Kerry has been writing radio copy for donkey's years, & also dabbles in short stories & travel writing. She works, plays and explores largely in the CDB and inner suburbs, gets everywhere by public transport and is the self-professed Zone One Queen.
Published February 10th 2013
Update April 17th 2013
Blue Lotus Water Gardens are open from late December through to Early April each year.
Tranquility by the acre
[ADVERT]Amongst the wealth of wineries and orchards populating the Yarra Valley, there's a farm devoted to a product that one might more readily associate with Buddhism, Hindu deities, or spa retreats the world over.
The lotus flower with its multiple petals is a renowned visual symbol for spiritual awakening and tranquility of the soul. In Buddhism, the flower's rise above a murky pond on its solid stalk signifies purification and the achieving of enlightenment. You may not easily find the lotus at your local florist, but you can see hundreds rising from their ponds, from December to April, at Blue Lotus Water Gardens.
It's a splendid sight for those of a contemplative nature, and for anyone who loves beauty, nature and gardens. As Australia's largest water garden, Blue Lotus has thousands of lotus flowers in a variety of colours across its 14 acres of garden, lakes and lotus flats.
Paths, wooden walkways and attractive red bridges provide access ways for a very pleasant stroll. There are numerous sheltered seats and tiny thatched roof pavilions where one can take a break from the sun, or sit and contemplate the beautiful surroundings.
Vast beds of lotus in gentle whites, pinks, mauves and blues are offset by stands of agapanthus and bright orange canna lilies. Huge leaves quiver, with mercurial bubbles of the morning's dew swishing around in their centres, while dragonflies dart overhead. It's an exotic visual feast, and inspiring for the photographers amongst us.
Blue Lotus is home to rare items such as the 2000 year old Oga Lotus. Another great attraction are the impressive water lilies, including the Giant Amazon water lily in its own heated greenhouse enclosure. This is the world's largest water lily, with a heavily-veined, platter-like lily pad that can grow to over 1.2 metres in diameter.
This waterlily pad can apparently bear the weight of a baby.
Take a picnic out into the water gardens, or enjoy the very attractive surroundings of Café Lotus. Here, all dining is al fresco, with covered verandahs and barbecue areas semi-circling a lotus-packed pond. And the main attraction is on the menu too. Here at Café Lotus, you can try an Australian first - Lotus Root Chips. Tasting like a cross between potato and parsnip, these distinctively patterned chips are lightly seasoned and served with aioli on a fresh lotus leaf. Or maybe you fancy Pickled Lotus Root served with chargrilled roast veggies?
Lunch at Café Lotus is served with an exotic view.
To complete your experience, there's a lotus-themed gift shop and boutique, and on your way out through the nursery, you may have been inspired enough to buy your own lotus plants and water lilies, or even a mere bloom or two to grace a table for a special occasion. Certainly, if you want to know how to grow and care the one of the world's most acclaimed flowers, Blue Lotus Water Gardens is your destination. And it's a lovely day out. Don't forget to take your camera.
We went today, it was beautiful. Had a lovely lunch overlooking the lake and then walked all through the Lotus Gardens. We even had a chat about me making some items for their giftshop, so you may see some of my wares there soon. It is in the review but just a reminder folks - they are closed from April to December, so think summer weather :-)