Straight Ahead: Carlsbad's Hue-Filled Hillside

The ranunculus -- many, many, many ranunculus -- are on their whimsical way.

THERE ARE THINGS WE WANT... that we probably shouldn't get. For example, there's the old tale of the child who wanted Christmas every day, but once that magical wish came true, the holiday lost some of its specialness. But even while we know this, we continue to have our "this should happen every day because it is so nice!" wants, and one that many people who regularly drive the 5 through Carlsbad likely share? A wish that The Flower Fields could be in bloom all year long. The hillside bud bed is spectacular, is why, thanks to the rows and rows of ranunculus blooms and their truly outrageous hues, hues so fictional they look like they might have been created via computer graphics. But those pinks and yellows and reds are real, and they show up every spring, for just a few weeks, at the freeway-close hub of all things garden.

WHICH IS... well and good, despite the fact that we'd like to enjoy the eye-popping sight all year long. The fact that we can go to The Flower Fields starting on Saturday, March 1 -- that's when they open for the season -- and revisit any day through May 11 -- that's Mother's Day -- is most excellent. Do we even savor the experience a bit more, because it only lasts for about a sixth of the year? Probably.

TO-KNOWS: Things really heat up -- or hue up -- in the ranunculus-blooming department come April, but every year is different, so best watch for updates in the usual social media spots (Facebook is a fine start). It's twelve bucks to enter, for an adult, and there are extra add-ons if you wish, like wagon rides. Plus? Special events dot The Flower Fields' calendar. Yep, there are many pretty gardens throughout California, but few make the can't-look-away showing of this Carlsbad gem. Don't miss its short and memorable span, while it lasts.

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