The Flower Fields is a beautiful natural garden in Carlsbad, California. It is spread over a land of 50 acres at Carlsbad Ranch. It is famous for the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers of different colors, which bloom for 6 – 8 weeks every year. Thus, this spectacular garden is open for visitors from March to May every year when these flowers bloom. It remains closed for the rest of the year. The blooming of these flowers announces the arrival of spring, spreading joy to the hearts of all nature-lovers.
The history of The Flower Fields
Ranunculus flower is not a native species of America. It is usually found in the Asia Minor region, from where it was imported to the USA. This plant belongs to the Buttercup family and the genus Ranunculus comprises around 600 species of flowers with large petals. The spectacular beauty of these flowers was the reason for starting The Flower Fields, which became a landmark of Carlsbad.
A famous horticulturist Luther Gage initiated the cultivation of Ranunculus flowers when he settled in Carlsbad in the 1920s. His neighbor Frank Frazee was also inspired to see these beautiful flowers and started growing them in his small vegetable field in 1933. He also encouraged his son Edwin to be engaged in the cultivation of this pretty flower, who left his high school studies at the age of 16 to join his father’s business.
Edwin Frazee patiently experimented with bright-colored Ranunculus flowers for many years and cultivated flowers of 13 unusual shades. He moved his garden to the present site in 1965, which was the property of the Eche family living in Encinitas. They had used this land to grow Poinsettia flowers earlier. Hence, Edwin joined hands with Paul Eche Jr. and cultivated Ranunculus and Gladiolus flowers here.
Interesting information about The Flower Fields
Giant Tecolote Ranunculus is one of the best species of this genus, which is commonly called Ranunculus Asiatic due to its origin in the Asia Minor. It is also called Persian Buttercup as this plant belongs to the Buttercup family. Most of this field is used for cultivating ranunculus bulbs while only limited space is devoted to growing other flowers here.
Now, The Flower Fields is jointly managed by its owners, Carlsbad City authority, California Coastal Conservancy, and Carlsbad Agricultural Improvement Fund. Thus, there is no risk of its closing down even if its current owners fail to run it in the future. April is the peak season to enjoy the view of fully blossomed Ranunculus flowers in this field. No vehicle is allowed to drive inside the field, as it can damage flower plants and also cause air pollution. Pets are also not allowed to enter this field.
When Ranunculus flowers die, their seeds are used for cultivation the following year. Thus, better quality Ranunculus flowers can be grown after letting these flowers complete their life cycle. The bulbs or tuberous roots of these plants are harvested after flowers wither off, to sell as potted plants through various nurseries or online. There are chairs and benches so that visitors can rest when they feel tired of walking through the field.