Just to orient you, this is not the Lotusland of Santa Barbara, California, but the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in northeast Washington, DC. After living just outside the capital city for more than 25 years, I finally got to see these lush water gardens in their summer glory. Kenilworth's acreage is dense with native and exotic water lilies, but, to my mind, it's the blooming lotus (nymphaea) that are the most spectacular.
The photos below were taken during a visit I made almost 3 weeks ago on July 25th when flowering was near peak. (It was midday so the lighting was pretty harsh.) You'll notice some Asian visitors (I think Vietnamese) in festive, traditional-looking garb. The Lotus has special meaning for many Asian cultures.