Monday, April 7, 2014

It's Spring! Let The #CAGrown Flower Love Continue

After posting about the wonderful open nursery/greenhouse tour I took in Carpinteria, I got to thinking (scary I know); it is April and that means Carlsbad's Flower Fields are in full bloom and a must-see spring outing.

For those who are uninformed, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch consist of 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers, on a hillside the overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Those who know me well, know that my favorite flower is Iris, my next favorite: Gerber daisies and rounding out the top 3: ranunculus.

What's a ranunculus? As they say on their FAQ page, "The ranunculus flower is native to Asia Minor and is a member of the buttercup family. This unique blossom also is known as a Persian Buttercup or Ranunculus Asiatic."

Standing among these delicate beauties at the Flower Fields is like standing inside of a rainbow. But these fields of color are short-lived and generally are in bloom for about 6-8 weeks from mid-March to mid-May, and this year the last scheduled open day is May 11, so don't miss them!

Not only can you take in the beauty of the flowers themselves, but there's lots of other activities and events for all ages including antique tractor rides, a sweet pea maze, an organic demonstration garden and of course, ranunculus bulbs available for purchase. When I first visited the fields many years ago, admission was free, but like most things, that's changed. The good news is that you can purchase your tickets online ahead of time.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

LA Farm Girl Lives & Visits California's Flower Basket

Gerber daisies as far as the eye can see. I did not want to leave Maximum Nursery.
It has been so long since I have posted anything to this blog, that I often get emails from people inquiring about my well-being. I am happy to report that I am fine, alive and kicking, and was simply taking a very long, unplanned break from blogging. Life happens and time passes. So, I am making an effort to start writing here again.

Easing back into the blog, here are some photos from the 6th Annual Carpinteria Greenhouse and Nursery Tour held on Saturday, March 29. This free event lets visitors tour several flower farms to get an idea of what it takes to grow the beautiful California flowers that Carpinteria is so famous for. Carpinteria is actually known as the flower basket of the United States.

A self-guided tour, you were able to visit as many (or as few) of the farms and nurseries as you liked. Not surprisingly, with a last name like Gerber, I made sure to visit a Gerbera daisy producer and was not disappointed in the tour offered by Winfred Van Wingerden of Maximum Nursery. I am thinking they need to hire this Gerber to help spread the Gerber daisy love!!!

As I always do, I want to remind everyone to buy local and support our California farmers whenever we can. That also extends to flowers, so buy #cagrown and  #caflowers! The good news is that this is easily done. Did you know that there are 120 acres of Gerber daisies grown in the United States and 80% of them are grown in Carpinteria? And, that you don't even have to visit there to get some? If you are a Trader Joe's shopper, you can find fresh bouquets of Maximum Nursery Gerber daisies year round!
Beautiful Maximum Nursery Gerbera daisies all wrapped and ready for purchase

Beautiful two-toned Gerbera daisy from Maximum Nursery

Brilliantly colored Maximum Nursery Gerbera 

More Gerbera love from Maximum Nursery