Trips to Remember: Ganna Walska Lotusland
For my birthday, my Greek husband and I made our way to LA for a long weekend. I talked about some of my favorite parts of that trip earlier, but today I'm sharing one of my favorite trips to remember – our day at Ganna Walska Lotusland, in Santa Barbara.
On Saturday morning, we made our way from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara to visit Lotusland. Lotusland was the estate of Madame Ganna Walska, a Polish Opera singer and garden enthusiast who originally developed the gardens as a retreat spot for Tibetan monks to visit.
Ganna was married a total of six times, and bought the estate with the encouragement of her sixth husband, a yoga scholar who was almost twenty years her junior. They divorced in 1946, and Ganna lived out her remaining years designing and expanding the 37 acre estate.
Lotusland is now a non-profit botanical garden that is open for guided tours by reservation only. You can become a member and tour the gardens independently, but we opted to make our tour reservations three weeks in advance. There are only two tours a day, the first at 10:00 am and the second at 1:30 am - so if you're planning to go on a weekend, be sure to plan ahead!
We opted for the early morning tour to beat any potential heat, and joined our small tour group. Lotusland keeps groups small, so that you can better experience the gardens. We were the youngest members of an eight person group. We then took off on a three hour tour through the gardens.
To say Lotusland is a once in a lifetime experience would be an understatement. I'm a huge botanical garden fan, I enjoy checking them out whenever I can, but I've never visited one quite so magical. The Cactus Garden was hands down my favorite, but there was something for everyone. My Greek husband was captivated by the Prehistoric Garden and my mom loved the peaceful tranquility of the Japanese Garden.
I could go on and on about my experience, or I could let the pictures do the talking. They'll have you booking a flight to Los Angeles in no time.
Are you ready to check out Lotusland? Has it inspired you to marry six times and then retire to the West Coast? Let me know in the comments!