Friday, September 23, 2016

Lotusland, the gardens around the house

We're back in Santa Barbara and my July visit to Lotusland. Today I'm sharing photos of the gardens around the house...

And to be au courant, I should say that what was once Madame Walska's house is now the garden offices.

I would love to see the inside of the house, if I lived in Santa Barbara I'd have figured out a way to get inside — maybe by volunteering — but since I don't we'll just have to enjoy the outside.

And the plants, of course, like these Dracaena draco...

And all the cactus that line the former driveway, like guards.

I couldn't help but notice the Aeoniums.

And how fabulously they've been featured.

A detail above one of the windows...

Across the parking area is this water feature.

The spigot is worth a close-up.

This guy! He seems to be following me. Once again his 6ft 2in frame provides scale.

I wish I could I wish I might (grow these...)

Can you even imagine?

Of course there were even taller specimens...

Behind the house is a small orchard. With (among other things) oranges...

And lemons...

Standing at the back of the house one can look out towards the huge Agaves I wrote about here.

Or down towards the Neptune fountain...

I wondered if this planter — which I loved during our 2009 visit — would still be here.

Thankfully it was, and looking just as good, if not better.

The Morrish pond...

And the long rill (and that guy again!!!)...

I just love this feature.

If we had a bigger garden...

Finally, to end this post, the zodiac clock. Which I have no memory of seeing in 2009, but of course must have since it dates from 1955.

If you haven't already read about how NASA has played with our lifelong understanding of the zodiac signs you might find this article entertaining (just suspend your inner editor a bit).

Whether old school astrology or new I'm still the crab, aka Cancer, and since we visited Lotusland on my birthday I was paying attention....

Just two more Lotusland posts to come! The Cactus Garden and the leftovers...

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


  1. That planter! Wow! I can do that if I could find a similar column.

  2. It's wonderful to get a chance to revisit Lotusland through your posts. Keep them coming.

    (I'd love to see the inside of the house too!)

    1. No doubt most of it has been altered to fit the current use, but still...some of the magic must remain.

  3. Another wow post from Lotusland! Love it more with each post. That guy seems to follow you a lot. I'd be worried.

    1. But why is he never around when I go looking for him?

  4. The sheer size of most of the specimens is almost other-worldly. I didn't remember the lemon arbor, which I love. I remember reading about the astrological "corrections" but I didn't recall that I'd been reclassified as a Taurus but then I put as much confidence in astrology as Chinese birth year classifications.

    1. I've always enjoyed reading my astrological "fortune"...but of course as entertainment only!

  5. As amazing as this place is on a whole, I can't help but marvel at the one detail: Dracaena draco. I forget that we torture them as tiny houseplants when they really want to be huge trees!

  6. Fabulous, Loree. Thanks for the armchair trip :). Love the fountain spigot, the sentinel cacti, the dragon tree (!!). The hugeness of everything must just strike one with awe. One thing that sticks with me the most is the planter on a column filled with cascading [Aeonium?] or Graptopetalum? Wonderful, and a wonderment.

    1. Graptopetalum I believe, like everything at Lotusland it's over the top...but just right.

  7. Wow, amazing. Love the dragon tap.

  8. the fountains are stunning and inspirational.

  9. Beautiful. I love the lemon walkway, so pretty.

  10. They were completely redoing the clock when I visited--perhaps it was under construction when you were there?

    Very surprised to see the front of the house looking so different. Looks like they reduced the tall Euphorbias considerably and did some replanting. When I was there they were a near sold mass hugging the walls.

    I love that rill, too. Tried to figure out how to add that sort of thing here, but the shape of the property just doesn't quite work for it. Handsome scale-provider, he sure comes in handy.

    The plants are all wonderful, but it is the vast sense of gardening space that deeply affects me--imagine being able to plant anything you like, because there is space to do it.

    1. I thought the front of the house was much more open this time, thanks for backing that up.

      I can't imagine the space...and the ability to plant not one, two or three of something but dozens and dozens. The mind reels.

  11. I've so enjoyed your posts about this place, and realized I must try to see it next time I get out to that part of the country! :)

  12. The lemon tree trellis is really delightful. Never seen citrus trees used in that way. The moorish pond and water way took me back to the Alhambra, in southern Spain. Who wouldn't wish for one just like it in their own garden...

  13. I would love to wander through the garden while the citrus trees are in bloom. Those tall cactuses along the driveway are great.

  14. It's all so fantastic and otherworldly, esp. when you add that human scale! Love that planter that you hoped would still be there.


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