After a wet and wild winter, the Flower Fields in Carlsbad are shaping up for one of the best seasons ever.
For 10 weeks each year, the working farm lets the public wander its carefully manicured rows of white, red, yellow, purple, pink, and orange blossoms perched on 50 gently sloping acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The flowers are ranunculuses, a member of the buttercup family. But generations of cultivation have made them unlike any ranunculuses in the world.
The origins of the Flower Fields date to the 1920s when a settler first began planting ranunculus seeds, native to Asia. A flower business was born, and each year only the healthiest and brightest flowers would be used to produce seeds for the next crop.
The early ranunculuses had just five petals in shades of red or yellow. Over the years, they’ve developed long stems, spirals of multi-layered petals, and more than a dozen colors, including the variegated picotee.
The opening of the Flower Fields became synonymous with the start of spring in San Diego’s north county. More than 100,000 people visit each year.
The fields will be open from March 1 through mid-May. Tickets are $18 for adults, $9 for children. Amy Ortega, a spokeswoman, said the best time to go is in April, when millions of flowers are blooming at once. “There really is nothing else like it,” she said.
Below is a series of images from past blooms at the Flower Fields.
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