|West Conservatory Complex, Longwood Gardens website|
The garden was originally begun in the early 1700s by a Quaker family who purchased the land from William Penn. In 1906, the farm was purchased by Pierre du Pont to preserve the arboretum begun by Joshua and Samuel Peirce over 100 years earlier. Read more about this incredible park here: The Story of Longwood Gardens
The gardens are immense, and since I had limited time to visit, I chose to focus on the Outdoor Waterlily Display. Currently there are 5 shallow pools that grow water lilies from around the world. The lotus plant really interested me, there are none in the Seattle Japanese Garden, but so many of the stone lanterns have a lotus blossom on the top. I was intrigued to see a real lotus plant. Although it wasn't blooming during my visit, several of the seed pods were visible. I had seen them in floral arrangements and didn't know what they were. They are the brown pods sticking above the blue-green leaves in the photo below. The plant lives in murky pond water, but the flower is pure and beautiful.
|Longwood Gardens Lotus plant with seed pods LLaurie 9/12|
The lotus flower can range in color from pure white to lavender, pale blue or pink In the picture below, you can see the seed pod as part of the blossom. From religionfacts.com, "The roots of a lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, and the heavily scented flower lies pristinely above the water, basking in the sunlight. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment."
|Lotus blossom by matze_ott|
Water-platters, L. Laurie 9/12
|Water Lilies, L. Laurie, 9/12|
|Water-Platter Close-up, L. Laurie, 9/12|
|Sign at Water Lily Park, L. Laurie. 9/12|
|Crepe Mertle Bonsai, L. Lauire, 9/12|