Lotus? In DC? Yes – the flower that symbolizes serenity, knowledge, majesty and purity, among other things, can be found right in the heart of Washington DC. A celebration of the Lotus is not just a one-day event but an ongoing event that just gets better and better. Walter Shaw was onto something when he moved a few wild water lilies from Maine to the adjoining wetlands of the property he purchased in Washington DC. With a little girl-power from his daughter Helen, Mr. Shaw began utilizing what was formerly used as the local ice pond for winter activities to a beautiful oasis of waterlilies and lotus.Helen joined here Father in developing a business, Shaw Gardens, that turned many garden enthusiasts into water gardeners and provided financially fruitful income as well. When the National Park Service threatened to take away this land, dredge it and backfill it, Helen went to battle by lobbying Congress to save this important parcel from destruction and it was added to what we now know as Anacostia Park. Helen Shaw Fowler continued to live on the property enjoying the eternal gift of the season until her death. Thank goodness one of the gardeners who worked for our National Park Service – Fred Lundy – took an interest in continuing the maintenance and care of what we now know as Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.Think it’s all about the Lotus?? Goodness – NO!!! There are all sorts of local amphibians that can be heard as you walk through the wetlands filled with majestic blooms rising above the muck. Also if you are a birder , finding Wood Ducks, Green Heron, Great Egret and if you are lucky, a Bald Eagle or two just might make your day! This is definitely the place where sandpipers might skirt across the landscape or the sound of a Pileated Woodpecker might turn into background music as you aimlessly wander along the pathways found amidst the lotus gardens.If you were not able to attend The Lotus Festival on yesterday, here are a few other opportunities on the horizon that you just might want to mark your calendar and enjoy:
Blossoms at Twilight Friday, July 22, 2016 5:30 9:00 pm
Did you know that there are some cultivars of Lotus that bloom at dusk….and the fragrance….OH – THE FRAGRANCE!!! If you have not witnessed this first hand, head on over after work and enjoy something to start the weekend in a peaceful, serene environment….right here in our hometown!! There are even activities for the children.
Lotus Jazz Night Saturday, July 23, 2016 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Did someone say unique date night??? For the first time, Kenilworth Gardens is hosting Jazz Night in the midst of the Lotus. Featuring Akua Allrich Jazz, DC Native, and local jazz artist will bring music to relax your world. The local venue, local artist….this should be something that should be supported and perhaps it just might become a series of concerts that will build community.
Lotus – bringing long season beauty to our Nations Capitol that all can enjoy….and it’s all FREE!!!Maybe I will see you there???
Always mentally in the garden……Teri