Let the bursts of beautiful blooms come forth: the Flower Fields in Carlsbad open this Friday and, this season, the fields may be extra vibrant thanks to San Diego's rainy winter weather.
Earlier this month, Fred Clarke, general manager of The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, noted that the fields had been “responding very well” to the region’s recent rains.
“The gentle, steady water, combined with intermittent sunshine bodes very well for germination and the growth of our Ranunculus plants. The rains have encouraged an exceptionally strong and healthy plant this year,” Clarke said. “A strong, healthy plant develops a magnificent show of flowers.”
Clarke said pops of pink and yellow appeared to be making an earlier debut this season so, by the time the fields opened Friday, the site was rather picturesque.
“We have phenomenal color this year,” Clarke told NBC 7 on Friday. “The rains that we’ve all been experiencing have worked really well for us. It’s brought the bloom on a tad early and there is about 20 acres out there in flowers right now.”
The 2019 opening of The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch marks the unofficial start of springtime in San Diego County. This year, the fields of blooms located at 5704 Paseo Del Norte will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., March 1 through May 12 (Mother's Day).
As always, patrons will enjoy nearly 50 acres of breathtaking, colorful displays of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers, which are typically in bloom for six to eight weeks. The burst of yellow, pink and orange petals is synonymous with Carlsbad this time of year.
The so-called "rainbow of color" also boasts roses, orchids, sweet pea blossoms, petunias, and poinsettias. In all, there are more than 100 floral species on display at The Flower Fields.
Daily tickets to the Flower Fields cost $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $9 for children, ages 3 to 10. Kids age 2 and under get in free. Season passes are also available, ranging in price from $20 for kids to $39 for adults.
The best time to view the flowers in all of their gorgeous glory is usually mid-March through mid-April, but those dates can change, depending on weather conditions.
Clarke said the best times to view the flowers are first thing in the morning or in the evening.
"One of the most serene things it to be here late in the day, the sun has set, the crowds have left and it’s just beautiful, quiet – really nice," he explained.
Donald Miller, an independent contractor for the Flower Fields, works there every morning, tidying part of the garden.
“I think it’s so pleasant just being amongst the color and the flowers,” Miller told NBC 7.
In addition to a scenic stroll through the fields, visitors can enjoy other family-friendly activities including antique tractor wagon rides ($3 for kids; $5 for adults), a sweet pea blossoms maze, mining for gemstones and gardening and art demos.
The calendar for this season includes workshops focused on floral and succulent arranging, as well as arts and crafts workshops, live music, yoga, a "Barre & Bloom" fitness session, food trucks, and even sunset wine tastings. The site is also home to a nursery and gift shop.
As usual, the season will come to an end with a special Mother's Day Celebration, scheduled for May 12.
The Carlsbad Flower Fields have been around for more than 85 years. Blooms first appeared in the early 1920s when Luther Gage, an early settler to the area, brought Ranunculus seeds and planted them in his fields next to Frank Frazee’s small vegetable farm in South Oceanside.
Since those humble beginnings in Gage’s few flower beds, the fields have sprouted into a huge attraction in San Diego’s North County. Last year, more than 260,000 people visited The Flower Fields during its 10-week run.
Clarke said the fields usually see around 150,000 people come through annually, on average.
The Flower Fields are located near the Carlsbad Premium Outlets, another popular destination in the area. It's also about a half-mile from the ocean.
To learn more about this spectacular, bloom-centric place, click here.