What’s with the Tulips?

What’s with the Tulips?

Tulips, Holland Happening

April’s dawn breathes an awakening for this sleepy island. After months of cold gray clouds and dreary scenes, color finally breaks from the ground beneath. As the velvet grass returns it brings with it something a little more unique and exciting.

TULIPS!

These trumpet-like flowers can be found all across Whidbey Island in the month of April. Their beautiful rainbow hues grace countless flower beds and practically every floral shop.

Why the obsession with these bell-shaped buds?

The answer lies within Whidbey Island history and heritage.

In the earliest days of Whidbey Island settlement there were few Americans established on the island, even after the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 which allowed for free land claim until 1855. In 1894 a man by the name of John “R.E.” Werkman gained the rights to market land on Whidbey Island for one of the recently developed land companies. He set off to Holland, Michigan where he displayed a foot-long potato to impress local farmers with the fruitfulness of Whidbey Island – it worked.

A few months later the steamer Idaho found its way to the Penn Cove dock with 18 Hollanders direct from The Netherlands. The Dutch population on Whidbey Island expanded rapidly on Whidbey and within two years there were over 200 Dutch immigrants populating the island. This drastic increase in population helped to recover the island from the 1893 financial downturn and build what would become a sustainable economic climate for Whidbey Island as a whole.

How we honor the heritage today:

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Many direct descendants of these original settlers remain on Whidbey to this day and their family names can be seen on street signs across the island.

Today the island honors these original settlers and their Dutch heritage with one of our most beloved events, the annual Holland Happenings Festival. Taking place on the last weekend of every April, this festival is a fifty-year-old tradition drenched in Dutch heritage. Everywhere you look you will find Volendam hats, wooden clogs, street sweeps, and most of all – tulips.

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With the Skagit tulip fields just on the other side of the Deception Pass Bridge, it’s no wonder the Dutch national flower plays a starring roll in every Holland Happenings. Their bright petals grace posters, pamphlets and just about every float. They are, without a doubt, a symbol of the season and reminder of the past.

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Posted on May 29, 2019 at 5:08 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Get the Buck Out of My Yard

Get the Buck Out of My Yard

They are the wild and majestic creatures of Whidbey Island, often found in the peaceful pastures of Ebey’s Landing or beneath the cooling tree shade of the state parks. They are elegant, graceful, mesmerizing… and frankly a pain in the arbor.

Oh deer, oh deer, oh deer.

Deer Landscaping, Wildlife, Whidbey Island, Whdibey, Gardening, Landscaping, deer, animals, vegetation, Buck, yard, Windermere, real estate

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE our Whidbey Island deer and are grateful to live in a place where wildlife feels welcomed. However, if you’ve been working hard cultivating that garden all year long, the last thing you are interested in is a handful of fauna munching on the fruit of your labor. To top it off, deer can carry ticks with Lyme disease which can be extremely harmful to both humans and their dogs.

Sorry Bambi, but no one messes with mans’ best friend.  

We’ve done a little research and decided to give you a hand with those pretty, yet pesky visitors.

 

5 pro-tips to get the grazers out of your garden.

Garden, flowers, bird house, yard, whidbey island, real estate, curb appeal, wildlife

  1. Cut ‘em Off! – It might seem like the most obvious solution, but fences are always a great first step to keeping out unwanted guests. Although deer are great jumpers, the additional effort required might just be enough of a deterrent. < We’re all a little lazy.
  2. Don’t Plant Tasty Treats – Deer LOVE plants rich in nutrients, moisture, and basically anything else your doctor said you should eat more of. This includes almost all produce plants as well as leafy ivy and bright, water filled flora. Instead of these, try planting pungent flowers like lavender with greenery that is thorny, hairy, or prickly. You can also use these less-desirable plants as a natural barrier for the tastier ones. If all deer see and smell is lambs’ ear and snap dragons, odds are they won’t investigate much further.
  3. Let Rover Out More – Chances are your dog is like most others and DOES NOT see grazing deer as welcome guests. Barking dogs are a big deterrent for deer. Who wants to eat with someone yelling at you? Eventually the deer will likely decide your home isn’t a safe place to eat and wont return.
  4. Shine a Light on the Situation – Deer are more skittish than the commitment-phobe you dated in college. Installing motion-sensitive floodlights can often leave a deer stunned and anxious to get away as fast as they can.
  5. Live a Little! – Although we might find them beautiful and nice to look at, deer aren’t that excited about us. Chances are if a deer sees you out and about in the yard they will simply turn around and find someone else’s garden to plunder. So, get outside more! See this as an opportunity to re-imagine your yard and incorporate more outside living space. Your health and your hydrangeas will thank you.

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Posted on March 25, 2019 at 9:26 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,