Saturday, November 28 , 2015, 7:54 am | Fair 38º

Lotusland in Montecito Celebrates Blooms and Brews at Annual LotusFest

The event focuses on the flower that is the garden's namesake, with food, wine and beer also part of the fun

Brewmaster Pete Johnson of The Brewhouse and wife Jean created a special lotus-infused beer for LotusFest, held Saturday at Lotusland.
Brewmaster Pete Johnson of The Brewhouse and wife Jean created a special lotus-infused beer for LotusFest, held Saturday at Lotusland.  (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

By Rochelle Rose, Noozhawk Contributing Writer | @NoozhawkSociety | updated logo |

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

The annual LotusFest event on Saturday enjoyed blue and sunny skies in celebration of the spectacular flower that is Lotusland’s namesake.

A capacity crowd of nearly 200 attendees relished in a relaxing afternoon at this casual, fun event held on the grounds of historic Lotusland in Montecito.

Lotusland staff member Anne Dewey told Noozhawk that setting the date for LotusFest is tricky. The prime time for lotuses to bloom is July, but nature and the weather can affect the blooming pattern.

“The blooms last only two or three days at most," Dewey said. "Today’s event allows our guests to see many of the spectacular blooms that are best seen when the sun is the brightest. Lotus flowers open during the day and close at night.”

For hors d’oeuvres, Omni Catering offered fine cheeses, gourmet sliders and handmade quesadillas. Fifteen quality vintners and five breweries supplied ample tastings under the beautiful tree canopy. The local business, The Brewhouse, created a special lotus-infused beer just for LotusFest. Brewmater Pete Johnson gathered lotus flowers, soaked them for two days and used the essence to flavor a wonderful tasting beer.

Lotusland was created by Ganna Walska and her foundation, which has preserved and enhanced 37 acres of spectacular gardens in the heart of Montecito. Walska died in 1984.

For more information about Lotusland, click here or call 805.969.9990.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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