There was a lot of talk this spring about the “Superbloom” here in California. The state had suffered through a pretty extreme drought for the past decade, but this year, thanks to all the rain, things started to GROW again! Some of the hills around my home were actually GREEN and wildflowers were popping up everywhere – things didn’t look so dry and depressing anymore!
That springtime vibrancy didn’t last long enough though. Now that summer is setting in, the hills have more or less gone back to their neutral tones. The climate in Southern California is quite arid, making it a great place for succulents and cactus, but not exactly ideal for delicate flowers.
Even though the tulip fields of Holland and the flower markets of Paris are a far cry from anything you’ll find here in California, I decided to make the most of what we have and seek out some blooms close to home. The two places I visited were the Poppy Fields in the Antelope Valley and the Ranunculus Flower Fields in Carlsbad.
My old highshool is only 20 minutes away from the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve, so I’ve grown up with the yearly appearance of florescent orange poppies dancing in the desert wind and the annual posters advertising the “Poppy Festival,” a local event that actually doesn’t have much to do with poppies. I haven’t visited the field in about 7 years, so it was nice to finally get my camera in front of those blooms.
The next day, after heading back home to Orange County, I ventured down to Carlsbad to see the Ranunculus at the only commercial flower field in Southern California (that I know of), called simply: The Flower Fields. They have a tractor shuttle, a sweet pea maze, a garden center, and rows of multicolored Ranunculus in shades of white, yellow, orange, pink, red and purple. The purple ones were my favorite because the petals looked velvety and rich.
Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve
15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, CA 93536
Blooming season: March through May, but check website or call for bloom status
The Flower Fields
5704 Paseo Del Norte Carlsbad, CA 92008
Blooming season: Mid-March through mid-April, but check website for bloom status