24 Mar

DSC09078On a Wednesday we visited Lotusland, a magical botanical garden conceived and designed by one woman. Her project lasted 43 years, until she died at 97. DSC09120 Madame Ganna Walska, a worldwide opera star and bohemian socialite with six husbands and attendant wealth, bought an estate in Montecito, California in 1941. Today Lotusland is a 37 acre botanical garden with world renowned collections of rare cycads, cacti, palms and euphorbias. Walska created a series of gardens with bold designs and exotic color combinations in a mysterious labyrinth of unique unfolding landscapes. DSC09190





DSC09063The garden is impressive for the breadth of collection of individual plants. For example there are 170 varieties of aloe alone and rare species of cycads collected from all over the world and protected by international treaty. DSC09135





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DSC09109 And there was wildlife…DSC09112

12 Responses to “Lotusland”

  1. Derek March 27, 2014 at 12:22 am #

    Dear Jill and Dana:
    Thank you for sending me a link to your excellent adventure. Who knew? Well apparently lots of folks. Glad I’m now one of them. I’ve only made it through some of your Santa Barbara activities so far, but I will go farther. It sounds like the time you’ve had has been everything you wanted it to be. Your pictures capture Santa Barbara and captivate your viewer. Yours has been a very different–VERY DIFFERENT–winter from ours here in Asheville. In the past two weeks we’ve had mid 70’s and days it didn’t get up to 40. And several days of snow. I think I hear our poor bulbs saying “what the #^*!”, but maybe their leaves are just reflecting my inner voice. I am so ready for “Med” weather. And it’s coming. I know. Patience. Patience.
    Have a safe uneventful trip home.
    All the best

    • Jill March 27, 2014 at 1:47 am #

      We have been on the road for 18 total months visiting the five Mediterranean climate regions of the world. The weather has been exquisite and plant life astonishing. For more info about our adventure, type FAQ in the search box of Medflies and see some of our answers. Enjoy.

  2. Joyce Tate March 24, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    Beautiful … It’s going to be hard leaving Santa Barbara; it’s got such a beautiful places to visit

    • Jill March 24, 2014 at 7:58 am #

      It is a lush and lovely place. A great place to spend the winter.

  3. ellengregor March 24, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing your adventures! 🙂

    • Jill March 24, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      Our pleasure.

  4. obie March 24, 2014 at 5:24 am #

    It might be abit dryer when you get back to NM!

    • Jill March 24, 2014 at 8:00 am #

      We thought of you so often while we looked at all these cactus. Lotusland is your kind of place. J

  5. Ursula Freer March 24, 2014 at 1:49 am #

    Fabulous place and photos! It will be hard for you to adjust to our barren landscape!

    • Jill March 24, 2014 at 2:21 am #

      Not really. New Mexico’s stark beauty gets into your blood. We will be glad to be home.

  6. Bart March 24, 2014 at 1:45 am #


    • Jill March 24, 2014 at 2:19 am #

      Dear Bart, Marcella, Dante and Enzo,
      How great it is to hear from you and Valparaiso. Hope your year has gone well and winter has brought David, Lisa and many other guests. I gave a presentation on Valparaiso in my Spanish class in…yes…Spanish. I used Dana’s photos so it was a big hit! We think and talk of Valparaiso often. Ciao, Jill

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