Color Explodes in North County

It's an explosion of color that's hard to resist: Just east of I-5 at Carlsbad, the Flower Fields have put themselves on the map as a must-see destination for tourists.

"Tourists are great ... [but] we really want local business, too," said Paul Ecke III, whose family opened the Flower Fields in 1993.

This year, visitors will notice something new: a 3000-square-foot green-trimmed wooden barn and a large white greenhouse near the western edge of the property. Although the structure utilizes state-of-the-art technology, the barn's design evokes that of traditional barns of the 19th century, reported the North County Times.

Even though the barn is being used for storage, plans are under way to use it for community events. In the meantime, the Flower Fields will hold special events, displays and projects in front of the building. The whole idea is meant boost attendance by area residents.

The greenhouse will house orchids and is set to open to the public in 2010.

One big improvement and a highly requested addition: permanent restrooms.

"We had plenty of Port-a-Potties, but they just aren't as 'fun' an experience," Ecke said.

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