the flower fields – carlsbad, ca

I finally made it to the flower fields! Apparently it’s a huge deal here in Carlsbad. They have their own exit sign off the I-5 freeway, and Instagram is flooded with their flowers during these spring months . Quite honestly, I did find $16 to be a bit steep to walk through flowers and take some photos. After learning a bit about their history and how the flower fields were and are a working ranch to grow and sell/display flowers, I understand why it was a smart move to make it a tourist attraction. It costs a lot to maintain nearly 50 acres of agriculture! The flowers are in full bloom for only a portion of the year and probably make most of their income during that time.

Well on my way to the flower fields, I expected to see flowers of ALL kinds – not just acres upon acres of ranunculus flowers. I mean I wasn’t crying about it but when my parents went to the tulip festival in Woodburn, OR, what did they see?  TULIPS. When I visited the lavender fields in Hood River, OR, what did I see? LAVENDER. If it’s a FLOWER field, shouldn’t we see many types of flowers? Maybe it’s just me. At least the 13 colors of ranunculus flowers brought some variety!

Upon  entering the flower fields my mom made a beeline straight to the fruit trees next to her happy place – Armstrong Garden Centers. Hey Mom, want to go to look at the flowers? “Ohhhh look at these apples. I wonder how they take such good care of them.. Oh look! More fruit trees!” You gotta love her. In that moment I realized I had an expectation on how the day should go and how my parents should act. Speaking of me pursuing my own freedom.. I must allow others to be free! My desire was to visit the flower fields and to spend time together with them – period. Or so I thought..!! Once we purchased our tickets and walked through the entrance, anything could happen. Whether or not my parents were grateful, had fun, or enjoyed the flowers, that’s not up to me. I felt a burden lift off of me once I laid my expectations down. I felt another burden lift off me as I laid down the “responsibility” of making sure they had fun. Alas, I finally came into the present moment enjoying each interaction we had together.

Here’s the view from inside the Paul Ecke Jr. Family Barn where they host weddings and events throughout the year. We watched a little video on the history of the flower fields in here. The flower fields used to be the sole distributor of flowers to a certain grocery store decades ago  – I forget which one. It was a great break from the sun and wearing heels. I’m not sure why I didn’t bring a change of shoes, but I felt pretty accomplished considering I rarely wear heels.

The pictures you see on Instagram are not very realistic. Girls in the middle of the flower fields with no other person in sight? Not so much. It looks more like this.

Or this. Visitors took turns to have the “spot.” Even then – how do people crop out all the green caution tape?

Here’s the view from the top of the flower fields facing the ocean.

If you want to grow your very own ranunculus flowers, buy these bulbs for $4.99.

Yup, you know it! Back at Armstrong for another 30 minutes to close out our time together.

At the end of it all, I believe we all had a good time because we were together. It didn’t matter what we were doing as long as we were together. Time together also works the best when we all individually operate in freedom. You be freely you, and I’ll be freely me. When that happens, the synergy is beautiful and dynamic. We walked away from the flower fields with more unity and laughter – and I captured bits of it on camera.

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