musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Stepping Out



Around our little garden in Carmel Valley, John has created all kinds of paths. This last year, I rediscovered the quiet pleasure of walking those paths.

Now that we can travel and wander a little farther afield, we are discovering new places to walk, new paths.

This past week, we visited a 37-acre garden called Lotusland in Santa Barbara, California. The visitor guide calls it a “horticultural wonderland blending whimsy and fantasy with exceptional beauty.”

All current tours, which must be reserved, are self guided; I loved that. John and I could mosey at our own pace. When we had questions, docents were available throughout the gardens, ready to give us valuable information.

Our first garden was the Japanese Garden, a nostalgic reminder for me of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park that I frequented as a child with my parents. Then there was the Water Garden where the lotuses reign during the summer months, an Aloe Garden, Fern Garden, Cactus Garden, Cycad Garden, a Topiary and Rose Garden, and, as they say, much much more. We walked through each one marveling at the variety of vegetation and the care being given to the continuation of this estate.

The property was owned by many people, but it seems that Madame Ganna Walska, a Polish opera singer and socialite, is responsible for most of what visitors currently see on the grounds. She spent 43 years creating this dramatic extravaganza of unique gardens and exotic plants.

Set against the Santa Inez mountains, Lotusland is a visual gift for anyone with a desire for beauty, an eye for design, or a talent for gardening.

We meandered for the full two hours, thankful for the well-groomed paths that led us to each garden and to the vistas, big and small, that awaited us.

Now that we are back home, I think I’ll take a walk on our garden paths. Certainly more humble than Lotusland, but loved and inspirational nonetheless.


P.S. For further information about the gardens and plants, and for reservations,  visit the very informative website at All photos are from the gardens.(#lotuslandgarden)

4 thoughts on “Stepping Out”

  • Lynn. Loved the Santa Barbara gardens. Looked very much like Huntington gardens in San Marino. Remember I have have a too big house in Litchfield CT and would love to have you both here. You have a standing invite. Nice in Fall. Very short hop to Berkshires in western Massachusetts. See you on Zoom next month

    • Thanks for the reminder about the Huntington Gardens—another beauty! And thanks for the invite—that would be very special❣️ ‘Til our next Zoom encounter, take good care.💓

  • I, too, am a lover of paths and gardens. Thank you for sharing your recent inspirational garden adventure!

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