A few minutes devoted to web surfing brings up more information about water lilies than one can absorb in a day. But it quickly provides great photos …
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A few minutes devoted to web surfing brings up more information
about water lilies than one can absorb in a day. But it quickly
provides great photos and a better understanding of the human
species called “water gardener.”
For local members of this species, or those contemplating a
garden pond, a 2010 Parade of Ponds is scheduled 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aug. 28 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 29, including about 50 gardens
throughout the metro area, with a number in our south area. The
tour is also a joy for those who just want to look at beautiful
Specimens of tropical water lilies are found in Ice Age
excavations. They are widely illustrated in art from Egypt (see the
local King Tut exhibit) and from most subsequent civilizations who
created visual arts in Europe and Asia. The Roman historian Pliny
the Elder wrote that they were an antidote to magic love potions
and ceremonial and medicinal uses are recorded in various
And gardeners have collected and enjoyed them for their beauty,
especially since the mid 19th century Amazon Basin discovery of the
gigantic Victoria water lilies with their seven foot leaves — which
were of course transported to European botanists for propagation.
This discovery generated interest in hybridizing the many species
that were grown around the world.
In 1893, French painter Claude Monet had a pond dug and planted
with lilies at his Giverny estate and began painting his
internationally loved three-decade series of these plants and how
the light looked on them. Those widely reproduced paintings are
part of our cultural fabric.
The Colorado 2010 Parade of Ponds can be attended either through
a self-guided tour (a map comes with a $15 ticket, free under 15)
or a bus tour on Saturday, operated by True Pump and Equipment in
Denver (Information and reservations ($25 includes lunch):
303-744-3505, www.truepump.com). Homes in Castle
Pines are available only through the bus tour. Tickets are
available at Hudson Gardens, Arapahoe Acres Garden Center, Tagawa
Garden Center, Nick’s Garden Center, Enery Water Gardens,
Timberline Gardens, True Pump and Equipment.
Proceeds from the tour benefit Hudson Gardens (where one can
view Victoria water lilies, lotuses and a Monet Garden), Children’s
Hospital, North American Water Garden Society, Praying Hands Ranch
and other charities chosen by sponsors BR&D Landscape and North
American Water Garden Society. Information: 303-660-5015.
Horticulturist Andrew Pierce, who created the original plantings
at Hudson Gardens within Doug Rockne’s garden design, spoke of
visiting Monet’s gardens at Giverny, north of Paris, which
certainly inspired him to include a swath of hardy water lilies, a
favorite spot for local painters and daydreamers today. Plan to
arrive after the sun is shining brightly — they close up at
On the other hand, the amazing Victoria lilies bloom at dusk,
and are admired by late July/early August concert attendees who
know about their location on the west side of the large pond. The
website has detailed information: www.hudsongardens.org.
To pursue a pond project at home, one might want to join the
NAWGS, which meets in Castle Rock and Colorado Springs, or the
Colorado Water Garden Society, which meets in Denver, as well as
hanging out at garden centers, longing to duplicate the romantic
ponds they display.
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