Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Discover Northwest Flower Field Walks

Think of the delight of stepping into a greenhouse, surrounded by the sights and scents of flowering plants. Now, I invite you to expand that greenhouse experience into a field walk, moving through acres of flowers that spread to the horizon like a colorful sea. It’s a gardening joy like no other.

But growers rarely open their fields. So when they do, it’s worth a road trip. Find an open field day near home, or plan a visit to the Pacific Northwest, where nursery fields skirt every byway. Here’s a calendar of this year’s Northwest field walks. Check individual listings for festival prices.

    • Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (tulipfestival.org) – April 1- 30. Skagit Valley Bulb Farm in Washington shows off a field with 80 varieties while Roozengaarde invites you to walk in 30 acres of blooms. Bonus—Everything festive, from wine tastings to a battle of the bands.
    • Hulda Klager Lilac Days (lilacgardens.com) – April 17-May 9. While not technically a field walk, the farmhouse and extensive gardens of this National Historic Site in Washington are the location of Lilac Days, carrying on the yearly tradition started by lilac breeder Hulda Klager. Strolling under rows of hanging lilacs in full fragrance is not to be missed. Bonus – Purchase rare lilac starts not often found in the trade.
    • Adelman’s Peony Gardens (peonyparadise.com) – May 1-June 15. This mail order nursery near Salem, Oregon displays ten acres with 183 varieties. Bonus – Buy container plants at the nursery, unavailable through mail order. (They ship only bare root.)
    • Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (schreinersgardens.com) – May 7-June 6. The ten acre display garden at this mail order nursery near Salem is open for these dates. The larger growing fields are open one day only—May 23. The field walk is sponsored by The Willamette Wanders—Sign up (503) 581-4385. Bonus – The nearby Keizer Iris Festival (irisfestival.com) is on the same weekend.
    • The Oregon Lavender Festival (oregonlavenderfestival.com) July 10-11. A multitude of farms open their scented fields in the countryside around Portland and as far south as Salem. Bonus – Buy all things lavender.
    • The Sequim Lavender Festival (lavenderfestival.com) July 16-18. On Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, seven-plus farms share their fields with you. Bonus – Meet the family farmers.
    • Swan Island Dahlias (dahlias.com) August 1-September 30. This mail order nursery in Canby, Oregon, opens 40 acres of wildly colorful fields. Bonus – The Annual Dahlia Festival (dahlias.com/annualdahliafestival.aspx) August 28-30 and September 4-6. Includes floral arrangements, food booths and dahlia culture talks.