floral adventuring

by Stacy

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Just north of San Diego is a place called The Carlsbad Flower Fields. It’s basically a ranunculus bulb farm where they let the flowers bloom before harvesting and selling the bulbs. Since they have a massive amount of blooming flowers, for a month or two of the spring they sell tickets to go frolic in the fields. It just closed this weekend, and we went on the first of May — flower report was 60% blooming.

carlsbad flower fields 5/1/10

Not bad for 60%, hmm? Oh, the photo isn’t crooked, the flowers are planted on a hillside. There are several expanses with stripes of colored flowers in every shade. Due to scheduling, we were there at high noon, the worst possible time to take photos, and it was a bit windy for an added challenge. It was a fun photo scavenger hunt anyway.



They have various events during the season, including a Canon-sponsored macro photography event. We were there for a rose event, which smelled fantastic and looked even better. Here are some highlights of the roses:




There is also a sweet pea maze and fair-type foods, and you can (of course) buy ranunculus bulbs or cut flowers. You have to walk through the garden center to exit. Since it is also strawberry season there was a kiosk set up with strawberry shakes and strawberry lavender sundaes. Yum. We made it a girls’ day since the boys were all working, but I will probably take my husband up there next year.

Info: Carlsbad Flower Fields, March-May daily from 9am-6pm.

Have you been to any spring events this year?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Allie May 10, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Gorgeous photos! Ranunculus (ranunculi?) are among my favorite flowers. I wish I’d heard of this event sooner. It reminds me of the tulip fields north of Seattle, where I used to live.


Stacy May 11, 2010 at 10:05 am

Oooh, fun! I’ve been to the Netherlands a handful of times but never during the famed tulip season. That sounds gorgeous.

We did get to this, but missed seeing the Anzo-Borrego desert in bloom (with all the rain it was said to be gorgeous this year) which I *reeeeeeeeaally* wanted to see. I told my husband that I’m going to see the desert with girlfriends next year if he can’t.


Jenn May 11, 2010 at 12:28 am

Your photos are gorgeous, especially that last one – that’s my favorite!!! I heart ranunculus so much, they were in my wedding bouquet :) LOVE the new layout btw!


Stacy May 11, 2010 at 10:08 am

With the wind and high-noon sun I did have to exert a little effort, but sometimes it feels like cheating taking pictures of such pretty things! The last photo is my favorite from the trip, too. There were such beautiful flowers there it was hard to not post a dozen of them.

Thank you! I feel like I’m still adjusting to it a but, like a new haircut when you pause every time you see a mirror.


Helen B May 11, 2010 at 9:44 am

Since you’re relatively new to California, you may not know about this other flower-growing area up the coast. They’ve been growing flowers for seed for a serious LONG time. You would have to make a day of it from San Diego, but I personally think that everybody should see the Lompoc flower fields at least once. I’ve included a link that’ll give you the info.



Stacy May 11, 2010 at 10:11 am

Thank you, Helen! You are correct, I had no idea such a thing even existed. I will definitely add it to our list of “must-see California sights” which keeps getting longer…


mom May 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm

The second pictures looked like an orange artichoke without the thorns!


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