The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

This past weekend, a few long time friends of mine and I decided to take a short road trip out to the flower fields in Carlsbad, CA.  I have been a few times over the past 6 years but haven’t made the trip the past 2.  It was time to go back.  We had a cold, cloudy and misty day, which made for the perfect day to venture down south and take some flower photos!


For approximately 8 weeks a year, usually beginning in March, the hillside which consists of nearly 50 acres is covered in brightly colored Tecolote Ranunculus flowers. These gorgeous flowers announce the arrival of spring here in Southern California .   This has been going on for over 60 years.


When you walk through the turnstyle, you are not quite sure where to start.  Do I go to the right where the Artist Garden is and where you can also grab a ticket to ride the tractor around the grounds, or do I go to the left and begin the journey of wandering through the fields?   We chose to start with the Artist Garden.

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Here are some shots from that area.

This is usually the area where I am able to catch a lot of bees buzzing around the flowers but for some reason, there were not many this trip. I stalked this particular one for a bit an was able to snap a few, but dang if he wouldn’t sit still.

Since it had been a few years since my last visit, I noticed they had changed things around.  They had moved their Historic Poinsettia Display tent, next to the The Artist Garden.   This was our next stop.

Here you can walk through a 1500 square foot greenhouse filled with Ecke poinsettias.  They have a rare and unusual variety. Personally I am not a big fan of these flowers, but they were pretty this year.

Now it was time to head to the Rose Garden area.   Let me tell you how strong the smell was as you walked towards this area!  You definitely knew where you were.

I didn’t take many in this area as a lot of them had begun to wilt.

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Now we ventured onto the path that would lead us way out into the middle of the fields. Below are the miscellaneous plants and flowers along the way.

Before we headed out to the hills of flowers we stopped in the Cymbidium Orchid Greenhouse.   It seemed a little scarce in there then I remembered. but what was in there was beautiful.

Now it was time to venture out into the hills of the many, many Ranunculus flowers. I tried to get  a little of everything but sadly we are not allowed to venture into the heart of the flowers, where the vibrant ones still bloomed.

As we wound down our walk we passed by the Sweat Pea Maze, which is always there. We did not venture in, although I have done it in the past and it’s not as easy as you think, but it is FUN!  They also have a few planters asking you “Is it your lucky day” where you can search for a long time for that one 4 leaf clover.   Good Luck!

If you don’t feel like walking around the fields you can enjoy an open antique tractor ride around them for a small price.  They will also give you a history as you ride.  I personally have never done this, as I like to walk.  There are also things for the kids to enjoy as well. They have the Carlsbad Mining Company where you sift through the sand in  the water and discover your polished stones.  Santa’s Playground, which is the new home to some of the items that were part of the Santa’s Village in Lake Arrowhead years ago.  I didn’t take any photos of these areas as it was now starting to rain on us and we were just about finished with our walk.

Sadly I think we made our visit a little to late in the season as many of the flowers were dying or had died.  Southern California got a lot of rain this past winter so the bloom was fantastic, but sadly a few weeks prior to our visit we had VERY strong winds that damaged alot of these flowers and then we had a heat wave right before we went.  I think that may have affected what we saw.   I did take a few shots of some dead and wilting flowers as I thought they still looked eerily beautiful in their own way.


As our day came to an end, it was perfect timing.  We found a little table to rest at and get something to drink and in came the rain.  We were ok with that as we had done what we wanted to this trip.  Time to head over to the outlet mall and do some shopping!

We had a good time and if we go back next year it will be earlier in the season, if we have a free weekend! On that note I leave you with this little gem.  😉

final sign

Until next time, This IS Cindy’s Spin, riding off into the sunset on my tractor.  😉