Tis the season for flower lovers at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad as the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus is currently in full bloom, covering acres of land with a canvas of color.
Carlsbad’s flowers have been blooming for nearly 100 years on a rolling hillside overlooking the Pacific Coast. In the early 1920s, grower Luther Gage began a process of floral cultivation by growing Ranunculus seeds in fields near Frank Frazee’s vegetable farm, which is the same area the fields populate today.
The father of The Flower Fields and a flower-industry icon, Edwin Frazee expanded the fields after working with the flowers and seeds for many years. When Frazee decided to retire, Paul Ecke Jr. teamed up with Mellano & Company to focus on growing scenic flowers for the whole world to enjoy.
Without Gage’s vision, Frazee’s creativity and Ecke’s charity, the flowers would not have thrived so successfully. They will endure for future generations to come thanks to these contributions.
“The Flower Fields decided to change the pattern this year to make it more visually appealing and surprise visitors with a new, more beautiful experience,” spokeswoman Cambria McConnell said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
According to the LA Times, the fields’ “new motif will include rows of red, orange, gold, yellow, white, rose, pink, merlot, salmon, café, flame and mixed colors.” All are aligned in picturesque rows expanding across 50 acres.
“The flowers have a life of about four to six weeks,” supervisor Phil Okun said. “The season lasts from March 1 until Mother’s Day.”
In addition to the Ranunculus, or Persian Buttercups, the flower fields offer visitors many attractions, including a sweet pea maze, a cymbidium orchid greenhouse, an award-winning rose garden, a kids’ play area, an antique tractor wagon ride, sluice mining, picnic areas, a poinsettia display, fresh strawberries and the Armstrong Garden Center.
Another attraction that draws swarms of visitors is the patriotic American Flag of Flowers, which serves as a memorial for Sept. 11.
“The best place to take a picture of (this garden) is the Costco parking lot,” Okun said.
Along with a plethora of additional features, The Flower Fields also hosts special events throughout the season, including a special Mother’s Day Celebration on May 13.
“Agro-tourism is a big thing,” Okun said. “Visitors from over seventy countries come to the flower fields every year. We get about 2,500 visitors a day during midseason.”
Freshly cut flowers are available for purchase along with an assortment of other potted plants, bulbs and items at the Armstrong Garden Center.
The Flower Fields are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through May 13.
“If you are looking for something different to do on your weekend, I would suggest going to The Flower Fields,” San Diego State history sophomore April Stefanik said. “For only $10, you can enjoy a nice afternoon in the sun browsing through these beautiful flowers. It’s a spectacular sight.”