Of Dandelions, But Mostly Tulips

Just a few days ago, the greens were dotted with so many tiny yellow wildflowers, you know the ones that stick close to the ground and look relentlessly cheerful. Dandelions. Today as I ran by the Hudson on this decidedly cool Sunday, millions of minute grey ripples dissolving into the stones of the breakwater, I noted that the dandelions have transitioned into balls of white puff. So now there are carpets of white blooms waiting to be blown away by the wind.

The joys of the season are unlimited, aren’t they? Just a few weeks ago, I was staring at rows of tulips which seemed to nod under the bright blue skies that hung over the Skagit Valley in Washington. Even before we made it to the tulip fields, I was enchanted by the traditional barns that stood upon open green fields and pastures, the horses, the startling blue of the Pacific in the distance. There were fields of crops everywhere we looked. For miles it was flat countryside with the Cascades on the horizon and it was the trappings of the rural life that you saw in the Skagit.

If the Skagit grows enough potatoes, kale and cabbage to feed the entire country, it has enough tulips every spring to satiate the senses. The first tulip bulbs travelled to the Skagit from the Netherlands in 1906, courtesy a woman called Mary Brown Stewart.

We ended up at acres of tulips at Roozengarde, a tulip garden started by William Roozen from Heemstede in Holland. He left behind his 200-year-old bulb family business back home in the wake of German troops withdrawing from Holland after WWII. With his wife, Roozen arrived in the Skagit Valley. It had captured his heart during an earlier visit. He worked with bulb farmers and then bought over the Washington Bulb Company that is said to be the largest producer of tulips, irises and daffodils in the country.

In the Roozengarde with its small windmill and fields of tulips, I was overwhelmed. Never had I seen so many beautiful blooms in so many different colours. Neither could I stop exclaiming at the size of the bulbs. Adi had to stay back to work but the in-laws and I feasted our eyes upon this cornucopia of bulbs on a sunny day and wound up at a Snow Goose Produce where the ice creams were as massive as a sumo wrestler’s fist. As I walked with my overladen waffle cone, topped up with creamy dollops of maple and coffee flavours, towards a bench, a woman laughed and wondered aloud if I could indeed finish this not-so-modest treat. No pressure, of course. So I sat with my mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law with our respective booties, stared at the snowy cone of Mount Baker in the distance, and let my nose too have a fair share of the wonderful ice cream before we left with sticky hands and happy faces.

As for the ice cream, it remained an unfinished business, but we shall keep it for another day at Snow Goose when I have fasted for a week at the least.

For what is this life if not for lofty aspirations?

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Courtesy: My Dream Canvas

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And a dandelion for the day.


Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

74 thoughts on “Of Dandelions, But Mostly Tulips

  1. LOVING all the flowers pictures !! :):) what is it about them? Doesn’t matter how many of these I see every single season, a new one always brings a smile to the face xx


    1. Thank you Anushree. There is enough here to last me this entire year, I believe. This was my introduction to what the Keukenhof might be all about. Maybe someday I will see its original glory too! xx


  2. Wow! What a beautiful place, I would love to visit. I think the pink tulips are my favourite! Sounds like you had a wonderful experience 🙂


    1. Thank you Sammy. I was torn between the white, pink and the peach. I want entire patches of them! Why settle for less? 🙂 xx


  3. Your skill as a writer has me drooling with delight at the image of the landscape and those gorgeous waxy blooms in kaleidoscopic colours and plays straight to my love of tulips. And Ice-cream. Never forgetting ice-cream. As for dandelions – what delights those happy, soft to the touch, outrageously yellow blooms but yet more delight when you pick a ‘clock’ and take bets on whether you can blow the correct time (I find this is where alternating 12 hour and 24 hour clocks has its use!) I hope the sun is shining now as it is a bit farther up the East Coast here in Mahusive Chewsets wink 😉 x


    1. So you are the dandelion child 🙂 Now I have never thought of that — the alternating 12-and 24-hour concept.
      Thank you Osyth. You are just kind. I have rather rambled on as usual because my mind was more occupied by a writing project. Consider me dazzled by those tulips that I was lost for words when it came to their beauty.
      How are you settling in, in ‘Mahusive Chewsets’ then? 😀 xx


      1. Your rambling is beautifully pitched! Mahusive Chewsetts is getting used to me again and I am getting used to it. Boston is always a delight and Cambridge too and I have been and said howdy to Concord and Lexington and reminded them that I AM British and I don’t want too much shouting about beating the lobsterbacks and all that mess 😂. I miss France with a constant ache but I know I am hugely fortunate to be here and I do have my husband on tap now which happens to be a bonus!!! Xx


      2. Hah HB2 on tap 🙂 Why do I love that expression! Yeah you let them know that there’s no messing with The Osyth, and that we have your back here, e’en though we be a few hours away. I am yet to see Boston and Cambridge. One of my neighbours, a sweet gay boy studied in Cambridge, MIT, and had only good things to say about it. So I am curious. xx


      3. Boston and Cambridge are both very English in feel. I think you would love both. I’m rather jealous of your neighbour – I would love to study at MIT or Harvard (probably the latter for me given that I’m a compete spanner when it comes to all things clever engineering and science-wise!!) But a degree in Literature at Harvard would definitely appeal! When your curiosity gets the better of me give me some warning and we can be badly behaved scone and cake scoffers together!!! xx


