The Flower Fields are now closed. We will reopen March 1, 2025.

A History of
The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch®

The Fields today are a direct result of nearly 85 years of floral cultivation that began with Luther Gage, an early settler and horticulturist that settled in the area in the early 1920’s. Mr. Gage brought ranunculus seeds to the area and began growing them in his fields next to Frank Frazee’s small vegetable farm in South Oceanside. In 1933 Frank Frazee also started growing ranunculus and introduced his son Edwin to the art of seeding, cultivating and irrigating the pretty but not yet popular flower. At the age of 16, Edwin Frazee quit high school to work full time on his father’s burgeoning flower operation.

The ranunculus is native to Asia Minor and a member of the buttercup family. Originally the flowers were single petal contact and ranged in shades of red and yellow. The beautiful colors and fullness of the flowers you see now are due to the careful selection done by Edwin Frazee over many years. If nature provided a full flower or an unusual color, Mr. Frazee would save the seed and plant them the next year. This resulted in full flowers in thirteen beautiful colors including picotee, (a mixture of variegated colors) that we have today.

 Edwin Frazee made several moves over the years but in 1965 he moved his ranunculus along with gladiolus growing operation to the current site, land owned by the Ecke Family of Encinitas. They had previously used the land to grow their poinsettias but in the 60’s they moved all propagation into greenhouses. Paul Ecke Jr. and Edwin were both flower farmers which helped form a strong bond between the two men. When Edwin decided to retire in 1993 Paul convinced him to stay on as a consultant to a new grower to carry on his work. Paul brought in Mellano and Company, another long time flower growing family, to take over the growing of the beautiful ranunculus. Paul Jr. also looked at tourism as an important way to keep the fields financially viable as field grown agriculture had become increasingly more difficult over the years. The stage was set for the enduring preservation and promotion of this enchanting cultural emblem of Carlsbad. Hence, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch was born!

In 2002 Paul Ecke Jr. died, two years later Edwin Frazee passed away. Paul’s goal to bring people closer to agriculture and Edwin’s wish to have ranunculus live on beyond his death were achieved. Their presence is felt each spring when the ranunculus bloom into blazing fields of color.

From its humble beginnings in Luther Gage’s flower beds to one of San Diego County’s most enduring and recognizable landmarks, The Flower Fields continue to showcase nature’s artistry and to symbolize the diligence of a couple of the region’s most important and colorful pioneers.

In 1999, The Flower Fields entered into a retail agreement with Armstrong Garden Centers to manage the retail store. This agreement allows The Flower Fields personnel to concentrate on what they do best – growing beautiful flowers for the world to enjoy. For those not fortunate enough to be able to visit The Flower Fields, bulbs from this amazing horticultural site can be found at

Today, The Flower Fields represents the perfect synthesis of a robust working ranch and regional tourist attraction. Ample parking, an Armstrong Garden Center, special event opportunities, historical information, and floral products are provided to thousands of visitors each year. Additionally, our Paul Ecke Jr. Barn can accommodate up to 200 guests for events, galas and weddings.

Due to the continued benevolence and foresight of the Ecke family, The Flower Fields will continue to be a national jewel, an attraction enjoyed for future generations.



Volunteering at The Flower Fields is a great way to get involved and give back to the community. By contributing your time and expertise you can learn something new, help others and have fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to respect the rights and ensure the safety of our guests, we do not allow pets or Emotional Support Animals. The only animals allowed are Service Animals.  Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

You may bring cameras, phones, and tripods.  We do not allow any other equipment without booking a photo shoot.

Operation or use of any drones, unmanned aircraft/flying systems, and remotely controlled flying machines, motorized or not, is strictly prohibited.

There are 3 main types of shoots.  Personal shoots, commercial, or media (detailed in FAQs below).

