In James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon, the mystical Shangri-La was located in the Valley of the Blue Moon. Within the modern Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, the Pond of the Blue Moon is a reflection of the original Shangri-La gardens of H.J. Lutcher Stark, inspired by Hilton’s novel.
During the 1940s Mr. Stark used the reflection of blooming azaleas in Ruby Lake to provide overwhelming beauty for his visitors in springtime. In the present day Shangri La, the same effect is recreated at the Pond of the Blue Moon with many of the same varieties used by Mr. Stark.
In addition, the towering iconic Cypress Gate and angled boardwalk that provides access to it, adds interest in the middle of the Pond of the Blue Moon by beautifully framing this area. The Cypress Gate is a massive structure built of 60-foot cypress logs salvaged from the destruction caused by Hurricane Rita in 2005.