Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘tulips

Sally Cronin is featuring a post from my archives about my visit to the Keukenhof Gardens two years ago. I´m currently busy writing Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action, where Amanda and Leah visit this amazing place. Hop on over to see the pictures. I hope it makes you feel springy.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Today a chance to tiptoe through the tulips courtesy of Darlene Foster.. Since it brings us all some much needed signs of spring I am going to feature all of the photographs. I am sure you will enjoy as much as I have.

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips at Keukenhof by Darlene Foster

I love tulips. They are by far my favourite flower. So you can imagine my delight when we arrived at Keukenhof, the famous tulip gardens in Holland. Greeted by a sea of tulips in the brightest colours imaginable, I was like a child at a candy store. Covering 32 hectares, over 7 million tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers are on display amongst well kept shrubs, trees and blossoms.

Interesting sculptures and works of art are displayed throughout the gardens. I climbed to the top of a traditional windmill, or molen, to get an amazing view of…

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I love tulips. They are by far my favourite flower. So you can imagine my delight when we arrived at Keukenhof, the famous tulip gardens in Holland. Greeted by a sea of tulips in the brightest colours imaginable, I was like a child at a candy store. Covering 32 hectares, over 7 million tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers are on display amongst well kept shrubs, trees and blossoms. Interesting sculptures and works of art are displayed throughout the gardens. I climbed to the top of a traditional windmill, or molen, to get an amazing view of the surrounding tulip fields. For all you flower lovers, here is a bit of what I saw during my unforgettable visit. The pictures do not do it justice so you need to go yourself one day! And if you have been there, perhaps this will bring back fond memories.

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Traditionally dressed young women add to the colour and flavour

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Art among the flowers

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Keukenhof, means “kitchen garden” in Dutch. The site goes back to the 15th century when fruits, vegetables and herbs were grown in this location. In the 19th century it became a castle garden. This world famous attraction has been a permanent exhibition of spring-flowering bulbs since 1949 and is open 8 weeks of every year. I am so glad we planned our visit to coincide with the flowers in bloom. Another dream come true!

“I love tulips better than any other spring flower; they are the embodiment of alert cheerfulness and tidy grace, and next to a hyacinth look like a wholesome, freshly tubbed young girl beside a stout lady whose every movement weighs down the air with patchouli. Their faint, delicate scent is refinement itself; and is there anything in the world more charming than the sprightly way they hold up their little faces to the sun. I have heard them called bold and flaunting, but to me they seem modest grace itself, only always on the alert to enjoy life as much as they can and not be afraid of looking the sun or anything else above them in the face.”
Elizabeth von Arnim, Elizabeth and Her German Garden

I don’t like the idea of getting older. In fact I fight it tooth and nail. On the other hand, I also realize it is a privilege denied to many and am thankful I am able to continue to enjoy this wonderful life. On Friday I turned a year older, like it or not.

I was greeted in the morning with a lovely card and a bouquet of tulips, my favourite flowers, from my DH

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At work, the participants in my workshop, after learning it was my birthday, made me a sweet card. I was touched.

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At the end of the day I was surprised with a delicious birthday cake from my co-workers.

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Photo by Jean François Filion

The next day, DH booked us into The River Rock Casino Resort for an over night stay. This luxury hotel is only a thirty minute drive from our house but it felt like we were in Las Vegas.

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The well designed lobby contains waterfalls, totem poles  and even a friendly bear. We don’t gamble but the casino on site created a lively and exciting atmosphere. A theatre featuring many interesting and well known musicians is also part of the resort. A great place for people watching while sipping a caramel rockachino and nibbling on a white chocolate and cranberry sconce. Sorry, but I was too busy relaxing to take pictures of the food.

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Our suite was spacious enough for a party and overlooked the marina. A package of yummy chocolate macaroons was delivered to the room in honour of my birthday. The overnight stay included a relaxation massage. While I enjoyed my much needed massage at the Absolute spa, DH made use of the fitness centre over looking the pool area.

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The number of restaurants to choose from for our dinner, made it hard to decide. I had a Mojito and a fabulous spiced pear salad with goat cheese and grilled prawns at The Curve which was perfect. DH was happy with his butter chicken and on tap beer. The best thing was a compliment on my hair cut by the young waiter!

After a fabulous sleep on the oh so comfy bed, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the buffet with many tasty choices before heading back home. We didn’t travel far but what a nice get-away to celebrate another year of living.

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Text messages from both of the kids, a phone call from Mom and another from my younger brother. Cards from all over the world and 140 messages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; I was sure feeling the love.

I guess getting older is not so bad after all.

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March came in like a lion this year; cold, rainy, windy and just plain ugly. While everyone around me complained, I reminded them that this was good, as it was a sure thing we would be blessed with nice weather at the end of March. Sure enough, we have had an amazing week of lovely warm sunny weather here on the west coast of Canada. This Easter weekend I have been for a walk on the beach three days in a row. So glad the theory works, every time.

Orchid and easter basket, gifts at work

Orchid and easter basket, gifts at work

Having four days off is wonderful, but to have four sunny days off on the “wet coast” is almost unheard of. It has been lovely. Everyone left work on Thursday in a happy mood.  A satisfied client brought us orchids and a colleague provided Easter treats.

Besides going for walks on the beach, I have been meeting friends for tea and having coffee with hubby at various special places around town. Also enjoying the multitude of  blooming daffodils and cherry trees in our neighborhood.

Tea with friends

Tea with friends

Macaroon latte with hubby, yummy!

Macaroon latte with hubby, yummy!

I have always loved the Easter season and the spirit of hope it evokes.  Spring flowers are my favourite.

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Tulips given to me by the students at Holly Elementary School.

Tulips given to me by the students at Holly Elementary School.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, however you celebrated it.

May your days be filled with much sunshine, flowers and hope.

As my mom gets older and less and less mobile, I find myself reflecting on some of the wonderful times we have had together.  Mom lives in another province so we only see each other once or twice a year.  Four years ago, a year after we lost Dad, I invited her to come for a visit in April, specifically so I could take her to the tulip festival in La Conner,Washington.    I knew how much she loved tulips and felt this would be a great place for us to visit together.

 

Although we woke up early to take the two hour journey south from my home in British Columbia, we still had to wait a long time to get through the border.  It was a sunny west coast day and no doubt many people wanted to take in the festival. It was certainly worth the wait.

 

 

Following signs, we drove along the road heading west where we noticed spots of intense colour in the distance. The closer we got, the more evident it became that these splashes of pinks, purples, reds and yellows were actually acres of tulip fields.

 

 

What an amazing sight. Mom was visibly delighted. We parked the car and wandered amongst the tulips. Not only were the colours amazing, but the variety of shapes and sizes were astounding.  A photographer’s dream; even for an amateur such as myself.

 

 

 

A little girl, all dressed up, posed for her picture between the rows of flowers.  Her parents gave us permission to photograph her. What a sweetie.

Stopping at a number of tulip farms, there seemed to be no end to them, we could not believe the selection of tulips.  We had never seen anything like it! We arrived back home later that evening, tired but happy. Mom never did get to Holland to see the tulip fields, but she was very pleased to have been to the La Conner tulip festival.  I am so glad we had the opportunity to do this together when we could.  What great memories. She still talks about it.  If you ever find youself in the Pacific Northwest in April, I suggest you make a point of visiting the Tulip Festival.

 

Is there something special you have done with a loved one that remains in your fond memory?


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