The Australian Garden was designed by landscape architect Sydney Baumgartner in 1993 and features large masses of unusual plants, all native to Australia, that pay homage to Madame Walska’s distinctive landscaping style. Characteristic species include spear lilies, dramatic bottle trees, and grass trees, as well as acacias, myrtles, and grevillea.
The Aloe Garden features over 140 kinds of aloes, succulent plants native to Africa and Madagascar, including Aloe barberae, A. ramosissima, and A. dichotoma, including unusual species such as a ponytail palm (Beaucarnea stricta) and the grugru palm (Acrocomia aculeate). The Garden also has a white-bottomed ‘abalone shell pond’ with two cascading fountains made from giant clam shells.
The Japanese Garden features azaleas, camellias, Japanese maples (Acer palmatum), and several species of pine, all of which are pruned in the traditional niwaki style. The garden is also home to several bronze statues of cranes, ducks, egrets, and kingfishers, and a collection of stone lanterns, while huge koi swim in the shallow waters of a tranquil pond. A small Shinto shrine and a wisteria arbor surrounded by Japanese and coast redwood add an extra Oriental touch. Things to Do in Santa Barbara: Ganna Walska Lotusland - Photo: Ganna Walska Lotusland
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