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A visit to Lotusland garden in Montecito, California in October 2013

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  1. 1. Madame Ganna Walska, a wellknown Polish opera singer and socialite, purchased the estate in 1941 and spent the next 43 years creating Lotusland. The spectacular collections of exotic plants throughout the 37-acre property are a very personal expression of Walska’s penchant for the dramatic, the unexpected, and the whimsical. After her death in 1984, Lotusland became a nonprofit botanical garden and opened to the public in 1993. Welcome to Lotusland
  2. 2. The entrance from the parking lot. All garden tours are lead by docents. These slides follow the tour route through the gardens.
  3. 3. The Japanese garden area
  4. 4. A view of the pond in the Japanese garden.
  5. 5. Giant trunks on old palm trees
  6. 6. Blue pool lined with abalone shells
  7. 7. Close up of the blue pool
  8. 8. The lotus pool in October. The lotus plants bloom in summer.
  9. 9. Vista across the lotus pond
  10. 10. One of the cactus garden areas
  11. 11. Barrel cactus next to a house that was built, but not lived in.
  12. 12. Mutant twisting and weeping cactus
  13. 13. Under the “upside down” trees
  14. 14. The garden of giant ferns and begonias, growing under ancient oaks.
  15. 15. One of the amazing old oaks
  16. 16. Oaks and giant tree fern
  17. 17. A swimming pool with a beach of imported white sand and giant clam shells.
  18. 18. A garden of rock and cactus
  19. 19. Putting the cactus in scale
  20. 20. A view of the topiary garden and garden clock.
  21. 21. Topiary closeup
  22. 22. Topiary and the big lawn
  23. 23. Looking back on the topiary garden from the tiled plazas.
  24. 24. One of the pebble mosaics in the plaza
  25. 25. Landscape outside the residence
  26. 26. Looking out from the primary residence
  27. 27. The view back from the big lawn. An ancient Monterey cypress in the center.
  28. 28. The outdoor theatre and odd statues.
  29. 29. The bromeliad garden.
  30. 30. The bromeliad garden.
  31. 31. The bromeliad garden.
  32. 32. A view of the Blue Garden from the Bromeliads.
  33. 33. A woodpecker storing a seed in a palm trunk.
  34. 34. The cycad collection—one of the largest in the world.
  35. 35. The 3 Bachelors—the last 3 living specimens of a species and all three are males.
  36. 36. A final view from the garden to the coast mountains.