Monday, August 22, 2016

Road trip ~

Over the weekend my Granddaughter and I went on a short road trip up the coast to Santa Barbara. Our destination was Lotusland, a garden created by the talented, fascinating, and somewhat scandalous Ganna Walska. 

Original Peacock entrance gates

 The property was purchased in 1941 by Madame Walska, a former Polish opera singer and her sixth and final husband. Their marriage shorty ended but she lived on at Lotusland spending the next 43 years creating one of the world's most famous exotic gardens. Comprised of 37 acres it is divided into seperate spaces featuring cactus, succulents, a Japanese garden, cycads, aloes, ferns, palms, bromeliads, an Australian garden and of course the famous lotus pond.

Zoe on the mosaic rock path
Mosaic paths, shards of blue bottle glass edgings, antique statuary, and shells, shells, shells, adorn the garden.

The original house is located in the midst of the cactus garden.

 Steps away down another footpath is the shade garden with it's huge baskets of plants cascading in grand and ethereal splendor.

In some parts of the garden you almost expect dinosaurs to appear...

Aloe garden
...turn another corner and you happen on the lotus pond.

Years ago the original  lap pool was filled in and converted to the lotus pond. The lotus had almost
finished blooming but the sea of seed pods was quite amazing.

Wouldn't this be a lovely place to have breakfast in the morning or sit in the twilight of early evening. 

Madame Ganna Walska died at 97 in 1984 maintaining her passion for the garden up until the end of her life. Her last and final creation, the cycad  garden, was financed by auctioning off  her jewelry collection for a reported one million dollars in the late 1970's. After her death Lotusland became a nonprofit botanic garden. It is truly one of California's treasures.

We had a great day!


  1. It's wonderful that Mme's life work wasn't lost and can be enjoyed today in all its prickly splendour! I'm not sure how I feel about a cactus garden. I understand the structural beauty, but all the spines make me feel a little edgy!
    It must have been lovely to have had the day with your granddaughter!

  2. Adrienne, that looks like a beautiful and interesting place. How much fun to share it with your granddaughter..Happy Monday..Judy


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