Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And Finally The Last of Lotusland and My Humble Garden in Southern California

Lotusland continues to haunt me. I think I would like to show you a few more parting shots. This wonderful scene shows a tree native of Australia, I think it's a Bunya Bunya tree with such wonderful textures, and my favorite type of agaves.

This most interesting group of collections is that of the cycad. It is one of the largest and rarest of collections known. Lotusland is a seed repository and research center as well. Here are some examples of cones of a female plant:

It also has a large collection of dracaena. This dracaena is very old and rare. It's the largest one in their collection--you can get a sense of scale by Jack, a gentleman from Australia, and my aunt, Edeltraude, in our tour group.

And another photo showing the great size of this garden. Again, you can get a sense of the enormity of these magnificent aloes, by our tour group.

You can see the Santa Barbara hillside and again one of my favored plants, the agave, in the background here:

And last but almost least is my humble hillside garden (jungle really, of wild grapes, silver dollar eucalyptus, and scented geraniums) in Southern California:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yet Again, More on Lotusland

As you can tell, I am smitten with Lotusland, so much so that a few more blog entries will be sharing more garden images. I can't remember what these wonderful wonderful things hanging down from the palms are--is that wonderful texture?

Bamboo is such a wonderful plant. Here are 2 shots of weeping bamboo. I had never seen this species before.

Don't you love the wispy, flowing stems? But it is very invasive as some bamboos, so it won't be gracing my gardens.

And the majestic black bamboo:

And more interesting textures from the succulent & cacti gardens:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More on Lotusland

I was so fortunate when visiting Lotusland--the aloe were blooming. These wonderful, sculptural plants varied in size, shape and texture. They were really put on a show.

I wanted you to get a sense of scale, variety and size in these collections of gardens through these shots:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Visiting Lotusland

One of my most favorite gardens, Lotusland, is situated in a beautiful residental area of Montecito, south of Santa Barbara. The gardens were the home of several prominent families throughout history, ending with its last owner, Madame Ganna Walska, who spent the last 43 years of her life transforming the grounds into what it is today. Its 37 acres house over 22 gardens of tropical & subtropical collections including rare cycads, cacti, palms and euphorbias.

These photos all show the front of the residence, showing off the incredibly large & interesting euphorbias & cacti along the front of the home. I am so struck by their sculptural beauty.

I was told that at one time the euphorbias grew all the way across the driveway & into the adjoining gardens.

Also viewing the cacti gardens, you get this wonderful sense of dramatic, sculptural forms and textures: