blue garden renovation

The blue garden is one of Lotusland’s most iconic gardens. Started in 1948 as a silver garden with the planting of blue Atlas cedars by Madame Walska, it evolved into the blue garden as she added blue-foliaged plants to complement the cedars. At the time, color-themed gardens were considered quite chic, and at its prime in the mid-1950s Lotusland’s blue garden was celebrated as one of the most fascinating gardens in California.

The blue garden got a new lease on color with a generous grant by the Hind Foundation.

Long after Madame Walska’s death in 1984, plants in the blue garden continued to grow. Time eventually took a toll as the cedars created a dense canopy, shading the sun-loving blue-foliaged plants. Even as the cedars lost their lower branches, the plants beneath them succumbed to the dense shade. Over time the garden lost its azure luster, turning a drab brown.

Thanks to a grant from the Hind Foundation in 2012, Lotusland was able to restore the blue garden to its former splendor. It is one of the few remaining examples of a color-themed garden created during a period in American garden design when this style was fashionable.

The blue garden is widely known and admired by garden designers, preservationists and historians, and seeing this “period piece” is a highlight of any visit to Lotusland. The blue garden is as relevant now as it was in Madame Walska’s heyday. The plants in the blue garden are drought-tolerant and thrive in our dry Mediterranean climate.

Gardens, made of living, growing, changing organisms, are never finished. Maintenance is ongoing, and in another 60 years, the blue garden will need to be restored once again. That is why Lotusland is committed to raising endowment for every single garden, to guarantee the care and preservation of all our beautiful, important and historic gardens for future generations.

The Blue Garden Endowment Fund, made possible by a $1 million grant from the Hind Foundation in honor of Greg Wm. Hind, will care for this special garden in perpetuity. We are extremely grateful to Greg Hind, who supported the restoration, and now to the Hind Foundation, who has preserved it in his honor.