Water Stairs and Cypress Allée
In the 1920s, a long brick walkway lined with cypress trees began at the swimming pool, now Water Garden, and culminated at an ornamental carved limestone wellhead. At a right angle from that wishing well was a series of 14 basins that created a water stairway feeding into a large pleasure pond, complete with a sailboat and an island. Only the hardscape paths, wellhead, and Water Stairs basins remained when the Foundation took charge of the Garden in 1986, though photographs show the Cypress Allée in Madame Ganna Walska’s day. It is believed Madame Walska preserved the area, building her gardens around them.
Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’ (Italian cypress), Abelia ‘Edward Goucher’, Thuja occidentalis ‘Rushmore’ (arborvitae), Thymus serpyllum ‘Elfin’
After constructing the original swimming pool and the Cypress Allée, garden designer Peter Riedel and his team hand-graded and terraced the slope off of the Cypress Allée, creating the beautiful formal feature of the Water Stairs. In 2009, the Water Stairs were refurbished and fitted with a recirculating water pump.
Dating to the Gavit era, Lotusland’s Cypress Allée is a classic example of European garden design. The Cypress Allée had fallen into disrepair and was restored in 2009. Elegant and alluring, simplicity is important in planning and planting any allée.