Ganna Walska Lotusland, a 37-acre botanical estate garden in Montecito, invites the public to tour the garden, at no charge, during the following "free to county" dates:

  •  10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27
  •  1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14
  •  10 a.m. Saturday, March 30
  •  10 a.m. Saturday, April 6
  •  1:30 p.m. Friday, April 12
  •  1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15
  •  10 a.m. Thursday, May 30

 Lotusland contains subtropical and tropical plants from around the world and is home to several extraordinary collections including rare cycads, cacti, palms and euphorbias. 

Additional gardens feature ferns, aloes, succulents, lotuses, water lilies and bromeliads and the themed gardens include the blue garden, theater garden, butterfly garden and a Japanese garden. 

 Other classic features of Lotusland are the topiary garden, a horticultural clock, the Neptune fountain, a parterre, water stairs and hedged allées.

 In addition to the free tours, on Saturday, Feb. 23, artist-in-residence Penelope Stewart, a Toronto-based artist, will talk about her work and what inspires it while giving a  presentation on how she created the beeswax tile installation for "Swarm: A Collaboration with Bees." Her talk begins at 3 p.m. and will include a tour of the exhibition in the Pavilion, followed by a reception.

 Stewart is known for her large sensory beeswax architectures, and while in residence at Lotusland, is creating new architecture inspired by plants at the garden. 

 Stewart received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and her Master of Fine Arts from SUNY in Buffalo, N.Y. She is the recipient of many awards and grants, and has shown her work internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions.

 Admission is $45 for members and $55 for non-members. Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling 969-9990.

 Lotusland is at 695 Ashley Road,  Santa Barbara.

 For more information, call 969-3767 or visit www.lotusland.org.

 

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