  • Personal shoots include, but are not limited to, portraits, family, engagement, wedding, maternity, graduation etc.
  • The Flower Fields will be open to the general public during your shoot.
  • Photo/video shoots in this category will be charged a location fee of $500 per session, to be paid in advance by credit or debit card, or by personal check payable to CB Ranch Enterprises. This fee covers up to 2 hours of shooting and 5 people for entrance to The Flower Fields®, including the photographer and any support staff. Any additional people will be charged the general rate per person.
  • All shoots will be scheduled from between 9:00am-6:00pm depending on availability.
  • Not later than 10 days before the scheduled photo session, Photographer/Videographer will provide CBR with a certificate of insurance showing general liability coverage in the amount of $1,000,000 and naming CB Ranch Enterprises, Carltas Company, and Carltas Management all as additional insureds.
  • Credit must be given to The Flower Fields whenever the images are published or posted.
  • Visit our Photography page for more information.
  • Covers any portfolio photographs/videos, photographs/videos to be published or to advertise or promote goods or services, photographs/videos in connection with any business or non-profit organization, photography/video involving models, clothing changes, props, or extra equipment other than a tripod and standard flash.
  • The Flower Fields will be open to the general public during your shoot.
  • All shoots will be scheduled from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. or 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Shoots in this category will be charged a location fee based on time, number of people, and space required.
  • Not later than 10 days before the scheduled photo session, Photographer/Videographer will provide CBR with a certificate of insurance showing general liability coverage in the amount of $1,000,000 and naming CB Ranch Enterprises, Carlsbad Ranch Company, L.P., Carltas Company, and Carltas Management all as additional insureds.
  • Credit must be given to The Flower Fields whenever the images are published or posted.
  • All media sessions, including any content intended for paid internet or social media campaigns, print, radio, television or film, must be pre-approved and scheduled.  All media requests will be handled separately from all other photography/videography and on a case-by-case basis.
  • The Flower Fields will be open to the general public during your shoot.
  • Credit must be given to The Flower Fields whenever the images are published or posted.

Photographers/Videographers, equipment used, date/time of arrival, style of shoot, location, and guest count.

Professional photographers and videographers will need to submit an application, need to hold general liability insurance, and be personally approved by CB Ranch Enterprises.

A 10-day advance booking is required for all shoots.

Personal – Taylor Moss,

Commercial – Joni Miringoff,

Media – Stephanie Barba,

It is called the Tecolote® Giant Ranunculus, which is one of the finest strains of ranunculus plants in the world. The ranunculus flower is native to Asia Minor and is a member of the buttercup family. This unique blossom also is known as a Persian Buttercup or Ranunculus Asiatic.

55-acres are devoted to raising the ranunculus bulb crop; approximately five acres are used for other specialty flowers.

Thanks to cooperative efforts between the land’s owner, the grower, The City of Carlsbad, The Carlsbad Agricultural Improvement Fund and the California Coastal Conservancy, this colorful hillside will continue to welcome visitors for years to come.

Fresh cut ranunculus flowers are available for purchase along with potted plants, bulbs and a variety of other items in the Armstrong Garden Center Gift Shop.  Starting in March, our fresh flowers are available online at

The flowers die back and produce seed for re-planting in these same fields for the next season. We feel that by allowing the plant to complete its life cycle, it helps to produce a more superior bulb crop.

Mostly machines harvest the bulbs – actually tuberous roots, corms or rhizomes. We sell the bulbs here at the Armstrong Garden Center and they are also available at other garden centers after the fields have closed for the season. And of course, every fall the bulbs are sold at nurseries and garden centers across the country. These bulbs also are sold online through

The best time to view the flowers is usually late March to early May. However, these dates may change if the bloom is either early or late due to weather conditions, etc.

Vehicles are not allowed in the fields. However, you may take our Tractor Wagon Ride for a nominal fee. The Tractor Wagon Ride is great for a trip around the fields and is wheelchair accessible.

Spring weather can be unpredictable in Carlsbad, and our blueberry patch is not always available for picking. Upon arrival at The Flower Fields, we will have signage sharing with our visitors if picking is available! If no signage is out, the blueberries are not available for picking that day.

When open, you can purchase your 1-pint baskets for $8 each at the blueberry stand to enjoy the U-Pick experience.  We only accept credit card payment for our U-pick blueberries.

Yes, The Flower Fields® will remain open on rainy days as long as it is safe for visitors to walk along the pathways. If the weather conditions cause the pathways to be considered unsafe, we will close. Please note, some attractions, such as the Wagon Ride, musical performances or special ticketed events, may be affected or closed due to rain.

Benches, picnic tables and chairs are available throughout The Flower Fields site.

Please bring a sweater or light jacket, as it may get breezy walking up farm paths and dirt farm roads. Comfortable shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are also good ideas. Do not forget your cameras!

No, but it is a hillside so walk carefully on the farm roads. Take your time and enjoy your walk.

