Ganna Walska Lotusland
Cold Springs Road
Santa Barbara, CA  93108
(805) 969-3767
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Year Founded:
    1941

Description:
   Ganna Walska Lotusland is a 37-acre botanical estate garden in Montecito, California, just east of Santa Barbara. Lotusland contains subtropical and tropical plants from around the world and is home to several extraordinary collections including rare cycads, cacti, palms and euphorbia.
    Additional gardens feature ferns, aloes, succulents, lotuses, water lilies, bromeliads and our newest addition, the cactus garden. Theme gardens include the blue garden, theatre garden, butterfly garden and a Japanese garden. Other classic features of Lotusland are the topiary garden, a horticultural clock, the Neptune fountain, a parterre and hedged allées.
    In 1941 Madame Ganna Walska, a well-known Polish opera singer and socialite, purchased the estate and named it Lotusland. She spent the next 43 years of her life designing unusual display gardens with exotic plants. In creating the Lotusland gardens, the artistic Madame Walska experimented freely with bold forms and unusual color combinations. She concentrated on serene, traditional vistas with daring theatrical displays. A series of gardens draws the visitor from surprise to surprise, through a delightful labyrinth of landscape adventures. Because of her insistence upon superior design and her enthusiasm for rare specimens, Madame Walska has endowed Santa Barbara with an unrivaled botanical treasure.
    After Madame Walska’s death in 1984, Lotusland became a nonprofit educational institution. In her will leaving the estate to the Ganna Walska Lotusland Foundation, Mme. Walska stated her desire “to develop Lotusland to its maximum capacity into the most outstanding center of horticultural significance and of educational use.” Lotusland opened to the public in 1993. As described in Ganna Walska Lotusland: The Garden and its Creators by Sharon Crawford, “Environmental responsibility is valued at Lotusland, not only as appropriate for this garden, but also as a model for others. As exemplary stewards of the environment, the staff has adopted pesticide-free and sustainable techniques, maintaining plant health by organic methods. The soil is improved by utilizing compost and mulch derived from green waste. Beneficial insects, fostered in insectaries, are released to devour harmful insects, and weeds are eliminated with old-fashioned manual techniques. With these methods, excessive fertilization and the use of toxic products can be avoided, benefiting both the garden and its visitors.” Docent-guided tours are offered at 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM, Wednesday through Saturday between mid-February and mid-November. Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling the Visitor Services office at 969-9990. Directions to the visitor entrance on Cold Springs Road in Montecito will be provided. All reservations include on-site parking.


Business Categories:
    Botanic Garden,    Estate / Historic Home,    Museums/Attractions/Historic,    Nature Center,

Business Hours:
    10 AM & 1:30 PM, Wed. - Sat., (between mid-February & mid-November).

Admission Pricing:
    Adults, $35; Ages 5-18, $10, Children under 5 - Free.

Payment Accepted:
    Cash,   Check,   Amex,   MasterCard,   Visa,  

Location Type:
    Estate / Historic Home

Languages Spoken:
    English,  

Average Visit:
    2 hours

Parking On-Site?
    Yes  

Guided Tours?
    By Appointment Only

Classes Offered?
    Yes.





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