Second Dinner Tour Stop Gets Rave Reviews

Guests Watched the Sun Set Over the Pacific as They Dined in a Sea of Ranunculus

Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography

The glory of The Flower Fields never tires.

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For the fourth year in a row, The Flower Fields of Carlsbad provided the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner tour with that quintessential experience that one might imagine when dreaming of dinner on a flower farm.

Surrounded by beautiful ranunculus.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Hundreds of millions of ranunculus carpet the hillside, tended to by Mellano & Company, where the tradition and history of flower farming in Southern California is made manifest and approximately 300,000 people are invited onto the farm each year to experience the incredible majesty.

Special event planner and floral designer Debi Lilly of Perfect Events was the featured floral designer for the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad. Photography by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

However, just 160 people had the opportunity to spend an evening dining between the rows of these beautiful ranunculus to celebrate American Grown Flowers.

Guest Kimberly K. shared, “It is a visually stunning experience that leaves you in awe, breathtaking beauty that surrounds you for as far as the eye can see. It is very humbling to be among so much beauty. It sure does put a big smile on your face…for days!”

Designer Debi Lilly set the table with gorgeous blooms in gorgeous vases from sponsor Syndicate Sales. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography



Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event was this year’s featured designer, starting out the day hosting two floral design workshops on the flower farm in the Paul Ecke Jr. Family Barn.


Lilly walked attendees through current floral design trends and techniques, and highlighted the value and virtues of the growing movement for homegrown blooms, all while designing with Certified American Grown Flowers.



Debi Lilly (center) lead two floral design workshops prior to the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at The Flower Fields of Carlsbad.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.


“The beauty in these fields – it’s completely overwhelming,” shared Lilly. “You expect the yellow brick road and emerald city skyline to magically pop out – it’s pure movie set magic.”



Flower farmer Mike Mellano of Mellano & Co. provided guests with a warm welcome, thanking everyone for coming to the farm for dinner. Mellano acknowledged his team of growers, highlighting all that it takes to keep a flower farm blooming in California.

Flower farmer Mike Mellano of Mellano & Company, provided guests with a farm tour prior to the dinner. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

“Anymore, I don’t get to get my boots in the mud as much as I’d like,” shared Mike. “But at Mellano & Company, we have a great team of experienced people that help make this all happen.”

Guests enjoyed a very special menu, provided by Chef Teegan Smith of Crown Point Catering.

Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

“The Field to Vase Dinner at The Flower Fields has become a tradition unto itself,” shared Certified American Grown Flowers Administrator Kasey Cronquist. “Each flower farm we visit is uniquely beautiful, but watching the sun go down over the Pacific Ocean while dining in a sea of ranunculus is really something special.”

Guests went home with their arms full after a wonderful evening at the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

…and beautiful ranunculus from Mellano & Company. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Three dinners remain on the 2018 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour.  Dinner on the lawn of the California State Capitol in Sacramento, California on June 13, Star Valley Flowers in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, on Sept. 8  and Green Door Gourmet in Nashville, Tennessee, on Oct. 5. Visit to learn more about the dinner tour.

A night to remember. Guests cheers to making memories in The Flower Fields of Carlsbad during the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner on April 26.  The wine was provided by Geyser Peak Winery. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.