Acres of super bloom ranunculus are located between LEGOLAND and the Pacific Ocean in the beachside community of Carlsbad. The hills of The Flower Fields are ablaze in yellow, purple, salmon, pink, gold, red and white.
Located behind Armstrong Garden Center is the largest argritourism destination in Southern California. Over 60 acres of land are in full bloom starting March 1 until Mother’s Day weekend.
I was invited to attend a Petal to Plate dinner in a field of Tecolote ranunculus in full bloom. They grow from the finest strain of ranunculus seeds, originally from the Asia Minor, located at the top of Turkey. What makes these flowers unique is the seeds develop into a tuber producing a buttercup shaped flower that is 14″ to 24″ tall.
Before sitting at an elegant communal table, I walked up to the Tap Truck SD for a pour of Golden Blonde before finding my place setting. Corbin told me his beer trucks are ideal for parties, weddings, concerts and festivals.
Our Petal to Plate picnic in the fields was prepared by the creative chefs at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa. The first course was a crudite plate. There was sun-dried tomato pesto hummus, lemon hummus, citrus thyme marinated olive blend, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, Tinkerbell sweet peppers and pita chips.
Next I enjoyed a Cali Wrap made with a spinach wrap filled with grilled zucchini, roasted sweet peppers, quinoa tabouleh and a Romesco spread, and then finished with a large double fudge chocolate chip cookie.
Executive Director of Visit Carlsbad Sam Ross and Mark Rudyk the Director of Marketing & Communications at Visit Carlsbad share what the farmers do with all these flowers. “Some of the flowers are cut, while others stay in the field for farmers to collect the seeds and replant in the same field for the next season,” said Ross.
The Flowers and bulbs are harvested and packaged to sell at the onsite Armstrong Garden store for the public to take and plant at home.
Guests visiting the Flower Fields can ride in a wagon pulled by an antique tractor with an audio commentary sharing the history of this one-of-a-kind farm. This year the fields have props for visitors to capture the perfect Instagrammable moments.
Even though ranunculus are the stars in Spring, there is an interactive flower maze made with blooming, colorful and fragrant sweet peas. While exploring the attraction, I discovered the history of the poinsettia, and walked into a large greenhouse showcasing cymbidium orchids in a multitude of colors.
During April and May there are a variety of fun, special events that include live-musical performances, flower arranging classes, photo workshops, tea in the gardens and sunset wine tastings with food in the fields. To see a schedule of events, go to Visit Carlsbad and The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.