Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Lotus, at Lotusland

As mentioned yesterday, this was not my first time visiting Lotusland. Back in 2009 we made an epic roadtrip — from Portland to Los Angeles, with many stops along the way — Lotusland being one of the most anticipated. I was but a newbie blogger then (6 months under my belt) and my photos were less than good, I was looking forward to a second chance!

When I called to make our reservations (all visits to Lotusland require them) the lady I spoke with was very encouraging that there should still be Lotus in bloom during our visit. What a concept! I hadn't even considered it. Getting to see the lotus blooming at Lotusland, the garden gods were smiling on me! Since I featured the lotus-leaf covered vase I purchased in yesterday's post, I figured it would be fitting to jump ahead to this section of the garden.

Ganna Walska Lotusland is located in Montecito, an unincorporated "census-designated place" south of Santa Barbara with some of the most "spectacular and expensive real estate in the United States" (quote from the wiki). Madame Ganna Walska purchased the 37-acre property in 1941 for $40,000 (!!!) and using money from several failed marriages/profitable divorces she turned the former commercial nursery into a her own botanical paradise.

Before we explore the Water Garden let's take a look at the Aloe Garden, they are connected via a series of paths. After taking in the view above, we circled by the kidney-shaped pool below and stopped to admire the clam shell fountains.

Only at Lotusland!

The sides of the shallow pool are lined with abalone shells.

These aloes look ready to dive right in...

I appreciated the seemingly out of season bloom.

Back up at the bath house, which is adjacent to the lotus pool/water garden...

From the Lotusland website: "What was the original estate’s swimming pool, built in the early 1920s and flanked by shallow ponds, is Lotusland’s major water garden and home to a magnificent display of its namesake flower..."

"... Several species and cultivars of Asian lotus (Nelumbo nucifera ssp. nucifera and ssp. lutea) are in the main pool. The side ponds have more lotuses and various species and cultivars of water lily (Nymphaea, Euryale, Nuphar, & Victoria). Bog gardens are located on either side of tile benches and feature plants that thrive in damp soil such as taro (Colocasia esculenta) and ornamental sugar cane (Saccharum). A large clump of Papyrus hangs gracefully over a shallow pool of tropical water lilies."

Steps leading down to the pool...(I wonder if anyone has ever tried to swim among the lotus?)

Horribly out of focus but I had to include it, this friendly guy seemed to follow us all around the garden.

So many beautiful images to capture around the pool...

My favorite lotus shot...

That's it for our visit to the Water Garden and Aloe Garden, however there are many more Lotusland posts to come!

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

25 comments:

  1. I loved seeing the lotus in bloom. I've never seen this spectacle in person. Keep the posts coming :-).

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    1. No worries there, another queued up for later this week!

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  2. I love Lotus flowers. I wish we had a summer season up here that was more conducive to them. Looking forward to more Lotusland posts.

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    1. Perhaps you need a big water bowl in your greenhouse? At the very least you should plan a trip to Hughes Water Gardens (just south of town) when the water lilies are blooming - the lotus look great then too!

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  3. Pretty special place it seems -- unless you don't like water plants that is. Luckily I do, especially the big papyrus planting! Also, I don't think I've ever seen a lotus bloom before, just the dried seed pods, so it was nice seeing them (in your favorite shot).

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    1. Well if you don't like water plants then you can just avoid this section of the garden! (but who doesn't like water plants?)

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  4. Definite vicarious enjoyment here! Lotus are so wonderful.

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  5. Oh wow, what fabulous blooms the lotus has. Incredible place. And I can see just what you mean about the diving aloes!

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    1. Good, glad it wasn't just my imagination taking over!

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  6. I love it when you go on vacation!

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  7. This garden is such good fun, lucky to be able to visit! Just apt to have lotus in the garden, being its namesake and boy do they have a gorgeous swathe of them. Best swimming pool conversion ever it seems :)

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  8. I love the lotus. Your post sent me looking for the photos of my visit. I was surprised by the date: August 2, 2008, 8 years ago to the day. The lotus were also in bloom then.

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    1. What are the chances? I think it's time you returned.

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  9. Thank goodness for the wealthy eccentrics of yesteryear who left horticultural legacies like this for us all to enjoy. A perfect place to usher in the first part of your next half century. Can't wait to see more!

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    1. Shhhh, you're giving away my secrets!

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  10. If it makes you feel better , according my handy inflation calculator, 40k = 670k in 2016 money. Still a bargain-my lowly tract house in the Napa suburbs is valued within 100k or so of 1940 Lotusland. Kinda scary. Never visited LL in Lotus blooming season so thanks for taking us !

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    1. A bargain indeed...especially considering the lofty prices Portland real estate is commanding these days.

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  11. Cool place! The pool almost doesn't look real, but I see you've said it's a shallow pool. Interesting. Lotuses, like water lilies, are fun and challenging to photograph. You've done a wonderful job!

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    1. It looks "realer" in person, trick of the camera. And thank you!

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  12. Money for every and any plant, space (acres!), perfect climate...she lived every gardener's fantasy life.

    Oh how much fun it must have been!

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