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More is More: The Exquisite Botanical Fantasyworld of Lotusland
Lotusland, one of the most impressive gardens I have ever seen. This is a considerable feat as I have seen many great ones in my travels. The genius behind this remarkable place was Madame Ganna Walska, a former operatic singer from Poland, who performed in Europe and the United States in the early part of the 20th century. In 1941, then in her 50's, she settled into an old estate in Santa Barbara with her 6th husband, seeking enlightenment, spiritual fulfillment, and an outlet for her creative impulses.Friday, when I was in Santa Barbara, I visited
She proved the important design concept that lots of examples of a good thing massed together is better (to fund it, she sold her almost 100-carat diamond--this is devotion on a grand scale and lots of plants). In an age when we try to create successful design with little--which of course can be a worthy goal--she offers the proof that more is more.
I particularly admire her collection of cactus plants by her front door, a blue garden, and a pool surrounded by silver gilt abalone shells. Photographs do not do the garden any justice; however, a visit to Lotusland's website and even Flickr gives some insight and the motivation to plan a visit. More is often more.