In 1983, John
and Mary Mirgon, encouraged by Joe
Tomocik, led others to form the Colorado Water Garden Society, the first
such society ever. This year CWGS celebrates its Silver Anniversary.
Though John Mirgon passed away in 2005, Mary Mirgon is an active
WGI member, and Joe Tomocik, Curator of Water Gardens at Denver
Botanic Gardens, is a regular WGI Online columnist.
Do you remember water gardening 25 years ago?
Few US retailers offered water garden products. When found,
the offerings were generally scant. Magazines rarely published
water garden information. Occasionally a publisher released a
water garden book. Too often botanic gardens relegated aquatic
collections to a low priority status. It was not easy to find
anyone who could discuss waterlilies. Water garden clubs did
not exist. No organization focused on waterlily identification.
Today countless nurseries and garden centers offer a wide
assortment of aquatic plants. Garden magazines regularly feature
water garden articles. New waterlily books appear every year.
Botanic gardens vie to outdo each other with properly identified
aquatic displays. Nowadays you can easily find someone who enjoys
discussing waterlilies. WGI lists 136 clubs in eight countries.
Many of them offer helpful web sites.
CWGS, a founding member of WGI, blazed the way for all who
follow. Always a leader in innovative ways for a club to serve
its members and its community, it has an incomparable partnership
with Denver Botanic Gardens.
Current CWGS President Vicki Aber tells us that the Water
Blossom Festival, July 26 and 27, 2008, is to be the highlight
of their Silver Anniversary celebration. Look for coverage here!
What a difference 25 years makes! Our congratulations to CWGS
on this milestone.