Travel magazines are the best.  They are full of places I’ve been to and places yet to explore.  This morning I opened the November issue of Travel + Leisure to discover a short article on Lotusland.   You Botanic Garden junkies may know of Ganna Walska’s Lotusland, but if you aren’t familiar with this botanic heaven you should check it out.  Better yet treat yourself to a trip to Santa Barbara and visit Lotusland.  Yes, the wines are excellent and a real draw in Santa Barbara, but this garden is spectacular.  We’re talking about thousands of plant varieties, many arranged in large mass plantings.  The 37-acre botanical wonder is well organized by plant communities yet still provides surprise arrangements.  The cactus garden, with over 170 Aloe varieties alone, will make you wish you had another memory card.  Prior to your arrival in Santa Barbara, you must make arrangements for one of the knowledgeable docents to guide you by calling 805.969.9990.  They are a wealth of information on the garden’s history, including fascinating stories of the eccentric Madame Ganna Walska, the garden’s creator, and the extraordinary collection and variety of plants.

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