Through volunteerism, business and community philanthropy, and other means, The Flower Fields Foundation strives to provide yearly support to The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Creating long-term educational, scientific, and philanthropic activities is the foundation’s primary purpose.
Funding educational, scientific, and humanitarian programs annually via volunteerism, business, and community giving.
Scientific knowledge of agricultural problems and their historical influence on Northern San Diego County promotes a scientific understanding of agricultural issues and their historical impact on the area. A fantastic read
Horticulture and early resident in the region in the early 1920s, Luther Gage, planted the first flowers in the fields approximately 85 years ago. Then Mr. Gage planted Ranunculus seeds in his fields close to Frank Frazee’s tiny vegetable farm in South Oceanside. In 1933, Frank Frazee began producing ranunculus. He taught his son Edwin how to sow, cultivate, and irrigate the lovely but unpopular flower. Edwin Frazee abandoned high school at 16 to work full time for his father’s growing flower business.
The ranunculus is an Asiatic buttercup: single petal contact, red and yellow hues. Edwin Frazee spent years carefully selecting flowers that now have magnificent hues and richness. Mr. Frazee would conserve seed from a full blossom or a unique shade and sow it the following year. Consequently, we have today’s full blooms in thirteen lovely hues, including picotee.
Edwin Frazee transferred his ranunculus and gladiolus growing enterprise to the present location in 1965, property owned by the Encinitas Ecke Family. They used to cultivate poinsettias on the land, but in the 1960s, they shifted all propagation inside greenhouses. Both Paul Ecke Jr. and Edwin were flower growers, which aided their friendship. When Edwin retired in 1993, Paul persuaded him to remain on as a consultant to a new grower. Paul enlisted the help of Mellano & Company, another long-time flower-growing family. Paul Jr. saw tourism as a method to maintain the fields financially viable as field-grown agriculture became more challenging. The stage was prepared for the long-term preservation and promotion of this charming cultural icon. Thus, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch was created.
Paul Ecke Jr. died in 2002, while Edwin Frazee died in 2006. Nevertheless, Paul’s purpose of bringing people closer to agriculture and Edwin’s ambition for ranunculus to live on were met. Each spring, the ranunculus blossom into spectacular fields of color.
In the early days of Luther Gage’s flower beds, The Flower Fields were a small patch of ground that grew into one of San Diego’s most famous monuments.
In 1999, The Flower Fields hired Armstrong Garden Centers to handle their retail business. By focusing on what they do best, The Flower Fields can create beautiful flowers for the world to enjoy. Those unable to visit The Flower Fields may purchase bulbs from this fantastic horticulture site at EasytoGrowBulbs.com.
The Flower Fields is now a thriving working ranch and a popular area tourist destination. Thousands of annual visitors enjoy free parking, an Armstrong Garden Center, unique events, historical information, and flower items. Our Paul Ecke Jr. Barn can also host parties, galas, and weddings for 200 people.
The Flower Fields will remain a national treasure because of the Ecke family’s continuous generosity and forethought. Call The Flower Fields at (760) 431-0352 for more information. Next blog post