Local Texans to glimpse Lotus garden this weekend

by Ashley Sanders, The Port Arthur News, June 2, 2006

PORT ARTHUR, Texas (USA) -- The Shakyamuni Buddha once said “although born out of mire and unwasted refuse, a lotus has a pleasing scent.” The moral of this lesson was for his students to understand that great beauty can be found in even the darkest of places.

<< The Lotus Garden at the Buu Mon Buddhist Temple will be in full bloom this weekend as the Port Arthur temple welcomes the public to walk through and view the blossoms first hand.  MIKE TOBIAS/The Port Arthur News

This weekend, hundreds of Southeast Texans and visitors from far and wide will experience the true beauty of the Lotus flower during the Buu Mon Buddhist Temple’s Eighth Annual Lotus Garden Tour and Vesak Celebration.

Ren Brumfield and the Rev. Huyen Viet are inviting the community to tour four spacious gardens that boast tropical and hardy water lilies, bamboo that reaches 80 feet in the air, more than 35 varieties of Lotus flowers and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Throughout the day a handful of plant experts will also be on hand to teach local growers how to care for bamboo and citrus plants and the best methods for water gardening.

Paintings and photographs will be on display throughout the temple. Both the artwork and plants will be on sale Saturday and Sunday.

As if the original art pieces and mesmerizing plant arrangements were not enough, Temple worshipers will also entertain crowds with lion and folk dances.

In addition, Sunday’s celebration will be even more special than Saturday’s. Starting at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the Buu Mon Temple will celebrate Vesak, Buddha Day, with all those in attendance. Revelers will be treated to a special Vietnamese lunch in the temple’s main hall following the service.

The Buu Mon Buddhist Temple is located at 2701 Procter Street in Port Arthur. For more information on the 2006 Lotus Garden Tour, visit www.buumon.org.

If you go
The Lovely Lotus

Saturday, June 3
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Explore the gardens
10-11:30 a.m., Gardening talks by plant experts
1-2:30 p.m., Gardening talks by plant experts

Sunday, June 4
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Explore the gardens
10:30 a.m., Vesak Celebration
1 p.m., Lunch served for everyone in Temple’s Dining Hall
1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Gardening talks by plant experts