Flower Field, Carlsbad….Blooming,at its best.

4F111926-7EDC-41A1-A63D-720B92E2D858For over sixty years, Mother Nature has transformed the rolling hills of North San Diego County into one of the most spectacular and coordinated display of natural color and beauty. This extraordinary spread of natures beautiful color will leave you simply awestruck. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is a fifty acres dazzling rainbow of beautiful ranunculus flowers set on a hillside overlooking the striking Carlsbad, California Coastline.  This display of nature brings the famous field back to life. The 1500 square foot greenhouse is  filled with world-famous Eck poinsettia, the sweet pea maze, Santa’s playground, an orchid greenhouse, and many themed gardens, is a place to must visit.

This annual burst of colors, which has become part of the area’s local heritage also, is one of the nature’s official ways of announcing the arrival of spring here in Southern California.

Where is it located ?

Located in North San Diego County, a region with rich history of growing flowers ever since 1940’s. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is located less than one half-mile from the ocean, within five minutes of several prominent hotels and restaurants, and a short drive from two international airports (San Diego and Orange County).

History of this beauty (Special indeed)

The flowers which we see today, trace their roots to cultivation efforts that began more than 85 years ago, when a grower by the name of Luther Gage, settled in the area back in early 1920’s . He planted ranunculus seeds in  a patch of land in South Ocean side, and those seeds brought forth a business he called ‘Luther Gage Gaint Tecolote Ranunculus bulbs”.

The beauty has continued blooming each year, attracting thousands of visitors. Last year more than 260,000 people visited The Flower Fields during its 10 weeks run.

 

Tickets and Season Passes

2019 Season: March 1 through May 13

Prices : $16.00 for Adults, $14.00  for Seniors 60+, $8.00 for Children ages 3 – 10,
Children ages 2 and under are Free.
Season Passes: $35.00 for Adults, $30.00; Seniors 60+,
$18.00 for Children ages 3 – 10.
Wagon Rides: $5.00 for Adults,
$3.00 for Children ages 3 – 10.

Parking here is free.

P.S  We bought our tickets online , to avoid the queue at the entrance. And for the wagon ride, we got the tickets on spot. So, good to carry some cash with you.

Group tours (minimum 20 adults)

Advance reservations required for all group tours. Minimum of 20 adults.

Guided Tour with wagon ride: $29.00 per person
Guided Tour without wagon ride: $24.00 per person
General Admission – self-guided with wagon ride: $21.00 per person
General Admission – self-guided without wagon ride: $16.00 per person

Tour length: The adult guided tour is approximately 30 to 45 minutes; expect your total visit to take approximately 90 minutes. However, you are free to take pictures, shop and stay as long as you would like.

Wagon ride: Tour groups will be able to take a 15 to 20-minute tractor driven wagon ride. The wagon ride has a loading ramp enabling easy access for the handicapped. The ride includes an audio commentary of the history of The Flower Fields® for our visitors’ enjoyment. Group tours and wagon rides must be booked in advance!

P.S. We and kids (age 3 and 8) , wanted wagon ride. On weekends this queue can be long. We went on Sunday, the wait was of approximately of 25-30 mins.

Though you can very well take a beautiful stroll to the fields, there are various spots to get clicked , throughout.  Posing  endlessly, is fun.

Self-Guided Walking Tour includes:

  • Meet and greet with a Flower Fields staff member
  • Receive guide map with, the detailing of gardens and exhibits
  • Fast and easy entrance into The Flower Fields

Guided Walking Tour includes:

  • History of The Flower Fields
  • Planting process and growing cycle
  • Description of the varieties of flowers grown
  • Short walk up a gentle slope (at your group’s pace)
  • Browse and shop at the Armstrong Garden Center and Gift Shop

What to wear

It’s a working ranch field, so wear something comfortable, though I personally recommend floral print clothes . It will surely add colors to your photographs. Take sunglasses , a hat will be good idea. Also bring a sweater, or a light  jacket, as it may get breezy walking up the hills. Do not forget your cameras.

Where to eat

Vending machines are available during the weekdays and food vendors are on site on the weekends. Picnicking is also encouraged. There are benches, tables and chairs where you can enjoy your food amid the floral backdrop.

Various food vendors with popcorn, Pizza, Soft drinks are there.

Wagon Ride  🚜 

After waiting patiently for good 20 mins we boarded our blue wagon. It’s equipped with audio tour, which was hardly audible.

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Wagon stamp after we purchased tickets for ride

More to Explore

 

1.  American Flag

This brilliantly  hued American Flag waves in the wind. Red, white and blue petunia strategically planted on a 300 by 170 foot hillside pay tribute to the United States.

 

3. Historic Poinsettia Display
You may take a stroll through memory lane, a 1,500 square foot greenhouse filled with the world-famous Ecke poinsettias. It’s an eye treat to watch hundreds of exciting poinsettias in over 20 rare and unusual varieties. Learn the history of the world’s best-selling potted plant – the poinsettia. We could not read the details of it, as my little one was sleepy by now and so we decided to go to the kids activity area.

4. Kids Attractions 

After wandering around and spending couple of hours, admiring,and  inhaling the beauty of nature we both were  charged up . But,  kids were tired and bored. They strictly denied posing  anymore in front of camera. So, we took both of them for mining and to play area.
Sweet Pea Maze

It was fun to find the solution to this one-of-a-kind living maze! Kids were excitedly finding the path, through this “old-fashioned” sweet pea blossoms. And we were happily following them.

 

Is it your Lucky day??
At the maze exit, there is another fun thing to do, it’s finding the four-leaf clover of pea plant. The four pea clover is an unusual variation of the more common three-leaf clover. Its recognized around the world as a universal symbol of ” Good Luck “.
Approximately one clover in 10,000 has four leaves, making them nearly impossible to find. Our elder one tried , it for good 10 to 15 mins , but hard luck.

 

Carlsbad Mining Company

This mining activity is a good fun for kids. They can find their polished gemstones using the miner’s old method of sifting  sand in water.

Price : $4 per child , for my 3 years old, the lady at the counter gave a small glass full of sand with gems within for $1 .They both were happy finding their gemstones.

Santa’s Playground

Children can have a free delighted time here, parents may also relax on the side benches.  This has playhouse and gigantic mushrooms that were part of Santa’s Village in Lake Arrowhead years ago. You can see the ‘Guard Shack’, ‘Doll House’, ‘Crooked Treehouse’ and colorful mushrooms, that so many of us remember from our very own childhood! We were tired until now so kids played and we sipped some juice, looking at them.

So , all in all it was a beautiful day which got engraved in our hearts forever .

But, there were few questions which were revolving in my mind while , driving back home..

I googled the answers  after coming back home , and would love to share those with you …

Are the flowers left to die?

The flowers die back and produce seed for re-planting in these same fields for the next season. We feel that by allowing the plant to complete its life cycle, it helps to produce a more superior bulb crop.

Who grows the ranunculus at the fields, and who owns the land?

Mellano & Company of San Luis Rey is the production arm and on site grower. The Ecke family owns the land.

The next morning , while sipping my morning tea in patio , just bloomed rose of my garden… assured that nothing can be more beautiful than Mother Nature . We should definitely preserve, protect and perceive the importance of it in our life.

As Lord Buddha said “ If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly , our whole life would change”….. So, Be Beautiful, See Beautiful and Feel Beautiful. 

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Do plan a day trip to Carlsbad Flower Fields, and don’t forget to share your experience with us.
Good day everyone 😊

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