Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Montecito's Lotusland offers unique botanical tours

By Catholic Online
August 17th, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Ganna Walska Lotusland, more commonly known as just Lotusland, is a beautiful botanical reserve located in Montecito, near Santa Barbara, California. Established by the eccentric opera singer Madam Ganna Walska in 1941 and tended by her until her passing in 1984, Lotusland offers visitors a chance to view hundreds of exotics flowers and plants.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Lotusland estate is open to the public by advance reservation only, with walking tours 1 to two hours long through the distinctive gardens. Tours are limited to 10 people at a time only.

Guides lead guests through the more than 20 miniature gardens, each with a particular theme and unique vision. Throughout the property, one will find several varieties of plants that are absent from rest of the United States.

Lotusland includes a butterfly garden, exotic plants, a cactus garden, topiary and much more.

Guides present facts about Madame Walska, who established the nonprofit Ganna Walska Lotusland Foundation, a nonprofit which still oversees the maintenance of the property.

Walska lived in Paris and New York before settling down in California. After purchasing the property with her sixth husband, she named it "Tibetland," intending to use it as a retreat for Tibetan monks.

After her divorce, Walska changed the name to Lotusland after the Indian lotus that grew in one of the ponds on the site. Working with several famous architects and designers, Walska transformed herself from opera superstar into gardener and spent the final years of her life working on the land.

There are many gardens, outdoor rooms, landscape elements, plant collections, and design features to explore on visits, in books and online.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)