What to Know
- The large water-based blossoms traditionally open around late June and July in Southern California
- The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens has more than one lovely lotus area (reservations required on weekends)
- Ganna Walska Lotusland's first 2021 lotus opened just before the first day of summer
On a warm July night, right around the second weekend and just ahead of the month's middle point?
Our sweetest dreams may sudden grow pinker, and greener, and softer, and far more fragrant. We might find ourselves, within the realm of our reveries, walking by a cool pool of water, and dozens of large-headed, almost ethereally beautiful lotus flowers.
For it is right around July's second Saturday and Sunday when the lotus is in the Southern California spotlight, thanks to its bloom schedule and the festivals and events that flower around its return.
One of those happenings, at Echo Park Lake, has blossomed online in 2021, and flower fans can watch a vibrant virtual celebration, one that includes traditional Cambodian dance and music presentations.
A pair of regional gardens, both open to visitors, are famous for their lotuses, with the lotus even appearing in one of the destination's names: It's Ganna Walska Lotusland, in Santa Barbara, which is revealed that its first 2021 lotus opened on June 18.
Of course, the plant-packed, path-pretty property is home to several sit-and-stop spots beyond its lotus-filled area, including the Cycad Garden, the Australian Garden, and the Aloe Garden, too.
And at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino? The property's ethereal "'Nelumbo nucifera' (sacred lotus)" is looking robust and lush in the landmark's exquisite Chinese Garden.
"The plant's regenerative life cycle is referenced in many religions and cultures as a symbol of rebirth, purity, and enlightenment," shares The Huntington, and time spent at the water's edge in quiet contemplation feels just right on a bright summer afternoon.
Do note that while reservations are no longer required on weekdays, you will need to secure your Huntington entry in advance on the weekend or a holiday Monday.