aloe garden

More than 170 kinds of aloes are in Lotusland’s aloe garden including Aloe barberae, A. dichotoma, A. plicatilis, and A. ramosissima. Two unusual plants in the garden are large specimens of the gru-gru palm (Acrocomia aculeate) and a ponytail palm (Beaucarnea stricta).

Aloes in bloom
Aloes in bloom

Many aloes, a genus of succulent plants native to Africa and Madagascar, have spectacular red, yellow or orange flowers.

A shallow kidney-shaped pool, dating from when Erastus and Marie Gavit owned the property (1915 – 1939), is one of Lotusland’s most recognizable features. Madame Walska converted it into a white-bottomed “abalone shell pond” with two large cascading fountains of giant clam shells.

The brick pathways here are also from the Gavit era, and a row of Chilean wine palms (Jubaea chilensis), also dating to the estate’s earliest days, leads from the water garden toward an aviary containing cockatiels in honor of Madame Walska’s beloved “Happy.”