There’s only one national park dedicated to aquatic plants,
and that’s Kenilworth Aquatic
Gardens, located surprisingly IN the District of Columbia. I
was there in Mid-July for their
Lotus and Water Lily Festival.
All summer but especially at the peak flowering time and during
the festival, the place is swarming with photographers. This year
the 2-day festival attracted about 13,500 visitors, and I’m told
attendance has been growing.
The only visitors I saw
getting photos taken of themselves.
I wondered about the effect of social media, especially
Instagram, on hyper-photogenic places like this. Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Park
volunteer coordinator David Drawbaugh confirmed that he’s “sure
a lot of people learn about the park through pictures of it on
social media.” So selfies can be a good thing?
Funny thing, though. When I was there early Sunday morning of
the festival I didn’t see a single selfie taken! I wonder if
it’s generational, or even cultural.
I say that because SO many of the visitors I saw here are older,
and from East Asia, where I’m told that lotus blossoms have a
long cultural importance.
I asked about portraits and selfies and David confirmed that
they’re popular here and I found the best possible one among the
2018 winners of the park’s
Lotus blossoms with Corgi
was a sure winner in the people category. (Is posing with a dog
Here’s a couple more winners.
David urges the public to come anytime. “There may not be as
many flowers in bloom in the fall, winter or spring, but the park
has a different kind of beauty.” No doubt, and lots of wildlife
there along the river.
Gardens and ‘GrammersLooks like this
garden survives the onslaught of photographers and Instagrammers
better than some. According to the Slate article
“Stop and ‘Gram the Roses,” “Influencers, bloggers,
YouTubers, and onlookers go to great destructive lengths to snap
and share pictures of flowers.”
Sometimes plants get no respect.
Lotus Festival for ‘Grammers and Regular Photographers
originally appeared on GardenRant on August 16,