Please understand that The Flower Fields is a working farm.  We are committed to making your experience as accommodating as reasonably possible.  Our parking and restroom facilities are accessible and in compliance with the CBC and ADA Standards.  However, our farm is situated on a slope overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  We have trails and dirt paths on our Farms that our guests may use at their own risk.  For this reason, we encourage you to take advantage of our Tractor Wagon Ride as the best means of viewing our property.  Should you require assistance or have limited mobility, please check in at the customer service window upon your arrival. We are here to serve you.

No. Guests are required to bring their own wheelchairs and strollers.

Mellano & Company of San Luis Rey is the production arm and onsite grower. The Ecke family owns the land.

All tickets must be purchased online prior to your arrival.  There will be no tickets sold onsite.

Your ticket purchase is specific to your selected date and arrival time only.

Once you arrive at The Flower Fields, please have your ticket in hand. There are two options for presenting your ticket.

OPTION 1: Printed Ticket. You will receive an option to print your ticket after check out.

Be sure to bring the printed ticket with you.

OPTION 2: Show ticket with QR code on your phone. You will receive an email after purchasing your online ticket that contains the barcode. Be sure to have the email open and ready to have the barcode scanned when you arrive.

All sales are final and no refunds will be given. If you wish to reschedule or exchange your ticket, visit the See Tickets’ Customer Service portal here.  This exchange tool can only be used if you are booking the same number of tickets at the same, or a greater price.  At this time, exchanges cannot be used for tickets at a lower price point.

See Tickets’ Customer Service portal here.

Once you arrive on your pre-purchased date and time, you are welcome to stay until The Flower Fields closes.

A Season Pass allows you to visit The Flower Fields as many times as you wish during the 2024 Season. Once purchased, it can be used any date and time during the 2024 Flower Fields Season, no reservations required. Season Passes are sold throughout the season, and are not discounted later in the season.

The best time to avoid a crowd is during the weekdays. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are our highest volume times at The Flower Fields. If you need to come during peak days we suggest arriving before noon to avoid peak attendance.

Re-entry will not be allowed.

The Wagon Ride will be available this year. It can be paid for after your entry at the onsite, Wagon Ride ticket booth. Online tickets for the Wagon Ride are not available at this time.

Please check our Activity Calendar for an updated list of activities for this year.

Parking is free.

Yes we have disabled parking spaces available in front of the main entrance and at the Armstrong Garden Center.

The Flower Fields information hotline telephone number is (760) 431-0352.

Yes, there are various food offerings ranging from coffee, to ice cream, to pizza.  However, please check our Plan Your Trip – Attractions page to see what days they are available.

To find information on public transportation to The Flower Fields, please contact your local transit authority. If within North County San Diego, please call (760) 966-6500.

Changing the vase water regularly will extend the beauty of any fresh cut flower. You can add the following to your water in a medium sized vase:

  • Teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 can of lemon-lime soda (non-diet)
  • Commercial (packaged) floral extender

****We do not recommend adding bleach to your water mix for ranunculus!

A package of bulbs purchased this season will last for up to two years if stored in a cool, dry place (40°-80° F).

Yes, but it is best to plant your bulbs after the last freeze because the bulbs will freeze if planted too early.

Yes to both questions. Prized for their unique blossoms, ranunculus come in a broad range of colors including yellow, white, orange, pink, red and picotee (mix). Ranunculus plants complement any sunny garden or patio area with their striking spring colors. The plants can tolerate sunny areas and partial shade. The best outdoor climate range is 40°-85° F with a decent amount of humidity. The plants need to be kept moist so they do not dry out. Indoors is best for exposing the plant to a good natural light source but away from direct and intense windowsill light. Be sure to maintain an even temperature; 50°-70° is ideal. Make certain the plants are kept moist at all times. Never allow the plants to dry out or sit in water.

For best results plant your bulbs:

Early spring, after the last frost. The bulbs or tubers should be planted toes down in a well-drained medium soil mix (in the ground or garden pot). Space the bulbs 6-8 inches apart and cover with 1/2-1 inch of soil. The bulbs do not need to be soaked prior to planting.

Watering your plants: Keep your soil moist at all times. After bulbs have sprouted, water 2-3 times weekly. Never allow the plant to dry out. If in a container, do not allow the plants to sit in standing water.

Fertilizing your plants: Use a good, balanced yard fertilizer. We suggest a 10-10-10 formula once a month.  The plants will bloom March through May.

We feel it is always a good idea to remove your bulbs from the soil after the blooming season. You can always ensure a better yield of flowers for the following season.

The Flower Fields are now closed. We will reopen March 1, 2025.