Saturday, May 03, 2014

A Colorful Weekend: Tulip Festival

It has been five years since I've been to Thanksgiving Point's Tulip Festival.
Each year I mean to go; each year something has waylaid me.
This year...I went!
Thanksgiving Point is many things: A place to dine, a place to shop, a golf course, a place to take classes, a place to explore farm life, a magnificent garden and recently a museum of curiosity has been added.
It is a privately owned enterprise owned by a family who wished to create a family friendly place as a means of being thankful to God for blessing them richly.
Here is just a small part of the Thanksgiving Point Estate Garden.
This year there were 137 varieties of tulips being featured on the grounds.
I would venture that several million tulips were planted.
For a tulip lover like me, this was tulip heaven!
And only a 20 minute drive from my house.
Yes I would love to go to Holland to see the tulips some year but if I never make it to Holland I think I have found the next best thing, tulip wise.
Last time Bernie went with me. 
This time I went alone.
I wallowed in tulip beauty on a just perfect not hot/not cold sunny spring day.
I recently have come to the conclusion that I like tulips the best of all spring flowers because they bloom, and then dry up neatly and are easy to clear away, unlike some other spring bulbs that leave piles of  strappy leaves that must be allowed to dry (messily) in order to feed the bulb for the next years blossom.
I also realized that I am CRAZY about tulips that have what appears to be paint brush strokes on their petals!
Bernie saw my photos and told me he really likes the ones with spiky petals.
Isn't it interesting to learn what other folks like?
One may rent a Segway to tour the grounds or rent a golf cart.
I would like to Segway some day, but for now I always want to saunter along slowly so as to enjoy ever bloom.
Even walking slowly seemed too fast sometimes.
(Swarms of moms and grandmoms with loads of babies and preschoolers clumped together on the pathways.  The children added an extra sweetness to the tulip scenes.)
I learned to crouch low to see the sunlight glowing through the tulips.
It was a pretty good work out as I enjoyed the shadow patterns so much.
Lucky tots that traveled along at nearly eye level with the tulips!
As the path wound through the garden the tulip borders would gradually shift colors with each bend in the path.
Each color mixture would make Ohhs and Ahhhs burst forth.
Cameras would be lifted and children rounded up for another photo op.
Next year I will be bringing Luke and Calvin along I think.
I would focus on one or two or three tulips.
Play with various camera settings...
Then shoot the tulip "crowd" scenes.
I really appreciated how the Thanksgiving Point gardens did color coordinating under planting in each flower bed.
As much as tulip fields are stunning, the artfulness of these flower beds trumped the tulip fields color blasts.
Plus I could "tip toe" through these tulips if I wanted to!
The brush strokes....
They almost don't look real.
How God must smile at each blossom to see the unique patterns on each petal.
Pinks and pastels...
Then a blaze of reds and wines and blues.
Pointy tulips.
Ruffled tulips.
Add a few water drops and I am on my knees taking picture after picture of the beauty.
A gesturing tulip!
The pansies blanketing the ground added an extra layer of fragrance.
I had to smile...thank you chickens at the Egg Farm!
Chicken manure has worked wonders in this garden!
How close together did they plant those bulbs last fall?
The paths wrapped around lawns that had squiggly islands of color.
That purple blue pansy combined with screaming red tulips is a real color combo winner.
It was fun to watch children walk around following the edges of the tulip islands.
Oh to be about two and half feet tall and take in the tulips a little child.
I was pleased to see that for the most part the children seemed to be delighted by the flowers.
Children seem to have so many magical unreal things I hoped that the natural beauty of flowers wouldn't be shrugged off.
A grape hyacinth river framed with white tulips.
I want such a river flowing in my garden!
Bright magenta and deep coral and lavender.
I wouldn't have thought to make that a combination.
Part of the stroller brigade.
A swath of every pink and rose was lovely.
Then there was orange and tangerine beds.
The dark orange edge on each petal matched the darker orange tulips sharing space in that tulip bed.
(I sat and stared at this for a bit....)
(I wasn't the only one who stopped dead in her tracks.)
Can you believe that color gradation?
I wish I could have shared some of the adorable children that were being photographed in this little bend.
Eventually I pushed on...
And headed to the stream that drifts through the garden.
The billowing pink trees!
How restful and refreshing.
The lady in pink and her tree.
Or it should be "her" tree for just now.
Oh striped pointed tulips!
