Alexandra’s 30th: A Walk in the Park at Lotusland

Very hard to believe that our Alexandra is 30!

Twenty years goes by in a hurry! Alexandra at 10 with Daniel and Taylor

Her friends and family kept her so busy with celebrations that I think she barely noticed the decade shift. I was lucky enough to be invited to one of the fetes; a tour of Madame Ganna Walska’s Lotusland in Montecito.

Pamela and the birthday girl at Lotusland

Alexandra’s dear friend, Claire, was visiting from Korea, and her mother, Carolyn and mother-in-law, Nancy, along with Pamela, Alexandra and I all bundled up on a damp June-gloom morning for our Lotusland visit. Tours are highly restricted, so you have to plan your Lotusland experience well in advance.

Pamela, Carolyn, Nancy, Claire and Alexandra listen to the Lotusland docent

Lotusland is the magnum opus of opera singer Madame Ganna Walska. Her keen eye for wealthy husbands and real estate enabled her to purchase the 37 acres in Montecito for $40,000 in 1941.  After divorcing her sixth husband, she turned to garden therapy in a big way and created a legacy that mirrors her larger-than-life persona – singular, eccentric and flamboyant.

The lotus were just starting to bloom – a bit early this year

This pool cost a few clams

Lots and lots of cactus

The topiary garden

The walking tour takes about two hours and since so few visitors are allowed at a time, you feel as if you have Lotusland all to yourself. It is a vast and astonishing place – very definitely worth the visit!

Afterwards, we went to lunch where Alexandra reigned over her subjects. It’s good, indeed, to be the queen!

30 is looking good!

Happy birthday, Alexandra – it only gets better from here!

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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4 Responses to Alexandra’s 30th: A Walk in the Park at Lotusland

  1. dizzyguy says:

    CE here: It is hard to believe that little girl in the picture with our boys grew up so fast. And after several years of seasoning in the Big Apple, we really knew she could make it anywhere; and she has. Such a delightful addition to the Gutsche extended family (with full respects to her real parents). So Alexandra, on behalf of all the silly critters and myself, consider yourself to have been wished a very Happy Birthday!

  2. phyllis gutsche says:


  3. Thirty is an amazing age. ENJOY! XO

  4. tdevir says:

    Lotusland looks amazing! What a fun birthday activity. Congrats on the big 3-0 Alexandra! You look great!!

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