Friday, August 5, 2016

The Bromeliads, at Lotusland


For me the magic of Lotusland is in it's drama and over-the-top plantings. If three of something would be good for a normal garden then Ganna Walska needed three dozen (at the very least). The Huntington will always be tops for sheer size and depth of plantings (labeling too!) but if what you're after is something personal and theatrical than Lotusland is the garden for you.

The Bromeliad Garden in original form was planted in 1968. I'm a little unclear if those plants were moved to this location or if this is part of that original garden. Of course had we toured with a docent I'm sure I would have been told, but we coughed up the cash to become members so we could wander the garden at our own pace (much better for photo taking!)...

We wandered back and forth, up and down, these pathways for quite awhile — there was so much to see.

And while I loved the sunny days we had in California a few high clouds would have made for much better photos in this part of the garden. Dramatic shadows play hell with my camera.

With that warning I will leave you to enjoy photos, such as they are.

The stone grotto was built for Madame Walska in the 1940s, the lead roosters came from France.

I left the Bromeliad Garden very inspired.

Of course the ways I'll transfer this inspiration into my own garden will be tempered by the fact none of these plants can live outdoors here year round.

Oh to live in coastal Southern California!

This is why I bought the clump of Tillandsia usneoides I mentioned in Monday's post. It was everywhere here!

Wasn't that amazing? But just think...there is plenty more Lotusland magic to come!

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

31 comments:

  1. Wonderful and so inspiring! There was Spanish moss everywhere in Florida when I was there too. I have the makings for a Bromeliad stump that I want to put together, with a bunch of smaller Bromeliads and a big piece of driftwood. Now I just need to summon the energy.

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    1. I can't wait to see your Bromeliad stump Alison!

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  2. Gorgeously sci-fi! Love the reds in photos 3 and 4.

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    1. Hmm...interesting take on it. Now I'm trying to picture Capt Kirk wandering down the paths.

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  3. Ooh, drippy, draping Spanish moss everywhere! I love it! I had no idea Lotusland had so many bromeliads. I definitely must visit someday!

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    1. It is a must visit, for so many reasons! Are you a fan of the Cycads? Amazing collection.

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    2. Oh, yes, I like cycads, too. Encephalartos horridus, anyone?

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  4. I cannot get enough of the Bromeliads. Thanks for sharing this beautiful place with us! In my dream house in my mind I have one of those tall-ceilinged sun rooms suffused with light throughout the year in which I grow bromeliads & citrus trees like the Rockefellers.

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    1. I want to come visit you in your dream house!

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  5. I'm somebody who still thinks of bromeliads as "office plants", so these photos just seem unreal to me. Crazy and beautiful! (I also can't wrap my head around the fact that Spanish moss is alive!)

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    1. Oh Alan no! They are so much more than office (or mall) plants! Glad to help change that perception, if just a little.

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  6. Theatrical is right! I'm not sure how you were able to drag yourself away from this colorful fantasy landscape to view the other parts of Lotusland. I've been feeling a bromeliad addiction coming on for while now. I need more. Strong shadows or not, your photos convey the beauty of bromeliad color-blocking.

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    1. Well there were blooming HUGE Agaves just around the corner, so that helped. Glad you were able to see the beauty.

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  7. Replies
    1. Indeed...even more so in person!

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  8. OMG this is such a fantasy landscape! So surreal!

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    1. If you ever find yourself in Santa Barbara...

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  9. Your brom photos are better than mine, so I salute you ! I'm so glad you opted for the membership route. I wouldn't even consider doing the guided tour thing again.I think members get in a little early too. Looking forward to the future LL posts !

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    1. Ya we were walking the garden while the tour people were still gathering. We crossed paths with a few different groups. There was one docent that I would have gladly followed for a bit but the others were less than great. I couldn't stop my mouth from correcting one who was telling her group an Agave was an Aloe.

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  10. So cool! I'm a fan of personal and theatrical and have been cyber stalking this garden for a long time. Can't wait to see what you do in your own garden with bromeliads!

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    1. Oh Peter you HAVE to visit Lotusland some day!!!

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  11. Yeah, I know what you mean about the harsh sunlight. But nothing can take away from the magic that is Lotusland. Plus the sun really brings out the bright colors of the bromeliads. It was overcast the last time I was there, and the colors in the bromeliad garden were much duller.

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    1. "nothing can take away from the magic that is Lotusland" true! And I would have been disappointed had there not been sun. That was part of the reason for escaping to California.

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  12. I think you did well managing the sun and the shadows. I've been tempted to add more bromeliads to my garden but I've been held off by the price of the plants and warnings that they can be breeding grounds of mosquitoes, especially as I'm a magnet for infernal creatures.

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    1. I recently read something about the mosquito issue too, it's one I hadn't thought of before. I guess if you flush out the cups with fresh water frequently you aren't supposed to have a problem...but that sounds kind of wasteful.

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  13. The beauty and grandeur of the place shows through despite the contrast. Magical!

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  14. OK, that does it. Lotusland is now on my bucket list! I agree with Gerhard regarding the photos. Nicely done, as always!

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    1. Thanks Beth, and I do hope you make the trip someday!

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  15. Well, the light conditions seemed to work in your favor in that last shot. This may be as close as I ever get to Lotusland, so I'll take it...harsh light and all.

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