Take a Virtual Stroll Through Tulip and Flower Fields

Touring a colorful field of tulips and daffodils or wandering through acres of elaborate and professionally tended-to gardens is a popular and refreshing springtime activity around the world.

Unfortunately, while we all could use a dose of calming scents and bright blooms right now, the COVID-19 pandemic means garden adventures are off-limits this spring.

But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on one of nature’s best shows. Farms and gardens in the Northwest and around the globe are offering videos, photos and virtual tours that can help you experience their beauty.

Here are some of the best experiences.

Northwest Gardens

The annual tulip bloom in Washington’s Skagit County traditionally draws thousands of spring visitors, but the Tulip Festival has been canceled this year. Instead, major flower farms are offering video and photographic views of their fields.

Tulip Town in Mount Vernon, Washington, which grows 70 varieties of tulips, shares daily live-narrated virtual video tours of its fields on Facebook and posts plenty of fresh flower photos on Instagram.

RoozenGaarde, which grows tulips, daffodils and irises on 1,000 acres in Washington’s Skagit Valley, posts images and videos from its fields on Facebook and Instagram as well.

Heronswood, a botanical garden in Kingston, Washington, known for rare and unusual plants, keeps a running gallery of daily garden images going on Instagram, curated by Assistant Garden Director Ross Bayton. Weekly video strolls through parts of the gardens are being posted this season as well.

The 55-acre Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, says there are now plans to post new spring videos, but fresh photos of spring blooms, including hyacinth, daffodils, camellia, cherry blossoms and, of course, tulips, are on the gardens’ website in an ongoing photographic virtual visit.

Beyond the Northwest

Gardens across the country and around the world also are doing their part to offer virtual inspiration this season, too.

In Arizona, Tucson Botanical Gardens, which has 16 separate gardens on 5.5 acres, is running a live camera stream that offers views to its Cox Butterfly and Orchid exhibit.

On Hawai’i’s Big Island, the Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden and nature preserve posts fresh photos and videos of its lush landscape on its website, on Facebook and on Instagram. Geckos, birds and other wildlife spotted in and around the property are making guest appearances in the photos as well.

In Washington, D.C., the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) remains accessible via a Google Maps virtual tour. The USBG, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, also offers a 14-part series of short (all under 3-minute) videos from this year’s Discover the World of Orchids show and a downloadable Botanical Coloring Book.

Each spring, more than 1.5 million people regularly visit the 79-acre Keukenhof garden in the Netherlands to see 7 million flowering bulbs in bloom. This year, the world’s largest flower park brings the tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other flowers to the people with a series of videos hosted by the park’s team of gardeners.

London’s Kew Gardens is closed for now, but the UNESCO World Heritage site continues to welcome visitors with a series of fresh videos on its YouTube channel. The videos highlight everything from the freshest blooms to a look inside the garden’s tropical nursery housing more than 10,000 species and a tour of a six-acre American-style prairie.

A plum forest, a thatched-roofed tea house, a rainbow-shaped granite bridge and a miniature Mount Fuji are just a few stops available on the high-definition virtual-reality tour of Shukkeien gardens in Hiroshima, Japan. The 400-year-old garden has been painstakingly rebuilt since being destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945 and features thematic and traditional Japanese gardens set around a central pond.

–Written by Harriet Baskas

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