Monday, August 2, 2010

Lotus Blossoms and Water Lilies...

On Friday, my good friend Kris, who is also a Master Gardener, and I spent a couple of hours in Portland's Classical Chinese Garden to see what was up with the lotus. The garden, in the heart of the city, spans an entire city block. Inside, except for some traffic noise and a high rise or two if you care to look, you're transported into peace and tranquility. Even though much of the flora is labeled, it was nice having a plant person along!


There were only a few lotus blossoms to see and they weren't in a place where you could get a close look, but we enjoyed our two hours immensely and vowed to make the short drive to Hughes Water Gardens the following Monday and get up close and personal with those beautiful blooms. If you're in the Portland area, and you've never been there, I'd recommend you get yourself out to Tualatin, it's worth it!
The place is beautifully set up and I'm guessing there are several acres with ponds, water features of all kinds and everything you'll need to make your own. Water plants abound, including huge South American lily pads and of course our quarry, the lotus.

I'm not sure which I love more, the flower, or the pod! It's no wonder the lotus is used so frequently as a design element...

Those amazing Victoria waterlily pads can hold the weight of a child. Found in South America, these pads are actually small in comparison to the 8' in diameter they can grow to. Kris,our lily pad princess, is demonstrating their strength. I was thankfully able to keep her from climbing aboard ...

You don't want to tangle with their undersides as they are extremely well protected by sharp thorns.

Many varieties of waterlilies, some outside and some inside the two greenhouses.

It's a beautiful stroll, and it's free! Except of course you may end up leaving with something beautiful for your yard. Personally, I lay in bed at night mentally going over my garden, wondering where I can fit in a cascading waterfall... I know Kris will be back to pick up a fountain she was eyeing...

Garden art by local metal artist, Marta Farris. I actually have several of Marta's pieces in my yard. Her work is very whimsical and colorful.

This must be how ants feel.

There's a large, looks natural, woodland pond with koi that are at least 18" long.

Hmmmm, I can see something of what Monet saw here...


  1. Great Pictures Betsy, I have been to the Chinese Garden, but have never visited Hugh's Water I will make a point of it. Thanks!
    Michelle G.

  2. Thank you for this, Betsy. How very timely for me.
    Just set up my little pond, slowly collecting the aquatic plants, hoping for a goldfish or two in the coming weeks, how very exciting.
    Love Marta's work.

  3. What fun, Pey! It's soooo tempting...

  4. Beautiful photographs! When I lived in Portland (long time ago), I used to love the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden. Your post has made me feeI that a return visit to Portland is long overdue.