CARLSBAD — After a late winter storm helped jump-start the season, visitors have flocked to the roughly 50 acres of blooming ranunculus flowers at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch since its March 1 opening.
Fred Clarke, general manager at The Flower Fields, along with Paul and Liz Ecke, played host to a media day on March 16. During the tour, Clarke described the site’s recent expansion to include more offerings, such as blueberries and sunflowers, while the Eckes gave a brief history of the land and fields.
“That weird weather we had in November allowed the crop to catch up with itself,” Clarke said. “We got 21 acres in full bloom, which is unusual to have so much blooming early. It’s real nice now.”
Several years ago, the fields added two acres of blueberries, which guests are invited to pick every so often, stripping the bushes bare in mere hours, Clarke said. Due to the popularity of allowing guests to collect seven varieties of blueberries, Clark said they are adding two more acres.
“We’re still having fun with Mother Nature on when the blueberries will ripen for us,” Clark said, saying more blueberries are on the way. “We’re hoping to offer blueberries one day a week (for picking). We did a Blueberry Sunday, and it was a mob scene.”
This year, The Flower Fields will also feature a new floral attraction: sunflowers. According to Clarke, the site has planted seven acres of sunflowers on the north end of the fields, many of which are expected to bloom in late April.
Clarke estimated the sunflowers to grow approximately five feet high. And unlike the rows upon rows of delicate ranunculus, The Flower Fields will allow guests to walk through the sunflowers.
The massive garden also offers olives and olive oil from a Spanish varietal, along with topiary artist Jennifer Colburn, who created a butterfly sculpture garden.
Clarke said also stock flowers have been planted near the American flag flower display. The stock flowers, he said, are “highly” fragrant.
“We’re trying to see how they look and the public reaction to them,” Clark added. “That will be in late April and May.”
Also, Strawberry Shack at Carlsbad Ranch and Pizza Trolley, a converted trolley with a pizza oven, will reside at The Flower Fields.
The Flower Fields are open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until May 8.