On the expanse of fields close to the Pacific and Lego Land flowers are blooming. And crowds are gathering. On a recent Sunday, there was absolutely no place to park. We found our way east and up into a business park which had a wonderful path along the rim of the hillside looking west and down on the flowers. They stretched around the hillside, horizontal rows of reds and yellows in a giant splash of color.
The Flower Fields is a registered trade mark of the current owner of this enterprise which offers wagon rides, artist gardens, photo opportunities, an orchid greenhouse, and a place for us city folks to wander around up close to flowers. It is 50 acres of blooms, mainly ranunculus, in thirteen colors. Its history goes back 85 years and the original growing fields’ locations have changed several times. Early on, Frank Frazee worked growing freesias and then in 1933 figured out how to cultivate ranunculus. The original palette of red and yellow single petal flowers changed over the years to the multiple petal flowers of thirteen different colors which we see today. The Flower Fields as a tourist attraction took shape in 1993 and about 125,000 visitors a year tour the grounds on a sweeping hillside in Carlsbad.
This year the field is open and in full bloom from March 1 to May 13, 2012. This current field sports a color pattern that is new this year. If you find a parking place, i.e. don’t come on a busy Sunday, you can take up close photos. Almost everyone does. Since I got no where near the entrance, I had to use a telephoto lens from above the field in order to get the large sweep of colors. I also cropped out a lot of roof tops and tourists to highlight the flowers.
The Pacific was lost in the haze of the horizon but you can just make out the windmill which used to belong to Split Pea Soup Andersons’s Restaurant. Now it is a TGI Fridays. With a mall. With gift stores. With Starbucks.
More reasons why parking is tough.