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Okay, so the title is not too original….but you really do tiptoe through the tulips at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington State!  Venturing down the rows between the tulips is frowned upon, but everyone tiptoes along the edges to get up close and personal with the blooms. Especially if you have a camera in hand!  Now, I just returned from a jaunt down to Seattle a few days ago, and I must confess that we bypassed Mount Vernon and the tulip fields this trip.  Seems Spring has started off slowly this year, so the tulips are a little late but, from what I hear, they should be blooming by this weekend. The photos in this post were taken at last year’s festival (2010).

The festival runs every year from April 1st to April 30th, and sometime during those 30 days, you’re guaranteed to see some blooms!  Over 1 million visitors attend this event each year, and can view over 300 acres of amazing colour. There’s quite a few different farms, viewing gardens planted with every imaginable spring bulb, all sorts of events, and no, that last shot isn’t a close up of me at lunch time, it’s an alpaca.  Even they like the tulips! (One of the fields has some alpaca neighbours you can check out for fun.)  And of course there’s the fields. Breathtaking.

All the photos in this post were taken by moi, and for even more amazing images and further details, you can check out the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival on Facebook.

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Oh my gosh, I was so excited when I did my first post~ I was all keen and everything!  Then, holy cow, over a week’s gone by and I haven’t done a follow up yet!  Oh well, it’s spring break here, and so life has veered from its regular routine the past few days.  This past Saturday, sunshine and a day off did manage to coincide for once, so I did get to spend a few hours in the front garden doing fall clean up. (Fall cleanup?  Wrong season, I know, but what can you do?) Now I’m chomping at the bit to get out back where things are really a bit of a mess. Noticed these beautiful white hyacinth (with a lone little mini daff to keep them company) coming up through some old plant debris that’s left over from the fall. It reminds me of the Dr. Seuss book/movie “Horton Hears a Who”. Remember that classic? There’s a whole village on a speck of dust, and the folks that live there want to get Horton the elephant’s attention, so they all group together and start to chant, “We are here!, We are here!”, and lo and behold, Horton hears them and saves them. The hyacinth are kind of like that….amid a mess of decomposing plant matter, they’ve grouped together  and are chanting “We are here!, We are here!”, and just in case their pure white colour doesn’t get your attention, their fragrance will.  We are here!  We are here!  Pay attention, before they’re gone!

Could there be a better day to start a new blog about gardens than the first day of Spring?  (Okay, you’re right, January 1st would have been a good day, but I didn’t think of it in time!)

Like the mini daffodils that just poked their heads up under the big cedar tree in front of my house, I’m poking my head up into the blogosphere to say hello.   Like those bright, happy, slightly gaudy yellow flowers that chase away the blues and always make me smile, I’m hoping that  “Garden Mad” will do the same for you ~ brighten your day and make you smile!

Welcome, Spring!  Welcome, World!   I’m happy to see you.