On Saturday a friend and I spent a couple hours on a tour of Lotusland (officially called Ganna Walska Lotusland). It is 37 acres in Santa Barbara that used to be the house and grounds of Ganna Walska. She was an avid plant (and husband) collector and the grounds are set up with different "gardens" that all flow into one another. There are areas for cactus, succulents, a Butterfly garden, a Japanese garden (complete with pond and Lotus), a fern garden, and more.
This is a cool little amphitheater with odd French garden statues:
It was so relaxing, information, and fun to meander through the winding pathways and listen to someone (oddly enough, my ex-principal) telling stories of Ganna Walska's wild and varied life as well as information about the plants.
This is one of the cactus areas and a sample of one of the amazing blooms we saw:
There are even sections that are more manicured with topiary and fountains: