Sniffing Flowers Should be a Sport

Holland is renowned for floral displays.

I like flowering things. Towering trees, lowly shrubs, even nubbly subterranean bulbs. Anything that produces a bloom. Some of these are rich and decadent as five-star desserts, enticing the unwary on fragrant journeys.

I live between two incredible floral displays. One is rich with fragrance and the other bursts with color. Unfortunately they aren’t right next door but at least they’re within reasonable driving distance. Visit if you ever get the chance…

Fragrant lilac blooms.

Going south the casual traveler discovers the community of Woodland bisected by interstate five. Woodland is home to the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens. This National Historical Site celebrates the horticultural achievements of Ms. Klager in hybridizing dozens of varieties of fragrant lilacs. 

You’ll find me lurking in the gardens, head buried in the darkest purple blooms, huffing as fast and frequently as possible. The lilacs only blossom for a couple of weeks and the blooms never last long enough. I have to get my inhalations in when possible.

Fields carpeted with flowers...

A short distance north of Seattle is another floral experience worth seeking out. The Skagit Tulip Festival celebrates field after field of blooming beauties.

These folks are so into the scene, they grow flowers as an agricultural crop. Hah! During the month of April elaborate driving tours crisscross the map so travelers can view a variety of farms, all of whom grow flowers. If you are an admirer of barns, this is also a good venue to visit. In addition to the tulips are daffodils, irises and lilies. These blooms may not burst with scent but they dazzle with eye-popping color. If they smelled as good as they look, I’d fling myself from the car and wallow.

At home I grow both lilacs and tulips, as well as lots of other flowering pretties but the sheer quantity and volume at the farms is overwhelming. I love to visit. Occasionally I think they offer wonderful locales to kill off characters. Can’t you visualize it? Murder in the Lilacs or Death Among the Tulips or even The Corpse Under the Daffodils. I’d have a botanically-inclined main character with a kleptomaniacal quirk for stealing seedpods. Somebody probably already did it though, eh? Oh well. I still like to visit.

Do you have a favorite indulgence? How about a special getaway? Everyone needs a retreat that siphons off the stress and helps us re-center. If you haven’t tried huffing flowers, it works for me. What’s your poison?

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