Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hidden Gardens

The Aquatic Gardens is a tiny jewel of a park hidden behind the garbage of Kenilworth Avenue in Washington, DC. This is peak blooming season for these aquatic plants, so even though it was beastly hot out today, we paid a visit. Here's a description from their website:

The Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is the only National Park Service site devoted to the propagation and display of aquatic plants. Situated on 14 acres along the east bank of the Anacostia River, the Gardens were begun as the hobby of a Civil War veteran W.B. Shaw in 1882, and operated for 26 years as a commercial water garden. During the time that Mr. Shaw, and later his daughter, Mrs. L. Helen Fowler, operated the gardesn, they were successful in developping many new varieties of water lilies, two of which bear their names. In 1938, the Gardens were purchased from Fowler by the Federal Government. It was as that time that the facility ceased operating as a commercial enterprise and because part of the National Park system.

We were lucky to join a tour with a park ranger, who revealed some of the challenges of operating a park like this. We learned about the delicate balance in the food chain, about the persistence of turtles, and about the predilection for pink water lilies displayed by hungry beavers.

I highly recommend a trip to the Aquatic Gardens if you haven't been. You will never again see so many water lilies in one place!


Anonymous florally challenged said...

Beautiful pictures! I will definitley have to pay a visit to this floral palace along the water.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

We used to go often when we lived on the of the most peaceful spots. But, I have not been in nearly 3 years. I will make a point of it, perhaps next weekend. Thank you, B

7:31 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

I am still waiting for my water lilies to bloom. They are being most stubborn

9:09 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Nice pics! I haven't seen too many pink water lilies...mostly white.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I've never been. I'll have to make a point of visiting it. Soon.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Those are beautiful photos.

Sometimes we want to take it all in, when what we should really do is just focus all our attention on one flower.

7:25 PM  

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