Lily Pool Terrace

This my third post about my trip to New York this summer. One of the stops on my list of must see places is the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. I saw so many interesting plants and I took so many photographs it was difficult to decide what to share.

The Lily Pool Terrace completely captivated me no doubt because I love water and the blooms and huge waterlily leaves floating around just radiate vigor and well-being. There are three 4 foot deep pools mostly with hardy water-lilies and lotuses with a few tropicals. There are almost 100 varieties in the ponds in full bloom in the middle of summer to early fall.

The intense purple on this bloom is spectacular. Notice the visiting bee...

Nymphaea 'Panama-Pacifica'

The crisp white of this bloom is so pure and clean and I like the yellow and white combination...

Nymphaea 'Lemon scent'

The marbled leaves on these lilies are so interesting and make a lovely contrast against the water and pink booms...

Nymphaea 'Acr-En-Ciel'

I learned that water-lily blooms open late morning and close at night so the best time to see them in full bloom is mid-day. The tropical culitvars have larger leaves and more vibrant colors than the hardy varieties.

The hot pink of these blooms are just a great color for summer...

Nymphaea 'Luciana'

There is a lot of wildlife in and around the pools including dragonflies, turtles, fish, frogs, ducks, and bees...

Dragonfly on a hard water-lily bloom

The hardy water-lilies are planted in tubs set at the bottom of the pool because they can withstand colder temperatures. As long as the rhizome doesn't freeze the plant will survive the cold. Surprisingly these hardy cultivars can survive winters as far north as Alaska. The tropicals on the other hand are planted 8" below the surface and they will die each year and must be replaced. The lotuses are raised above the pool floor to use the warmth of the pool's natural thermocline.

These seed pods of the sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera 'Lutea') are in various stages. These plants are sacred in the Buddhist religion and as so beautifully states in the BBG's description "emblematic of the soul of man, resting always in calm above the surging activities of the world; existing in the sunlight pure and undefiled; rooted in the world of experience".

These tropical Ludwigia sediodes blooms are striking. They look like a mosaic and have the most amazing geometric pattern. The red variegation on the leaves are stunning.

Ludwigia sediades

My visit was both spectacular and very inspiring. I have much more to share but I hope you enjoyed this walk around the pools with me.


  1. I didn't know that Brooklyn has a Botanical garden! Amazing pictures! Dragonfly on a lily bloom is my favorite here. Thank you!

  2. These photos are inspirational. i am particularly taken by the beauty of the sacred lotus pods. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great post Karin. I'll feel much more informed next time I go back!

  4. Your photos are lovely and there's such a variety of water lilies here! I love the variegated, marbled leaves!

  5. I love your photos. Some of those shots look very difficult.

    Our city has a "lake" that is about 4'-6' deep all the way across. I think it would be great if they would consider planting water lilies :)

  6. Your post was lovely! The photos were beautiful. I've just been introduced to water gardening this past summer and believe I will have at least one more Colorado water lily before the first frost. I'm curious about having a lotus plant - the pods are so textural and interesting.


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One of my favorite things about blogging is the conversation with readers. Leave a comment and let's get talking. ~Karin

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