Entertainment & Events
Carlsbad Flower Fields in Bloom Now
Spring is already right around the corner, and what better way to ring in the season than taking a trip up to Carlsbad to spend an afternoon strolling through the Carlsbad Flower Fields? The 50 acres of sprawling color are in bloom from roughly March 1st to May 14th, so start planning your trip today! Flowers have sprouted, so it’s a beautiful weekend to take a trip.
According to the Carlsbad Flower Fields’ website, the prime time to visit the fields is usually mid-March through mid-April, if the bloom isn’t affected by weather conditions. But, if it does happen to rain on the day you make your visit, the fields will still be open. Bring a picnic or snack to enjoy at the picnic tables and benches throughout the site. There are also food vendors on the weekends and vending machines available during the weekdays for guests to take advantage of.
The fields are full of the flower called the Tecolote Giant Ranunculus. This flower is native to Asia Minor and is a member of the buttercup family. Other names for this blossom are the Persian Buttercup or Ranunculus Asiatic. Five acres are also used for other specialty flowers. You can even bring your own bouquet home by stopping at the Armstrong Garden Center Gift Shop, where they also have potted plants, bulbs, and other items.
These fields are 100 years in the making that began with the work of Luther Gage, a settler and horticulturist that came to the area in the early 1920s. Gage brought Ranunculus seeds with him and began growing them in his fields in South Oceanside. Frank Frazee, the man who lived next to Gage, also started growing the flowers along with his small vegetable farm in 1933. Frazee introduced his son Edwin to the art of seeding, who eventually dropped out of high school to work full-time on his father’s blossoming flower operation.
Originally the flowers were single petal and ranged in shades of red and yellow. The beautiful colors and fullness of the flowers you see now are because of Edwin’s careful selection over many years. If a full flower or an unusual color sprouted up, Edwin would save the seed of that flower and plant them the next year. This resulted in 13 colors including picotee, which is a mixture of variegated colors, that you can see in the fields today.
Over time Frazee moved the operation to land owned by the Ecke family of Encinitas. Paul Ecke Jr. and Edwin became fast friends and were both passionate about their field, and they together continued to cultivate the ranunculus. Ecke Jr. looked to tourism as a way to keep the fields financially viable, and here we are today with the opportunity to visit The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch!
Today, the Flower Fields serve as a working ranch and regional tourist attraction.
Whether your visit is simply a day-off trip or a group tour, or something more like a wedding or other special event, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are sure to make your day memorable.
The fields are open 9:00am-6:00pm daily. Tickets for adults are $14, seniors $13, and children 3-10 $7. Buy tickets here!