Lotusland: Flowery Gem to Re-Open

The storied Santa Barbara spread'll welcome visitors in mid-February.

CHANGING OLD HABITS... after the start of the new year can take a few committed weeks (or even months). If you've long existed in a constant state of rushing around, finding a fresh way to some meditative moments in your day can prove a tad tricky, at least at first. You want to begin a new calendar year by finding some quiet, by settling your mind, but making the time to do so, well... it's easy it is to let a lot of time pass. But one instant way to reconnect with a resolution to be more mind- and heart-peaceable is to visit a garden, the kind of spot where mind-settling and heart-quieting happen with almost no effort.

CALIFORNIA OFFERS LOADS... of such lovely destinations, though a few of them do take a bit of time off in the winter. But there is a place, in Santa Barbara, that re-opens to public tours each year juuuust about at that moment when resolution-makers are thinking about re-connecting with that commitment to meditate, to find a gentler path, to spend an hour organizing a few thoughts, goals, plans in a pretty place. The pretty place we speak of here is...

GANNA WALSKA LOTUSLAND, the lush estate that was once the home of the celebrated opera singer. True, lotuses bloom when the weather warms up, so they won't be doing their full-flower thing on 2017's opening day. But when general tours open back up, post-winter recess, on Thursday, Feb. 16, visitors can call upon the serene spread, which includes numerous gardens and plots beyond its eponymous flower. If you want to view the orchids, or the cacti, or the ferns at this history-laden gem, just make a reservation at Lotusland after the 16th. Then find your quiet, your nature, your mind-easing views, and return to your new year's resolution as you stroll the pathways and let your thoughts be at peace.

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