Montecito, Santa Barbara, California

First established in 1882, by R. Kinton Stevens and his wife, Caroline Lucy Tallant, who laid out a lemon and palm nursery here which they named "Tanglewood". In 1916, this was purchased by a wealthy New Yorker, Erastus Palmer Gavit, who renamed it "Cuesta Linda" and aside from building the main residence - designed by Reginald Johnson in 1919 - the Gavit family began to landscape the grounds. In 1941, it was purchased by one of the most colorful characters from America's Gilded Age, Ganna Walska, and her sixth husband (who was twenty years her junior), the Yoga & Buddhist scholar Theos Bernard, nephew of "Oom the Omnipotent". They renamed it "Lotusland" but were divorced after just four years of marriage. Ganna remained here for the next 40-years, creating the magnificent mediterranean-style gardens enjoyed by so many today....

This house is best associated with...

Ganna Walska

"Madame Ganna Walska" of Lotusland, California; Singer, Actress & Romantic


Theos Casimir Bernard

Theos Bernard, of Lotusland; Scholar of Yoga and Buddhism


The gardens Ganna created are comprised of fourteen distinct partitions: the Blue Garden; Bromeliads Garden; Butterfly Garden; Cactus Garden; Cacti & Euphorbias Gardens;  Cycad Gardens; Fern Gardens; Japanese Gardens; Orchards Collection; Parterre Garden; Succulent Gardens; Topiary Garden; Tropical Garden; and, the Water Garden.

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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 07/02/2021 and last updated on 07/02/2021.


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