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 From Editor-in-Chief
Charles B. Thomas

The Impact of Legendary Water Gardens

Understandably, water gardeners love to visit the legendary waterlily displays at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Missouri Botanical Gardens in St Louis, and Monet’s Garden at Giverny. Their magnificent aquatic collections thoroughly impress amateurs and professionals alike. Staff members at various botanic gardens tell me that these legendary gardens give inspiration to their respective water garden projects.

Stunning displays of waterlilies and other aquatics readily spur viewers to create their own water gardens at home. Newly inspired water gardeners combine authoritative information like that found on this site and Victoria-Adventure with products from Truly Named suppliers. This combination virtually guarantees success for novices anxious to experience the delights derived from having a personal water garden.

Only a few decades ago, water gardens rated a low priority at many public gardens. They placed emphasis elsewhere. Not enough professional gardeners understood the intricacies of creating and maintaining an attractive collection of water garden plants. Besides, too few displays featured truly named waterlily labels. Year by year, however, these negative situations morphed into positive situations.

Serendipitously, over the same decades, a splendid confluence of factors merged to make water gardening as popular as it is today:

• Readily accessible and accurate information from books, articles, TV, catalogs, internet, clubs/societies
• Newly available products like flexible liners, beneficial bacteria, dazzling hybrids
• Greatly expanded aquatic plant production
• Significantly increased number of water garden retailers
• Remarkably enhanced and appealing water garden exhibits by botanic gardens and garden shows
• Amazingly strong public interest in the environment, especially about water

Many water gardeners discover that a soundly planned water garden becomes a miniature ecological system. Interdependence develops between plant, animal, and bacterial life. A well-balanced pond can go years without cleaning or changing the water. The great variety of microscopic life that naturally grows in the pond environment fascinates students of all ages.

WGI salutes the cover-story legendary gardens and all botanic gardens that play a vital role promoting water gardening.


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