Ganna Walska is a hero of mine. She built a place called Lotusland in Santa Barbara, a beautiful garden with different themed landscapes within it. I've actually never been, but I've always wanted to go.
She's a fascinating woman: She's from Poland, and started out as an opera singer, but apparently not a very good one. During one performance, the audience pelted rotten vegetables at her! Her unfortunate forays are said to have inspired Orson Wells' Citizen Kane.
After splitting from her sixth husband, she dedicated her time, money, and creativity to designing and building Lotusland.