be adding tulip images to my web site at soon.  In the meantime, feel free to visit for any of my other photography from around the Western U.S.

Thanks for visiting.