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Lotusland and Beyond

James Andrew, Lotusland - photo Scott McBee

James Andrew, Lotusland – photo Scott McBee

When our dear friend, Philip Bewley, strongly suggested we go to the botanical garden Lotusland designed by the somewhat infamous Ganna Walska 1887-1984 in Montecito, I set about doing some research. After stumbling upon Walska’s proclamation, “I’m an enemy of the average,” I added Lotusland to our itinerary without need for further deliberation. As you might imagine, this sounded like a woman after my heart…and boy, were we glad we went!

Ganna Walska's Lotusland

Ganna Walska’s Lotusland

In case you might not know Lotusland, it’s a thirty-seven acre botanical wonderland – the dream child of Ganna Walska, a Polish opera singer and socialite whose passion for landscape design was only rivaled it seems by her penchant for collecting ever-richer husbands.

Ganna Walska's Lotusland

Ganna Walska’s Lotusland

Forty years in the making, Lotusland was where Walska indulged her passion for gardening. Here, she set about creating the most fantastical landscapes with often theatrical proportions, much of it planted with rare and unusual species. The place is indeed a must-see, but do book a reservation well in advance as space is quite limited and tour groups are rather small due to Lotusland’s residential location.

Ganna Walska's Lotusland

Ganna Walska’s Lotusland

Ganna Walska's Lotusland

Ganna Walska’s Lotusland

Famished after our dreamy tour, we made a trek to one of Julia Child’s favorite little restaurants, La Super-Rica Taqueria in Santa Barbara — which is more of a taco stand really — and lunched on some truly marvelous Mexican food. We returned to the Baccara Resort where we lounged poolside, sipping Rosé, and reflecting on our fabulous journey in sun soaked California. Well tanned, we set off for a lovely dinner at Restaurant Bouchon, a fabulous place serving up the most delicious wine and country cuisine. We were particularly taken by the entrance to the restaurant, which is formed by a massive hedge — sensational!

Photographed at the main entryway of the Lotusland estate, I’m sporting a Tom Ford pink silk basket weave “Spencer” jacket, grey and white gingham cotton voile shirt and saddle leather loafers, white uniqlo slim jean, Gucci python belt with silver double horse head buckle, Hermes grey silk pocket square, Rolex watch and my fragrance is Tom Ford -Lavender Palm.

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4 Comments

  1. James,

    A great post to read on this somewhat somber day- gardens and fountains are so soothing to the soul- again, a fantastic portrait of you!
    Your photography made me feel as if I was there-

    Dean

  2. Meridith Moore says:

    I’m so impressed that you found such great places to visit in our town, Bouchon is a wonderful restaurant and if you could only visit one site, you picked the right one: Lotusland. So glad you enjoyed SB.

  3. James Andrew says:

    Dear Dean,

    So happy we were able to transport you to a better place.

    Lotusland was certainly a magical place and a must visit whilst in the Santa Barbara/ Montecito area.

    Cheers

    JA

  4. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Meridith,

    Our suggestions were highly considered- I am sure there were many more marvelous things to consider.

    Please let us know – what you think our some must visit ideas to consider for our next visit.

    Cheers

    JA

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