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California: Carlsbad's Flower Fields opens, but flowers lag

March 07, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • In a previous year, workers carry bundles of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus from the Flower Fields to be shipped nationwide as cut flowers.
In a previous year, workers carry bundles of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus… (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)

The Flower Fields of Carlsbad, Calif., opened to visitors last week but rain and cold weather have kept the attraction's famed ranunculus from opening up.

"Due to weather conditions we've been having lately, the flowers aren't fully bloomed," spokeswoman Shannon Moore said Wednesday. "Right now they're just buds. In about two weeks, they should be fully in bloom."

The working farm opened Friday and will remain open until May 12. The Giant Tecolote Ranunculus planted on 50 acres draws about 120,000 photo-snapping visitors to Carlsbad Ranch each year. The showy flowers in the buttercup family, which grow to be about 3 feet tall, bloom crimson, pink, yellow and white and are planted in color patterns each year.

There's also a sweet pea maze; an American flag made of red, white and blue petunias, a cymbidium orchid greenhouse; and tractor wagon rides ($6 for adults, $3 for children). If you want to create your own flower fields at home, the ranch offers educational and demonstration sessions, too.

And there are special event days throughout the bloom season, including Bluegrass Day on April 13, Zydeco Day on April 14 and a Macro Photography Workshop on April 21. The season ends with a Mother's Day celebration May 12.

So what happens to the flowers? Some of the blooms will be sold as cut flowers and the rest are harvested for bulbs.

The Flower Fields is at 5704 Paseo del Norte in Carlsbad near the Palomar Airport Road exit off the 5 Freeway. Tickets cost $11 for adults, $6 for children 3 to 10; parking is free.

Contact: The Flower Fields' flower conditions hotline at (760) 431-0352
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