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

Simón Limón Brings Local Handmade Gifts to Barrio Logan

Owner Alexandra Perez Demma is supporting makers on both sides of the border

This San Diego Startup Is Teaching Men How to Shop

Cayenne puts a little spice in guys' wardrobe, one garment a day

Step Inside Kristie Nova's Del Sur Abode

Interior designer Kelly Hinchman helps the boss mom flip a house into an elegant, albeit practical, home for eight
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best of San Diego Party 2018
  2. The Best of San Diego 2018
    We crown 103 winners in food, shopping, fitness, kids’ activities, and more
  3. Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants
    Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants
  4. Javier Plascencia Eyes Barrio Logan
    The award-winning chef is all over Mexico, but looks to make a San Diego comeback
  5. A Sneak Peek at ‘The Heart of Rock & Roll’
    The Old Globe’s newest world-premiere musical promises a familiar soundtrack and all the good feels of an ’80s rom-com
  6. What San Diego Women Want
    53 working women share their compelling stories on navigating pay equity, the baby penalty, #MeToo, and more
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Vote Now for Your Orangetheory Winner!

Winners will be announced at our Sweat event on May 12

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

Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants

Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants

AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags