Within buddhist iconography, the blossoming of the lotus from the mud of its surroundings symbolizes the attainment of perfect enlightment despite immersion in the constant suffering and imputities of samsara (or mundane existence). A lotus' color is also significant. According to ReligionFacts.com , white represents "the state of spiritual perfection"; red, "love, compassion, passion"; blue, "the wisdom of knowledge"; and pink is the "supreme lotus...associated with the Great Buddha himself." Dieties are often depicted with a lotus of a particular color. For example, Manjushri, the boddhisattva of wisdom, typically holds a blue lotus.
The pictures are of the lotus pond at the National Botanical Garden (Taipei, Taiwan). The building in on the right of the pond is the National History Museum.