I though of my cousin Sue when I saw this...
The Vatican has chosen their tulip vendor wisely I think.
I giggled to overhear a woman about my age comment that the girl's skirt shouldn't have been designed so short.
(Modesty is often observed in Utah.  On second glance I almost think she was right about that hem length!)
Some people walked briskly, other slowly and there was one photographer who had set up camp with a fierce looking tripod.
I was totting my tripod too but never set it up.
If one could pull one's eyes away from the flowers one could enjoy the snow capped mountains that surround the gardens.
The white blossom covered trees were a snowy looking counterpoint to the distant white.
The blue/lavender hills echoed the pansies beneath the tulips too.
Such thoughtful garden design!
The lacy wood fencing on the sides of the bridges...sweet sigh.
What a view!
A sign warned visitors to stay back from the nesting geese.
I think the groundskeepers must have added that wire fencing to give Mama Canada Goose some boundaries away from those who wanted to see how the nesting was going.
Mama stood and gently nudged her eggs a bit; I think she was showing her babies off to drop jawed children.
Talk about choosing a beautiful place to nest.
I was THRILLED to see this sign.
Again, how thoughtful!
Pointy striped pink tulips.
I like the more rounded petal edged myself.
Oh and yes there were lots of daffodils in bloom too.
People come and spend the day in the garden.
Taking a break with a game of chess?
Why not?
The "Festival" included booths with games and crafts for children.
Nice, but I stuck with seeing the flowers, thank you.
I finally reached the Fragrance Garden with the promised 137 varieties of tulips to see.
And look!
Each tulip variety had a name marker!
First I would photograph the name...
Then the flower.
This was....
Close up of Carnival De Rio.
I want to own this tulip!
And I want to own this one too.
The petals hide such an interesting structure inside.
Love this name.
Love the blushing lady!
Want this one too...
How is it even possible something this vivid red could be tipped in white?
Can you guess what this one looked like?
The yellow throat glowed!
A few daffodils snuck into the mix.
My Story was really something!
Guess what this one looks like.
Lacy white.
I fell in love.
This one was a huge tulip.
Each tulip was the size of my hand.
The red feathered on each petal edge...
And a white center on each petal.
This smooth elegance...
Compared to...
This ruffled wildness!
I really didn't photograph all 137 tulip varieties.
I skipped maybe ten...
And I am only posting my favorites!
If my name was Shirley...
I would have gobs of Shirley tulips in my garden and would plan my garden around the tulip's colors.
My son once wrote a story titled Gold Fever that got made into a play at Knott's Berry Farm.
So of course I would have to own this lovely.
Gold Fever's face was bigger than the my open hand.
Now here's a different colored tulip.
Almost rust brown but the color gradually lightens as it rises to a pale colored petal tip edge.
If I wanted to give tulips to a man, this would be the tulip I would chose.
Blushing Beauty is a big tulip.
Check out my hand...I am touching the tulip.
My late Mother in Law's middle name was Irene.
Her eighth great grand child will be named Cora Irene in her honor.
Cora will be the first great grand child who will not have the privilege of meeting her great grandmother Barbara.
I think Barbara would have loved the elegantly colorful Irene tulip.
OK...enough chat.
Just scroll and enjoy.
Wasn't this an interesting petal so precisely divided between red and yellow?
A tulip that looks like a rose.
As usual I wished I had my friends along with me as I enjoyed the flowers.
Young mommies pushed strollers together, older grandmothers helped out their daughters with larger offspring counts.
Then there were ladies enjoying just being together.
Taking pictures, wearing hats...
my kind of gals.
It really was a fragrance garden as the specimen tulips often were scented and the narcissus blooms were especially fragrant.
One little boy went about carefully smelling each tulip then alerted his grandmother as to which ones she should smell.
I followed his lead and thanked him!
Iceland poppies were also in bloom.
Head heavy Gold Fevers bowed under the weight of their large size.
Back to walking the paths.
It was noon, it was getting a tiny bit warm and I was carrying a tripod and wearing a back pack.
This was a shady nook where I chose to sit for a spell.
I must have sat for thirty minutes.
I considered just staying right there the rest of the day.
At the end of the tulip bed, in the deep shade was a bench beneath fragrant pine trees.
Birds were singing, apple blossom petal were swirling by.
I took lots of pictures.
(To be continued...for there is some thing even more wonderful to see than the tulips!)