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Ganna Walska Lotusland Garden

Lotusland, in the foothills of Montecito, was created by Madame Ganna Walska, who owned the property from 1941 to 1984. She was a much-married Polish opera singer. She took advice from two local landscape architects: Lockwood de Forest and Ralph T Stevens but remained a strong personal influence on the gardens: they are romantic and flamboyant.  There is an engaging review of the garden on the Paris By Appointment Only blog.

Head Gardener's Comment

Lotusland is a unique 37-acre estate and botanic garden situated in the foothills of Montecito to the east of the city of Santa Barbara. The gardens now covering the estate were created by Madame Ganna Walska, who owned the property from 1941 until her death in 1984. Before her death, Madame Walska established the nonprofit Ganna Walska Lotusland Foundation, which now preserves this unrivaled botanical treasure.

Photograph © Karl Gercens
Photograph © Karl Gercens
Photograph © Karl Gercens
Photograph © Karl Gercens
Photograph © brewbooks
Photograph © brewbooks
Photograph © brewbooks

History

After purchasing the estate in 1941, Madame Ganna Walska spent 43 years of her life designing unusual display gardens with exotic plants. It is home to several extraordinary collections including rare cycads, cacti, palms and euphorbias. Additional gardens feature ferns, aloes, lotuses, water lilies, bromeliads and our newest addition, the cactus garden.

Theme gardens include the blue garden, theatre garden, and a Japanese garden. Other classic features are a topiary garden, horticultural clock, Neptune fountain, parterre and hedged allées.

Ganna Walska Lotusland, Santa Barbara, California, USA, CA

Docent-guided tours are available at 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM, Wednesday through Saturday, between February 15 and November 15.

Adults $35 ages five to 18, $10; four and under, free. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 805-969-9990 or by sending an email to: reservation@lotusland.org.

Visit the Ganna Walska Lotusland Garden website