Among the first changes Madame Walska made after purchasing Lotusland in 1941 was to add cactus, succulent, and euphorbia plantings to beds in front of her new residence. These plantings reflect both her design style and her fascination with desert plants.
Masses of golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) and large weeping Euphorbia ingens flank the entrance to the house, and a collection of cacti and euphorbias continues along the length of the main drive.
One side of the drive is planted with cacti, which are new world plants, and the other is planted in succulent euphorbias from the old world. The use of several hundred plants to create mass plantings, as with the golden barrel cacti in this area, has become one of the signatures of Madame Walska’s style.
A separate cactus garden, consisting of the collection of Madame Walska’s longtime friend Merritt Dunlap, opened in 2004.