Visit to Lotusland, part 4: Rear terrace, parterre & lemon arbor


Around back of the main house at Santa Barbara’s Lotusland, you find a Spanish-style courtyard with curlicue wrought-iron gates, pink stuccoed walls, and verdigris cafe seating.


A Moorish tiled fountain and rill, on axis with the gate, make a cooling focal point.


The tile work makes me want a Moorish fountain in my own garden.


A solitary potted Agave attenuata ‘Variegata’ (I think) brightens a shady corner.


A wall fountain with cherubs spills into a tiled yellow-and-blue basin, with a flowering vine arching over the whole scene.


A parting glance


On the rear terrace of the house, another cherub wall fountain splashes into a basin tiled with what look like Dutch figures.


But most of the tile work on the terrace is of bull-fighting scenes. This grouping makes a sort of wall mural.


Several sago palm planters are adorned with more of the bull-fighting tiles.


A closer look reveals a humorous element. A matador with a guitar slung across his chest is lifted on a bull’s horns. Another pushes a bull on a rolling cart. Yet another bullfighter sits in a chair and seems to toy with a charging bull.


Stepping off the terrace into the parterre, you encounter long, patterned “rugs” of mosaic pebbles along each side of the brick path. They lead the eye to another Moorish fountain surrounded by dense hedges, terminating in a distant focal point of a succulent planter on a plinth.


There’s a lot going on here!


Earthy swirls and curves


Looking back to admire the long view. Imagine how long it must have taken to lay out this design, and then do it again on the other side of the path.


Neptune stands on a clamshell in the center of the fountain, with a couple of minions behind him.


Exiting the hedged path, you come across another long vista, with this beautiful Moorish fountain and rill — my favorite of all the ones at the back of the house. The long view terminates in…


…a huge, bermed clock planted with low-growing succulents! This whimsical feature overlooks the Topiary Garden, just visible beyond. We didn’t have time for more than a quick look at the shrubby zoo.


Nature displays her own sense of whimsy in Bird of Paradise, doesn’t she?


Off to the side, a long lemon arbor offers a tempting vista and a path toward an orchard and butterfly garden. Short on time, however, we turned our feet toward the sunlit cactus garden — and were rewarded with another otherworldly scene.

Next up: The Cactus Garden. For a look back at the Aloe pool, Blue Garden, and Bromeliad Garden, click here.

All material © 2006-2013 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

7 Responses

  1. Mary Gray says:

    Exquisite! I can just feel the sunshine and smell lemon in the air. I had never heard the term verdigris — learned something new from your blog today!

    That coppery green! It’s a gorgeous color in the garden, don’t you think? —Pam

  2. Chris F says:

    Can’t see a Moorish fountain in your garden, but something in fossilized limestone would be fabulous

    No? Perhaps you’re right, Chris. I need a new garden to start over in, with fabulous Spanish tiles on fountains and walls! —Pam

  3. rebecca says:

    Oh, my! Those fountains with their mosaics and tiles are extraordinary! The first patio scene was so inviting, too.

    It really was inviting, Rebecca. I thought it was a small cafe area at first, but I think it’s just a courtyard for sitting and enjoying the beautiful Santa Barbara weather and scenery. —Pam

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your visual sense is almost overwhelmed with all of this garden. WOW. Love all the tiles. That is something you don’t see much around here.

    Yes, there is so much to see here, and each area is quite different from the others. I am sure you would love it, Lisa, since you have an appreciation for desert plants, which are well represented here. —Pam

  5. Love the fountains and mosaics and wow….the succulent garden designed as a clock! Thank you so much for sharing!

    I’m glad you are enjoying the tour, Lee! —Pam

  6. Nell Jean says:

    My favorite is the mosaic pebbles. What a work of patience! Thanks.

    The mosaics were stunning. There’s such an attention to detail in this garden. —Pam

  7. Jason says:

    Would love to walk under that lemon arbor when the flowers are in bloom.

    Ah, wouldn’t that be delicious! —Pam

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