US: After taking most of 2020 season off, Flower Fields set to bloom again

Over the past 18 years of managing The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, General Manager Fred Clarke has seen some disappointing crop years caused by early rains, freezes, droughts, pests and wildfires. But nothing beats the pandemic in terms of its unique double-whammy last March.

Just over two weeks into its 2020 season last March, the 55-acre floral attraction was forced to close its gates to visitors. At the same time, all of the orders for the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that the farm cuts and ships back East to wholesale distributors were canceled. Flower sales did eventually rebound, but to control expenses in the early weeks of the pandemic, Clarke mowed down the majority of the early crop to reduce water costs.

But everything’s coming up roses, or ranunculus in this case, for the 2021 season. On Monday, March 1, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch opened its gates for a nine-week spring season.

“We had a fantastic germination this year, so it’s going to be really beautiful here,” Clarke said, during a walk around the property Wednesday, Feb. 24, where a handful of staff gardeners and volunteers were busy getting things ready for this week.

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