Edit ModuleShow Tags

Inside the Icon: The Flower Fields

Carlsbad’s colorful acres never fail to charm


Published:

Photo by Peter Kunasz / Shutterstock

Visit the Icon

5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad

Horticultural History

Dating back to the 1920s, the Flower Fields represent roughly 90 years of dedication from three families: those of Luther Gage, an early settler and grower; Frank and Edwin Frazee, a father-son flower-farming duo whose Oceanside operations expanded along the North County coast; and Paul Ecke Jr., who carried on Frazee’s legacy after his retirement.

Joint Ownership

The Flower Fields moved to its current location in Carlsbad in 1965. In 1993, Ecke joined forces with grower Mellano & Company to keep the flower business going. Today, the San Luis Rey-based company maintains operations and the Ecke family owns the land.

Blooms by the Numbers

Each season, more than 70 million flowers come and go at the 50-acre site; 7 million ranunculus are cut and sold across the nation. The flowers have a long vase life of seven to 10 days once cut.

What’s a Ranunculus?

The flower, a member of the buttercup family, is native to Asia Minor and is also known as a Persian Buttercup or Ranunculus Asiatic. The Flower Fields’ specific strain, the Tecolote Giant Ranunculus, was named after the local owls on Gage’s property.

Bees Be Gone

Ranunculus have no fragrance and are wind-pollinated, meaning no bees needed.

Drought-Cautious

Although the flowers need watering two to three times per week, the farm uses a highly efficient drip irrigation system buried in the flowerbeds. The infrastructure was built during a drought in the 1980s.

Helping Hands

The Flower Fields staffs roughly 60 people to cut flowers seven days per week for 10 to 15 weeks each year.

True Colors

Traditionally, ranunculus come in white, red, and yellow. The vibrant purples, pinks, and oranges are the result of cross-pollination and creative growing. Unique colors like café, lavender, and the multicolored picotee have all burst their way onto the field.

Patriotic Petunias

During the season after 9/11, the Flower Fields planted a 300-by-170-foot floral American flag out of nearly 10,000 red, white, and blue petunias.  

Flowers for Mom

The Flower Fields hosts a number of events from March through May, including a photography workshop, Kids Day, and a special Mother’s Day Celebration on May 10.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

From the Archives: When the Padres Became a Major League Team in 1969

And how Padres President Emil "Buzzie" Bavasi got us there half a century ago

Win a Trip for Two to Yellowstone Country Montana

Win a trip for two to Montana’s Paradise Valley, including roundtrip airfare on JetBlue from Long Beach to Bozeman, staying at Sage Lodge in Pray.

The SoCal (Social Calendar!)

From black-tie galas to costumed 5Ks, these events will keep your social calendar full—and you feeling good
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Vote Now for San Diego's Best Restaurants 2019
    From pho to fries, you can choose San Diego's best eats and drinks in 99 categories
  2. Puesto's Next Top Taco
    Submit your best taco recipe for the chance to win a grand prize
  3. Best Restaurants in San Diego: 2018
    San Diego's top restaurant owners, chefs, and bartenders name their favorite San Diego restaurants of 2018.
  4. The Best Soup Dumplings in San Diego
    My hunt for the best xiao long bao in the city unearthed two surprising winners
  5. Behind the Brands 2019
  6. 21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego
    These getaways will take you through California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Mexico
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Puesto's Next Top Taco

Submit your best taco recipe for the chance to win a grand prize

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Whale Watching Report from Hornblower for March 6–12

Whale watchers get their fill of gray whales, dolphins, and more

Shaping San Diego 2019

San Diego is a premier catalyst for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurialism
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags