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This secluded, lavishly landscaped 37-acre estate is renowned for exotic plants and mysterious garden paths. Named for the estate's vivacious European-born mistress and the romantic, lotus-filled ponds in her gardens, the estate reflects the late Madame Walska's eccentricity and the skill of her prestigious gardeners. She was especially fond of succulents and cactuses, interspersing them artistically among native plants and decorative objects. Assembled when money was no object and import regulations were lenient (mostly in the 1940s), the garden contains priceless rare specimens -- even prehistoric plants that are extinct in the wild. Advance reservations are required. Montecito is a 5-minute freeway drive south of downtown Santa Barbara. Note: Advance reservations are required and are available up to 6 months in advance.