At my house in Colorado, I look forward to the yearly emergence of a single crocus in our front flower bed. I have no idea when it was planted or by whom, but it likes to pop up in late February or early March, when heavy snows are still likely.
That little red crocus is our hopeful harbinger of spring.
And then I learned about tulips in Texas and my Colorado crocus seemed quaint: A giant tulip field near San Antonio is blooming in a rainbow of colors, and anyone can stop by for a visit starting Jan. 23, according to the farm’s Instagram:
Texas-Tulips is a bona fide local attraction: Pay the $5 entry fee and frolic among the flowers for an afternoon. For $2.50 per stem, guests can also pick tulips to bring home.
The same team runs another tulip farm near Dallas, too. That one opens a few weeks later, in mid-February.
It all depends on the weather, of course. But Texas isn’t the only place where you can celebrate sunny days with a cheery bouquet. Here are few other spots where guests are welcome to tiptoe through the tulips:
Holland America Flowers, Washington State
This year’s opening dates for Holland America’s public tulip fields haven’t yet been announced. But it’s not too early to plan if you live nearby. The farm is located about 30 miles north of Portland, Oregon, and is open dawn to dusk during the spring bloom. Like Texas-Tulips, Holland America also offers a “u-pick” tulip field like the one shown below in a previous season.
Wicked Tulips Flower Farm, Rhode Island
Tulips are coming to the New England latitudes, and Wicked Tulips is ready. For its 2020 season, the farm moves to Exeter, Rhode Island, just a bit south of Providence. No word yet on this year’s opening dates and ticket prices, but the website mentions that fields could begin opening in late April. Picnics are welcome and photos are encouraged. According to this pic from the farm’s Instagram account, last year’s opening day on the farm was a sell-out!
Burnside Farms, Virginia
This huge flower farm, about 40 miles outside of Washington D.C., hosts a giant “u-pick” event each year called The Festival of Spring. The family-friendly fiesta features live music, bounce houses, games and wooden clogs to borrow (for when you’re feeling super-Dutch). Dates haven’t been announced for this year’s festival — the flowers can be fickle — but a recent Instagram post from the farm says that mid-April is typical.
Tulip Time, Iowa
An annual festival that celebrates Dutch culture, Tulip Time is the signature event in the town of Pella, Iowa. Pella was settled in the 19th century by immigrants from The Netherlands, and the town’s architecture and traditions reflect their history. During Tulip Time, tourists take in flower-laden parades, live music and, of course, thousands upon thousands of tulips.
The Vermeer Windmill, the tallest working windmill in the United States, is a town landmark and offers tours. Tulip Time 2020 is slated for May 7 through May 9. Instagrammer acorn1988 caught some snaps at last year’s Tulip Time that capture the spirit:
I must say, looking at all these photos of flowers has put me in a good mood. Happy (eventual) spring, everybody!