Scenes from the Lotus and Water Lily Bloom at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

The lotus flower rising and blooming above the murk symbolizes enlightenment and spiritual awakening in Buddhism



Of all the big annual blooms that occur in the DC area, the lotus flowers and water lilies at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens may just be my favorite one. Not only is the sight of the bursting pink, white, and peachy hued flora absolutely breathtaking, its secluded location — the park is located in an unexpected part of Northeast DC just blocks from the buzz of 295 — makes it a glorious oasis of beautiful nature in the city.

The bloom begins early to mid summer and peaks around the middle of July. It’s just about hitting that point right now, and we visited yesterday to take in the spectacular scene.

The annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival t0 celebrate it all is happening this Saturday, July 15. (Note: This post is from 2017!) It’s a fantastic event that we try to attend every year with activities for kids; cultural dance performances; gardening workshops; and park tours.

No matter when you go, this bloom is one you have to see. And while this time of year is the most colorful at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, a visit there is great any time (but a hat, sunscreen, and bug repellent recommended if you go now). You can read more about the park and get logistics for visiting in this KFDC post. In the meantime, here are images from our outing there yesterday for a peek at the peak… okay, more than a peek, but it’s so beautiful, I couldn’t decide which pics to post!

A close look at a seed pod



Dragon flies don’t feed on lotus, but lay eggs in water plants and perch on them



A sea of lotus flowers



Have your camera ready – photos ops abound!



Pouring water to watch it roll right of the lotus’ superhydrophic leaves



As Sasha noted, the great blue heron is like a celebrity and park visitors the paprazzi



Cattail sprouts up along the ponds



A view from above



Pickerwelweed adds a pretty pop of purple (and some p alliteration)



Turtles are a common sight in the waters



The giant leaves are just as amazing to see as the flowers



One last shot of the gorgeous scene



Oh, just one more… last one, I promise!



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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, DC, Festival, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

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