Our parent company is Washington Bulb Company, Inc., the largest grower of tulips, Daffodils and irises in the United States. All our bulbs are hand-sorted, inspected and packaged in our Skagit Valley facilities amidst the tulip fields. We keep the bulbs in a climate-controlled environment until they're ready to
be shipped for planting in your area.
P.O. Box 1248
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
|From the President:
everyone! To kick off the New Year,
winter temperatures have dropped to their lowest levels in the Pacific
Northwest - and apparently across most of every other state too. Snow blankets the summit of Mount Baker
in the distance and dusts the hillsides nearby, while the earth is
frozen and water sitting between the rows of bulbs in our fields has
transformed into ice. The trumpeter
swans and flocks of snow geese descending upon the Skagit Valley do not seem to
be affected by the chill, and neither are the tulip, daffodil, and iris bulbs, which were long ago tucked safely into the earth. These bulbs were planted in mounded rows
of soil to protect their contents from both the wettest days of late autumn and
the coldest periods of winter.
Those frozen pools of water that have formed in the fields? They sit below the level at which the bulbs
are planted. And those frozen
rows? Dig past the surface layer
and you will find sprouting bulbs that are well insulated by the thick mound of
environment is drier and warmer inside, and that is where the majority of our winter
work is taking place. In the
greenhouses we are picking the first stems of greenhouse Daffodils along with a
wide assortment of tulip and Asiatic lily colors. In the warehouse we are bunching
together individual flower stems and packing bunches for shipment. And in the potting area, trays that have completed a cooling period are entering the greenhouses so that their tulip blooms will color by Valentine's Day.
There may be four distinct seasons in this area, but with our greenhouse
operation, tulips have become a flower for the entire year - not only a
short period in the spring.
everyone can keep bundled up and under cover through the coldest days of
winter. Here on the farm, we will
continue to do just that until the daylight lasts a little longer, the air
becomes a little warmer, and the daffodils outside grow quite a bit
taller. When that finally happens,
we will begin to harvest the first Dutch Master stems in our fields and we will
know that spring is just around the corner. Until then, stay warm. And for you adventurous types...enjoy the
|Tulip Festival Fact
Festival runs from April 1st to April 30th each year and
this year will be no different.
However, over the past 4 years we have experienced one of our earliest,
latest, and arguably the longest bloom periods in the history of the Festival
- perhaps even in the history of our company. During the early bloom we saw our tulip
fields begin to color around the 20th of March. A late spring slowed the blooms from
coloring until the latter half of April.
And the long period was filled with cold temperatures and cloudy skies
creating conditions that resembled a valley sized refrigerator. As the spring approaches, make sure to
check out our Bloom Map for
updates on the latest information on all of our flower fields.
|Did You Know?
All of our
flowers are planted, grown, picked, and shipped from our farm right here in the
Skagit Valley! We do not have any
call centers, or drop shippers, or regional centers for order fulfillment. It all takes place right here - on
the farm. We know exactly what we
are shipping to our customers because these flowers are grown virtually right next
to our office. Each day we pick tulips (and other flowers) and
ship them overnight to our customers across the United States so that recipients
can enjoy the freshest and highest quality flowers available! Customer orders are processed in the
morning, packed in the afternoon, shipped out in the late afternoon, and then
delivered the very next morning or day.
Tulips sent to recipients in Florida and New York travel nearly 3000
miles in less than a day's time!
That's garden fresh.
|Fresh Cut Flowers for the New Year
flowers...a new year means a fresh selection of fresh cut flowers! Greenhouse
Daffodils are now available and begin the slow lead up to the spring season. These forced Daffodils differ from our field cut version in that we cut them right at the base of the stem allowing for all of the
plant's foliage to remain attached.
Cutting at the base also presents a longer stem suitable for taller
vases. We only grow one daffodil
variety in our greenhouses: Dutch Master - sometimes referred to as King
selection of fresh cut tulips is now available: pink, purple, red, white, yellow, and orange. We will always display our most common
tulip offerings on our website, but if you would like to know if we have any
tulips that are a little different or unique growing in our greenhouses, give
us a call! We are famous for our
tulips, but we also grow some outstanding Asiatic lilies throughout the
year. These flowers provide
colorful blooms for a lengthy period and have little or no scent. They are also excellent value!
Q. Can I
store my flower bulbs in the refrigerator and plant them next fall?
No. Plant them now! If it is cold and raining outside? Plant your bulbs now. If the ground is frozen outside but the
weather will warm in a couple of days?
Plant your bulbs in the ground next week or in a container today. If the surface layer is still frozen
when the weather warms? Work the
ground and then plant your bulbs.
If the ground will not thaw until later this winter? Plant your bulbs in containers or
pots. If the weather is still 80
degrees and you are cooling your bulbs?
You should probably go ahead and plant now anyways.
We get this
question (and similar versions) more than any other, so we try to answer it as
often as possible. Bulbs must be
planted in the fall so that they can bloom on the spring - they follow a
biological clock which cannot be stopped.
If flower bulbs are not planted they will begin to dehydrate,
disintegrate, and the flower developing inside will eventually die - so
too will the bulb. The short
answer: plant those bulbs. Now.
Q. Should I
be worried that my tulips and Daffodils are beginning to sprout?
common question...filled with unnecessary worry! Even if you live in the colder northern
half of the country, there is a good chance that you have already started to
see Daffodils and
some early tulips pushing through the soil. This is
nothing out of the ordinary and it is unlikely that you will need to consider
any extra protection to shield this greenery from the elements. Pots, planters, and containers can be
moved inside a garage or covered with a blanket during periods of extreme cold,
but bulbs planted in the ground should be fine. What you see poking from the ground at
this time is foliage growth (mostly the tips of leaves) and the most important
part of the plant (the flower) is still developing while tucked down in the
soil. Iris and muscari will
have the most foliage growth at this time, which is surprising for many
considering that iris are the last of the bulbs to bloom each spring.
Helpful Tip: make sure to keep the soil within containers moist during the winter
months. Extended periods with
freezing temperatures can dry out the soil and cause the bulbs to become
Q. How do I
keep my bulbs from growing so quickly?
growing in your flower garden are simply responding to nature, so unless you
can control the weather then you cannot control the speed at which your bulbs
grow. Bulbs will grow faster in
warmer conditions with ample light.
Conversely, they will grow more slowly in colder and darker
conditions. Both temperature and
lighting are nearly impossible to manipulate in a natural environment. The bulbs planted in your garden are responding to temperature and their environment, so keep this in mind
even if the growth in your flower bed seems a little bit ahead (or behind)
schedule. Also, the growth of your
bulbs will tend to normalize over the coming weeks.
|Happy New Year!
new resolutions, new ideas...do you have any questions or topics that you would
like to have answered or discussed in a future newsletter? Or ideas that you would like us to
explore? Please give us your feedback. We like to hear what our customers have
|From Our Customers
Mary E. when she says, "With tulips, everything goes with everything!"