Every spring the hillsides above I-5 in North San Diego County burst into colorful bloom. The Flower Fields are in fact 50 acres of colorful Ranunculus bulbs being grown for the commercial market. The bulbs were first cultivated in the San Diego area in the early part of the 20th century and have been a fixture ever since. Interestingly, the flowers are really a byproduct of the process--the bulbs are really what is important. Several million bulbs are harvested each year.
Residents and visitors have always enjoyed walking through the fields and admiring the colors. Recently a permanent facility was built on the site and a nursery was added. Visitors can ride through the fields on a wagon or walk through. The flowers are at their best for about eight weeks in March and April of each year. Carlsbad residents and the city have made a commitment to preserving the fields for future generations so the colorful display should continue for many years.
In addition to walking through the fields, visitors can use the chairs and picnic tables. There is a refreshment stand on the premises.
The Flower Fields has also commissioned nationally known artists to create colorful works using flowers and plants as their media. This program started in 2000 with "A Contemplative Garden", by renowned San Diego artist, Patricia Patterson. Circles and Cycles was created in 2001 by Gary Lang. The plan is to create new gardens each Spring and always have two on display.