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Monthly Archives: August 2015

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With these dog days of summer well upon us and the temps in the 80’s and 90’s the draw to the water is strong to cool us off a bit. It is there that we find ourselves caught by the lore of the Lotus {Nelumbo} and the call of the Water Lily {Nyphaea}.  These two beauties spring up from our shallow waters like Goddess and Gods and leave us spellbound by the fragrance and presence, their exotic colors span the rainbow and their fragrance fills the air.

The Lotus { Nelumbo} is a genus of 2 species of deciduous and perennial water plants found throughout the world. They differ from the water lily in that they also grow from the pond floor but rise higher from the water surface with both leaf and flower and for the most part are larger.

The Water Lily { Nyphaea } is a genus of 50 species of both deciduous and perennial water plants with fleshy roots, they are known for their floating foliage which are cleft at the base this helps them to float. Some either bloom during the day time or night . They are named for the Greek goddess, Nymphe.

As you may have already realized they have been revered by man for thousands of years and have only been brought in to cultivation in the last 150 years and as water gardening began to increase for the every day gardener so has the demands for these beauties of the waters.

Growing them are easy and though you can harvest them from the wild a reminder to the gather, muddy waters can run deep and if you don’t own the water get permission before you begin. Frost hardy lilies grow in most climates and flower freely though the season, divide the tuber like fleshy roots in the spring or summer every 4 years. Plant in plastic mesh pots made for water plants filled with a heavy loam and aquarium stone mixed and top with pea stone to hold the soil in place and submerge the pot. For the lotus about 20 to 24 inches and the water lily about 12 to 20 inches in water depth is best for an earlier bloom as shallow water warms quicker, yet those in shallow waters will need to be winter stored like the tropical varieties to keep the roots from completely freezing water. Store in a cool place in their pots in boxes of damp sand till the water thaws  and the pots can return to the pond.

I just recently returned from a trip north to my favorite hosta farm Masson Hollow and Jan and I where welcome by the most enchanting view a large still water pond in the middle of a woodland clearing just filled with thousands of water lilies all naturalized on their own we were told, in color shades of white to pink to mauve, it was like a Monet painting and I haven’t been able to get that picture out of my thoughts.unnamed 5 unnamed 2 unnamed 3

 

 

 

 

 

One of my most favorite water garden nurseries is Waterford  Gardens, check out their website at waterfordgardens.com and if you get a chance to visit them beware of the enchantment that might befall you, it’s a magical place!

As for the Shire Gardens Frog Pond named for the water feature of a frog, the water lilies are pink and white, the lotus are yellow and the frogs are many, in this pond the water heats during the warm weather and we circulate the water with the fountain to cool it a little, the lilies don’t seem to minded and the fish are happier.

I have so many plants that I favor and my passion for them runs so deep but when such wonders brings me to the water’s edge, I know why so many stories and legends are told about these beauties that thrive in the element of life itself, Water.

A thought; The waters in life can run deep and not always that clearly, but let’s be reminded that from these waters can come great beauty.

 

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