      4. Now that is an invite I cannot say no to. I shall give you enough notice if I am there your side anytime soon. One of these days, if Adi is driving to his client’s, I shall hop on board and appear in your neck of the woods. No scones and cakes shall weep in a corner, I vow.
        As for the Harvard dream, it is never too late non? xx


      5. Hurrah hurrah for the Gay Hussar as grandmother was fond of saying (we know not why) … this will be uber spiffing indeed! Harvard? Nothing is ever too late – we just have to fit so much in to these charmed lives, don’t we? 😀 xx


      6. Hah that expression is too cute. So much indeed…I have many alter-egos to fit in all that I have not managed so far 🙂 xx


      7. And I wanted to add that I can only imagine the change in the very way of life. That you miss France so. It is bittersweet but with time it will get better, and if not, just pop back for a long holiday? *hugs xx


      8. Thank you. It is comforting to have someone who understands. I know it will get better and it is unlikely to be forever but as you know the call of the place we call home comes in waves. But positive thinking is the key and I refuse to let wistful thoughts stop me from enjoying every moment of this adventure because whoever knows what is next in life? xx


  4. This post started so promising with lovely photos but somehow my Mac can’t load 3/4 of the images. I’ll leave you here and try to again with a new approach. 🙂


    1. Hi Klausbernd, I am sorry. Firstly, your comment got deposited in the spam folder, and secondly, I had not checked the blog in the last few days, so the updates were not in place. And which is why you have not been able to see the images properly. But now I have rectified this update problem. Thanks for the feedback. Cheers.


      1. You are very welcome.
        Wishing you a great day
        With lots of love from the little village next the big sea
        The Fab Four of Cley


    1. Thank you Jo! The thing is I should have just bought those jars. Now I am wondering about the taste of huckleberry jam too :-/ xx


    1. Thank you Anni 🙂 You would have loved the field of tulips, especially the yellow rows of them.xx


    1. I hear you love. Sorry, this comment went into the spam folder and I got it rather late. I keep forgetting to keep an eye on this naughty folder! xx


  5. Lovely pics of the tulips. This place has been on my mind to visit for ages and so nice to see and read about it in your post! That ice cream looks delicious as well!


    1. You have heard of it, is it? Well if you are there, you gotta drop by at the Snow Goose produce barn nearby. It is absolutely sinful 🙂 xx


      1. My friends have been talking about it , but couldn’t make it till now.. and it is almost end of grade and exam time here . I definitely will keep that in mind Dippy, we are huge ice cream fans 🙂


  6. Well, I was finally able to see your beautiful photos through Instagram. I don’t know why but my computer won’t load your photos through WordPress. Anyways, loved reading about how the Tulips came to Skagit in the early 20th century! The waffle cone sounds delectable! – Neek


    1. Thank you Neek. I just checked and I had a few updates I had not paid heed to. Now you should be able to see them. The tulips of Skagit should be guilt of culture appropriation, eh? 😛 😀 xx


      1. Yes, now I see your always lovely photos! The Bumbleberry jam looks delectable – would love to try it on toast or freshly baked biscuits. The tulips of Skagit may be guilty of the cultural appropriation but how beautiful it is! Hee Hee! – Neek


      2. Yay! 🙂 Just the name got me…Bumbleberry. Adi calls me Bumblebee (the naughty fellow insists he has been stung a few times), but methinks Bumbleberry’s finer.

        Talking about cultural appropriation, I find it annoying how it is being bandied about on social media now. Isn’t the expression highly annoying? Culture is hardly anyone’s dominion *and thus she ends her mini-rant


      3. Lol! So Adi has been stung a little by the Bumblebee. Perhaps he deserved it? ;-P Yes, I do agree about cultural appropriation. We live in such a global society that I would see it more as a compliment rather than an appropriation. Besides I like mini-rants, I often have them myself 😉


      4. This is the benevolent bumblebee. Only a few doses in a year.
        As for the mini-rant, here’s to us and then this grey week. Hope it is brighter at your end! xx


    1. Thank you sweetheart. Flowers just naturally brighten our days, don’t they? And when you see a field of them, it is just too amazing to pass up. xx


    1. And here I was thinking, I was the only one who had not seen them in such a plethora of colours and hybrids. Seattle is a day trip for you, right? It is not a bad bet. xx


      1. Seattle is not quite a day trip for me which is unfortunate. I’m sure there would be tulip fields like that here somewhere. 🤔 Might have to look into it.


    1. Thank you Theresa, the tulips were champions.
      That is exactly what my sis-in-law had to say about our holiday! Enough sun to make it a winner 🙂 xx


  7. This season really is full of wonders – so far, I have grabbed every opportunity to spend time in nature, wandering and getting lost among beautiful flowers. And I have to say that tulips are definitely some of my favourites. As always, I loved reading about your adventures and the stunning photographs. Hope you are having a fabulous May so far 🙂 xox


    1. Hi Maria, I have been a bit busy over the weekend with friends visiting, so apologies for the delayed response. But thank you for the sweet comment. You are making the most of the season it seems 🙂 I am indeed having a vibrant May…here’s to a wonderful summer ahead to you, love. xx


    1. They were? Now that is a new bit of information for me. Thanks Brianji, for enlightening me with this tulip trivia.


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