Monday, April 11, 2011
Last week Betsy, Wendy and I toured a 50 acre rainbow...
A rainbow of flowers, of course!
The world famous Carlsbad Flower Fields are open each spring and they bring thousands of visitors from all over the world. (Okay people probably don't travel across the world JUST to see a flower, but you know what I mean....)
Here's a quick history: 85 years ago, Luther Gage, an early settler, brought Ranunculus seeds to the area and began growing them in his fields.
Originally the flowers were single petal and ranged in shades of red and yellow. The new beautiful colors and super fullness of the flowers you see today are all due to the careful selection done over many years.
If nature provided a full flower or an unusual color, the growers would save the seed and plant it the next year. This resulted in full flowers in thirteen beautiful colors including picotee, (a mixture of variegated colors) that we have today.
So they plant 50 acres of the seeds each fall - and in the spring a rainbow is born!
These amazing fields of superior ranunculus bulbs left Gage as the only commercial ranunculus grower in the United States.
Years ago, the workers found much of their time taken up by politely, but firmly, rebuffing visitors who began helping themselves to free bouquets of gladiolus and ranunculus.
Then a brainstorm, and the Flower Fields tourist attraction was created!
So nowadays, for a $10 fee, you can enter the fields and enjoy a 50 acre rainbow up close and personal!
Mother Nature has transformed the rolling hills of North San Diego County into one of the most spectacular and coordinated displays of natural color and beauty anywhere in the world. The nearly fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up The Flower Fields® at Carlsbad are in a full bloom for approximately six to eight weeks each year - from early March through early May - literally bringing the famous fields back to life. This annual burst of color, which has become part of the area's local heritage, is also one of nature's official ways of announcing the arrival of spring here in Southern California.
BTW: Their website is HERE in case you want to visit.
at 5:00 AM