Lotusland Roundup

 I've posted previously about my March visit to Lotusland  which focused on the Bromiliad gardens and the Dunlap Cactus Collection. Today I'll share an overview of some of the other features of the garden. I come home from these  trips happy about the plethora of images I was able to take  only to be overwhelmed when  trying to sort through them and weed out the duds and the duplicates. I actually enjoy the process of sorting and editing photos, but sometimes it's hard to be objective . In fact I will suggest that objectivity is a dying art. I will do my part to keep the flame.
 Today I tried to select some decent photos that represented the areas I didn't cover in my previous posts. I took many many photos, both good and bad.Because I am a member I don't have to endure the restriction of a guided tour. The tour is ok for your 1st visit but after that  strolling around Lotusland as a member is worth the price. I would never have it any other way.
 The residence is surrounded by fantastically mature cactus with the backdrop of the  Santa Ynez mountain range. Shrouded in mist on this day, these mountains and their foothills were the scene of devastating wildfires in fall of 2017. How lucky that they dodged the bullet .



 

Right up to the entry


If you turn around the Golden Barrels continue to march on til they reach the base of the Dracena dracos which form a grove adjacent to the residence.



 The Japanese Garden is being renovated.The plans seem exciting, involving ADA compliance for paths that were a bit unsound and a completion of plans by the gardens designer that were never executed  in Ganna Walskas lifetime.You can read more about the restoration effort here  . I peeked through the safety fence only to see piles of dirt and excavated pond areas. But can you see the lanterns? I walked along the fenced off areas to try to get a better view.


 Madame Ganna Walskas collection has been carefully removed from harms way and staged along the path . I have visited Lotusland several times but never had an understanding of the depth and breadth of the lantern collection until I saw it all together like this, one after other in this gently curving row . These were all acquired post WW2 mostly in the 1960's, during the thaw in US-Japanese relations.




The Aloe Garden features the kitschy-est feature of Lostusland- the abalone and clam shell extravaganza that famously horrified Monty Don when he visited for his Around the World in 80 Gardens series on BBC. I am so very fond of Monty with the soothing cadence of his voice and his gentle approach to the world of gardens-and the dogs of course- but I fear Lotusland laid him low. I'm giving him a pass on this one.
Because Lotusland is closed from mid-November to mid-February I have to believe that peak Aloe blooming season is never experienced by the public. My visit was in March and most had gone over, with only Aloe striata and Aloe plicatilis in bloom. It is enticing to know that there are 140 different cultivars of Aloe in this garden, and one hopes that someday we would be invited in year round .




 The entry to the Blue Garden.


 I walked through the Cycad garden twice. I saw quite a few nice Cycad collections when I was on this trip, but this one is my favorite. The dense planting with the paths winding through, positioned before  the backdrop of mature trees and the peaceful crowd free environment provided a deeply calming experience.




The topiary garden flanks the great lawn.



  The Eugenia topiarys mark the entry to the fern garden.




 There were some pretty nice begonias in there but I only took these two photos.



 My palm ignorance will be confessed again here, but still I end this post with this magnificent speciman of well--a palm. Bismarkia nobilis perhaps ? 2018 is the year of the Aloe for me on the ID front , but my woeful palm identification skills must really be addressed. Maybe next year.




Comments

  1. Kathy, these photos are absolutely fabulous! Each one is perfectly framed and you've captured wide views I've never seen before. Your first 2 photos of the Cycad garden brought images of Henri Rousseau paintings to mind. There are definitely advantages to a docent-free tour! I had to laugh when I saw the massive display of stone lanterns - the local botanic garden where I'm now a docent is very proud of its collection of 3 so this was quite a contrast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kris, I'm gratified that you enjoyed the photos so much, and that you noticed in a way that I was trying to avoid the same views that everyone (including me) takes when they go. I was thrilled with the weather conditions for photos I have to say. I hope the 3 lanterns are good ones ! There were even a few more off in the distance that were out of the frame.

      Delete
  2. That is so well put, that Monty was "laid low" -- a failure of imagination perhaps? Too much fine English taste? Leave that all at the entrance to Lotusland and be prepared to be amazed...wonderful photos, Kathy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor Monty ! I'm very attached to him though. I also seem to recall that he went to Kirstenbosch in SA in that series and absolutely did not comprehend -or care for- the Protea flowers that his guide was so proud to show him. This series was filmed over 10 years ago, so perhaps he's widened his horizons since then.

      Delete
  3. Appreciating the clam-stravaganza does seem as if it would require the visitor to let go of pre-conceived ideas and inhibitions. My first glimpse of Lotusland was of the Blue Garden in the book California Gardens: Creating a New Eden by David Streatfield, and the photo there made it work. Something about the massing of the different blues gave it an other-worldliness that overcame my reaction to the 1920s-theater set level of artificiality.

    It's only this winter that I've seen and heard Monty Don (and his wonderful dogs), after reading references to him for years in British blogs. A discussion of gardening videos somewhere pointed me to the existence of recent episodes of Gardener's World on YouTube (for the moment, anyway). Can see why many people are hooked!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the Blue garden is one of the more restrained venues in Lotusland. There is another series that Monty filmed called The Secret History of the British Garden that I watched on you tube this winter and really enjoyed it.The title is a bit of a misnomer imo -it's more of an evolutionary history.

      Delete
  4. You’ve succeeded in showing Lotusland with reality, yet a touch of fantasy, simply perfect photos Kathy! Of course now I have to find that Monty Don moment. Poor guy, he doesn’t understand what he’s missing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Loree ! I enjoyed my time there so much.

      Delete
  5. My favorite of these many excellent photos is the parade of Japanese stone lanterns, because it captures a scene that won't exist once the renovation moves further along. And because of the way it evokes the history of the garden; One of the links mentions that a lot of the lanterns were acquired from Japanese-style gardens on big estates being dismantled. Just another of the ways in which Ganna Walska was unafraid to be deeply unfashionable in her personal paradise...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to visiting the garden post-renovation and seeing these lanterns in-situ.

      Delete
  6. That row of stone lanterns is marvelous. First rate tour: thanks! Now I want to visit again. Yes, Bismarkia. There are some magnificent younglings maybe 15 or 20' tall at the LA Arboretum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the Bismarkia confirmation Hoov. I can't even remember when my last visit to LA Arboretum was--the peacocks are the big memory.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An HPSO Study Weekend Visit-The Garden of Designer Darcy Daniels

The San Francisco Garden Show Achieves Permanent Wilting Point

Who Knew ? A World Class Private Garden in Petaluma