Bromeliads at Lotusland

 My spring road trip this year took me to Southern California and I was far  past due to visit Lotusland. I maintain a membership there even though I don't visit annually; I like to support horticultural institutions wherever they may be, and in the case of Lotusland the membership not only provides  the typical free entry, it also allows the visitor to wander the garden at will while non-members must join a guided tour. I have no issue with guided tours in general, but in this case it makes for a challenging  photography experience. Because of the location of the garden in the wealthy enclave of Montecito, its' use permit is restrictive and even the member must make an advance reservation in order to control the number of visitors/cars per day. The upside of this is that Lotusland is never crowded, and this was even more so the case the day I visited- it was predicted to rain the entire day. My real fear was that the garden would be evacuated (again) if enough measurable precipitation was expected to trigger flash flood warnings and more danger of mudslides from the burn areas  in the hills above the garden. As it happened, the rain held off til just as I was leaving. Perhaps others had cancelled -there were exactly 2 other cars in the lot besides mine. I encountered a guided tour of 3 people and saw a school group in the distance , otherwise I was alone in Lotusland.

 This post will feature the Bromeliad collections there, primarily the lower Bromeliad garden.

  My Brom ID skills are poor at best and I don't have anything to offer in the way of plant names. The ground was carpeted with them.




 





Old tree stumps were utilized for mounting both Tillandsias and Bromeliads







 There was some blooming action too, though to me the blooms aren't the main attraction.





 The next three photos were taken in the upper Bromeliad garden, which is adjacent to the residence.






Visiting Lotusland is something I will never take for granted- I've visited botanical gardens from coast to coast and this is certainly the most unique by far.I n the words of a Garden Web friend in days gone by,  an enchanted place. This post only shares a small slice of the garden and I will be posting more in coming weeks.







Stand by for more reports from this garden.

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post. It was too sunny during my last visit to get good photos of the bromeliads. Plus, I'm toying with the idea of creating a bromeliad bed in the backyard, and now I have this post to refer to for inspiration.

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    1. I'm sorry I'm so ignorant about the names ! But very few were labeled in any case so I guess that's my out.It was bright overcast the whole time -I felt like a lotto winner.

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  2. Thank goodness the garden didn't get toasted by the fires in December or covered by mud in January. The bromeliads look better than I remember during my last visit, which was years ago now. I've only just started experimenting with planting bromeliads in the ground in my own garden and I can't yet get my head around the density of the displays at Lotusland.

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    1. Kris, I feel like the bromeliad garden is upgraded since the last time I was there-I should refer back to my photos to see.And so dense -not an inch of ground to be seen.

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  3. Luscious photos Kathy! This section of Lotusland has got to be one of my favorites, good to see it looking so wonderful after all they've been through this year with the fire and the rain and mud.

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    1. Loree I was lucky to visit just a few days after an overnight rain-everything was shiny and clean and plumped up. I hope they have seen the worst of the rains , though our Socal friends are begging for more.

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  4. I've notified Chemnick that we're looking to visit his garden at your return trip south...

    The brom garden is a year-round wonder!

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    1. Splendid Denise ! Probably looking at June or July.

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  5. Can you imagine if that all burned to the ground, or was swept away by the January rock slide? Thankfully it survived.

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    1. Considering the collections in this garden it would be a horrible loss to horticulture. As I was driving up to the estate from 101 I saw a few road closures still. What a heartbreaking mess.

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  6. It's sad to think of all the losses of the fires and flash floods. Thank goodness Lotusland was spared. Thank you for your beautiful pictures. I can never see enough and must visit in person one day!

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    1. Put it on your bucket list for sure Peter, it is very unique and there are other gardens to visit within a couple hours drive.

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