LilyFest 2007


Ken would like to thank a few people in particular. A special thanks goes out to Mayor J. W. Lown, the City of San Angelo and the San Angelo Park & Recreation Service Area, Carl White the Director of the Parks Department, Roger Havlak of the Parks Department, Irene Meitzen of the Council of Garden Clubs, the Tom Green County Master Gardeners, and the Keep San Angelo Beautiful group.

Lily Fest was hosted by San Angelo’s Park & Recreation Service Area, the Council of Garden Clubs, the Tom Green County Master Gardeners, Keep San Angelo Beautiful, and supporters of the International Waterlily Collection. The event celebrates San Angelo’s unique, important, and beautiful asset – the International Waterlily Collection.

Lily Fest activities included a tour of the Collection by Ken Landon, Water gardening and landscape experts were on hand to answer questions, plus vendors catering to horticulture and backyard water gardening had tables set up with materials. There were a number of vendors selling pictures, giving out educational material and generally aiding all in having a good time. Special guest Wayne Davis was there promoting PONDTABBS® and Ken’s own Landon 7803® professional formula. There were members of retail establishments on hand in tribute to what a wonderful place Ken has created.

It was a beautiful day in the mid 70’s that morning. The local members and council were selling snacks and drinks to keep everyone well hydrated and happy. There were several hundred people at any point in the morning up until late afternoon. I would venture a guess that this one moment in time was probably responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 new pictures. Every guest had a camera clicking non stop. My wife and I together, took a 1000 pictures ourselves.

Ken’s tour highlighted all of the new species material in the ponds that most people had not seen anything on before, including Nymphaea minuta and the first cross that Ken created using it as a parent. There were several dozen new tropical hybrids of Ken’s on display. Some have already been registered and others are going to be registered in the near future. There was a new hardy lily by Satoshi out of Japan on display.

Longwood Gardens is the only place outside of San Angelo able to show the magnificent Nymphaea ‘Blue Cloud’. They have guests in the 5000 or more range every week to see that waterlily. Visitors to the Lily Fest this weekend saw not only Nymphaea ‘Blue Cloud’ but the first registered progeny of it. The new lily is calledNymphaea ‘Silver Sky’.

There was a Nymphaea gigantea violacea on display with 4 blooms open. Most experts believe that this lily cannot grow in the United States because it normally requires 90 degree water. Ken had it on display looking great in 70 degree water. This is further evidence that his techniques can and do let him achieve success in areas that others have been unable to duplicate. This in addition to his knowledge is what makes him known as the “Species Man”.

The Victoria’s were show stoppers as well. On the morning of the event we had first day flowers still open on Victoria amazonica and on Victoria cruziana. For those who stayed that night, we were treated Saturday night and Sunday morning to a first day Victoria ‘Longwood Hybrid’ flower as well.

They say that a picture is worth a 1000 words. As that is truly the case, the gallery above is just a handful of photos of what we saw. You will notice that I was a bit negligent in recording the people and crowds but that is because we were all so enthralled at looking at the waterlilies themselves. If you missed this event and are in any way interested in waterlilies, make sure you do not miss next year’s event. In talking to some IWGS members who had recently gone to Thailand for the IWGS Symposium I believe that they all enjoyed that trip and the sites immensely but that the sheer scope of what Ken had on display outshined what was seen there.

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