Category Timeline 2


Madame Walska begins her collection of bromeliads from Carlsbad Garden and from orchid grower, Fritz Kubisch. He completes the layout of the original Bromeliad Garden in 196


Local artist Joseph Knowles, Sr., is hired to enhance the Gavit-era crescent-shaped pool in the Aloe Garden, adding abalone shells along the border and creating large clamshell and coral fountains.


Topiary animals from the Osaki Plant Zoo in Los Angeles are planted around the horticultural clock. Madame Ganna Walska establishes a foundation to protect her legacy and open the gardens to the public after her death.


The 25-foot diameter horticultural clock designed by Ralph Stevens is built and planted with succulents. Ralph Stevens retires. Madame Walska is considered “Head Gardener” and works with staff on various projects.


The Cactus and Succulent Society tours Lotusland as part of their biennial convention. Madame Walska almost single-handedly oversees the conversion of the old swimming pool into a water garden, completed in 1956.


Theos Bernard serves Madame Walska with divorce papers and removes many valuable furnishings and books from the house on the estate. He sues for separate maintenance, which is refused when he is caught committing perjury about his financial situation. Their…


Always Room at the Top, Madame Walska’s memoir is published. Santa Barbara Superintendent of Parks Ralph Stevens, son of the original property owner begins working on garden projects at Lotusland.


Ganna Walska and Theos Bernard are married in a secret ceremony in Las Vegas; a prenuptial agreement protects her property in case of divorce. At the request of Madame Walska, De Forest replaces the traditional landscaping in front of the…