News flash: Spring officially arrived, in squishing galoshes and full-body Gore-Tex, at 4:02 this morning, Pacific Daylight Time, a day or two earlier than normal. Our lingering wintry weather has kept a contingent of snow geese and migratory swans in the Skagit Valley, I noticed on a drive this past weekend. It reminded me of this week’s stunning Reader’s Lens photo, above, from Times reader Yoshiki Nakamura. Click here to learn more about the photo.
On the same drive across Fir Island and along Best Road, we spied fields of blooming daffodils spreading yellow across the valley floor like French’s mustard smeared across a hot-dog bun. (Note: This is a full-value blog, with no extra charge for mouthwatering imagery.) Click here to see what’s blooming where in the valley. Tulip lovers still have weeks to wait unless we have a freak heat wave.
Meanwhile, the Skagit Valley town of La Conner is celebrating March with a tongue-in-cheek Unofficial Daffodil Festival, with no planned events but lots of yellow flowers nearby. According to Brent Roozen, owner of RoozenGaarde and the Washington Bulb Company, his firm grows more than 450 acres of daffodils in the Skagit Valley, compared to 350 acres of its more-famous tulips.
Dandy Daffodil facts
- The three major varieties planted are Dutch Master, Flower Carpet and Standard Value. Dutch Master is the world’s most popular daffodil.
- Fields of daffodils are left intact through the bloom cycle and beyond, unlike tulips which are “topped” toward the end of their bloom cycle.
- Daffodil crops are rotated every three years, versus an every-year rotation for tulips, so that daffodil fields that have been planted three years this year will have filled in to be a solid wash of bright yellow.