When I was a kid in Michigan, the springtime flowers were tulips and daffodils. Now that I live in southern California, I’m meeting new types such as ranunculus. A friend and I drove to San Diego County to see the Flower Fields in the seaside town of Carlsbad. As happens so often, I had no idea what to expect and the sight of all those flowers was fantastic! We opted to walk the fields but a wagon ride is a popular option.
As you can see by the above photo it was a sunny morning, but the air was cool and walking was pleasant. We didn’t get far before the Sweet Pea Maze distracted us. We must have photographed half the maze! It’s been ages since I’ve seen a sweet pea.
I wish I could send the fragrance along with the above photo. You’ll have to trust that the flowers lived up to their name.
After the maze we headed out toward the fields. Of course others were there before us, but that didn’t matter. There are over fifty acres under cultivation.
Are you wondering just what all this is about? What is a ranunculus? For most of us they’re annuals. That means we plant them anew each year because the bulbs don’t survive the cold winter. And that’s where The Flower Fields farm comes in. The crop reaped from the rows of color isn’t flowers but bulbs. Therefore the specific colors are carefully tended so that there isn’t any cross-pollination.
Bees aren’t allowed in here! The plastic sheeting, which is about in the center of the above photo, marks the point which the bees do not pass. Since the bees stay on the far side of the plastic, they don’t pollinate the rows of color. I have no idea how this is managed. What keeps the bees away?
The fields aren’t the only things to see. Not only are there are other plants and flowers, but information on gardening as well. In addition, the site is kid-friendly with plenty of places to stop and rest.
Oh, and there is an area filled with orchids! They sell cut or potted cymbidium orchids. I’m a hopeless gardener but I did take a photo of the one of the orchids.
For those of you interested in seeing the flowers I have a few tips:
- Tip 1: These flowers only bloom for about eight to ten weeks. The best time to see them is March and April. One of the employees suggested that by mid-April all the fields would be glowing with color.
- Tip 2: Do not pick the flowers. Actually, you aren’t allowed in the fields, either. There are specific photo spots where you can mingle with the blooms.
- Tip 3: You can buy bouquets of ranunculus at the Armstrong Garden Center which you pass through on your way to the parking lot.