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Fall 2021 Newsletter

Upcoming CWGS September 23rd Meeting: Container Water Gardens - Beauty and Enjoyment Comes in Small Sizes!

By: Jim Arneill

Our September 23rd meeting will feature the Annual Board elections followed by a presentation and panel discussion of container water gardens. Creating container water gardens is not only fun but also effective in enhancing parts of your home landscape or using them in place of a pond. Even those who move into condominiums, townhouses, or apartments can enjoy water gardening on their balconies or porches as long as there is sufficient sunlight.

Many CWGS members derive great pleasure from using container water gardens for a variety of reasons. Ken Burkert is a master of growing water lilies using only containers. Over the years, he has learned much about the finer points of growing them and has one of the most diverse collections with many of his lilies shared at our Annual Plant Swap.

Several others use container water gardens to add a special touch to a deck or patio. Vicki Aber has a multitude of beautiful container water gardens around her back patio and yard. Since she has many large water features, Vicki has a “large pool” of plants she is able to select from and display in a variety of containers. It is a treat to view her large ponds and her many creative smaller water gardens in containers.

Kim Kimpton does not have a pond in her backyard, instead she has taken to container water gardens to satisfy her desire to have as much diversity as possible in the plants she grows. She has successfully grown cannas, water plantain, pickerel weed, cattails, iris, lavender musk, water hyacinth, and lotus.

My wife Tudi and I got started out in water gardening with a half whiskey barrel about thirty years ago. Back then the black plastic liners that fit inside them were not yet available, so we bought a roll of black plastic and stapled a piece of it inside our barrel. We bought some aquatic plants at the annual CWGS Plant Sale, back then it is was held at the Morrison Center at Denver Botanic Gardens. By the end of that summer, we discovered how easy and enjoyable it was!

A couple years later, when we moved to our current house, we dug a fairly large pond in our back yard. At first, this was our focus with aquatic plants, but since then we have acquired several large containers that we place on different parts of our deck. At the beginning of the water gardening season, I now prioritize and place the most attractive marginal plants to go in the containers first since they are so conspicuous and add beauty and interest to our deck.

At the September 23rd meeting, several members will share their experiences in setting up, maintaining, and wintering over their container water gardens. With a bit of knowledge, water, Colorado sunshine, and so many plants to choose from, you will be on the road to success with container water gardens!

2021/2022 Colorado Water Garden Society Annual Board Elections

By: Dorothy Martinez

Yes, it’s that time of year again! We will be holding our Annual Board of Directors’ Election during our September 23rd meeting. The elections will take place at 7:00 pm, in Classroom 2 of the Freyer-Newman Center located within the Denver Botanic Gardens.*

There are currently two open positions on the Board, Treasurer and Member-At-Large.

Treasurer’s duties include:
1. Collect and be responsible for the safe keeping of all funds of the Society.
2. Keep an accurate and up to date record of all monies due, collected, and disbursed.
3. Pay all bills contracted by the Society upon written notice by the Board of Trustees.
4. Furnish a written financial report to the Board of Trustees at each meeting and to the audit committee once each year.
5. Perform such other duties as directed by the Board of Trustees.
6. Act as cashier at various Club function such as the Plant Sale, Get Wet, and Picnic.
7. File all business license, tax return, and liability insurance deadlines as needed.

Member at Large’s duties include:
1. Act as liaison between the Board of Directors and the Society membership.
2. Direct the activities of the committees/or subcommittees of the Society.
3. Shall report to the Board on activities pertinent to their area(s) of responsibility.
4. Attend Board of Directors’ meetings.

The Board of Directors usually meets independently 4 times per year, usually in September, October, January, and February. Members are always welcome to attend any Board meetings. The fall meetings are primarily for elections and planning meetings and events for the next year. The early year meetings are primarily for the planning of that calendar year’s meetings and events. We usually ask each Board member to be responsible for one meeting per year and ask that they act as the primary contact for that meeting and also take care of the planning and set up for that meeting.

We would welcome any new faces to join the Board, as new members inject fresh ideas and allow our meeting and event topics to stay relevant to what our members want and are most interested in.

If you would like to serve on the Board, please give me a call. If you have any questions about what serving on the Board entails, I would love to answer any of those questions. We do have Professional Liability Insurance coverage for all Board members through Travelers Commercial Insurance. You can reach me at (303) 279-3137 or dorothy.martinez@colowatergardensociety.org.

Thank you for your consideration!

Please park in the Parking Garage located between York Street & Josephine Street and enter the Gardens through the Visitor Center as the doors to the Freyer-Newman Center close at 5:00 pm. Please note the Visitor Center closes at 7:00 pm, if you arrive after 7:00 pm, you will need to enter the Gardens through the Pinon Gate, located just to the north of the Visitor Center.

Once you have entered the Gardens, proceed to the Boettcher Memorial Center and enter through the main doors, then north to the stairs/elevator, and up the stairs/elevator to the bridge connecting the Freyer-Newman Center. Classroom 2 is located on the 1st floor of the Freyer Newman Center. You will need to take the stairs/elevator to the 1st floor.

*DBG’s Freyer-Newman Center is located north of the Boettcher Memorial Center and Visitor Center/Gift Shop.

Discount to Denver Botanic Gardens’ Membership

By: Dorothy Martinez

Did you know that if you are a current member of the Colorado Water Garden Society you are eligible to receive a $5.00 discount on a membership to the Denver Botanic Gardens?

You are also able to combine the $5.00 discount with other discounts – senior, military, and student. You are not able to combine the $5.00 discount with an early renewal discount.

To receive the discount, you must call or speak with Visitor Services. Please note, you cannot receive this discount using the online or mobile app. Please call (720) 865-3500 for questions or more information.

Top Plant Pick, Water Hawthorn

By: Rob Sheldon

Plant Name: Aponogeton distachyos

Common Name: Water Hawthorn

Height: 5 cm (2 inches)

Flowers: It can flower year-round depending on climate and water temperatures.

Spread: The plant eventually forms clumps with oval-shaped floating leaves covering one meter (3 feet) of surface around the rhizomes.

Sun: Full sun to part-shade.

Zones: It should grow freely in Zone 6 and above, but will need to be protected in colder zones by dropping pots to the bottom of the pond or taking the rhizomes indoors.

Type of plant: Aquatic plant with floating leaves that grows from a tuberous rhizome.

Growing conditions: Aponogetons need cool water to thrive and are therefore well suited for planting in small spring-fed and shaded ponds that would otherwise be too cold or shady for waterlilies or lotus. If the water temperature is constant and cool, planting in full sun is best, otherwise aim for part-shade. If the water temperature rises significantly, flowering will be limited to the cooler months. Aponogetons thrive in most types of substrates, from clay-rich to compost-rich and respond well to fertilizer. It may be planted in as little as 20 cm (8 inches) of water or as much as 1 meter (3 feet).

Short description: Indigenous to South Africa, Aponogeton distachyos has been present at the Latour-Marliac nursery since at least 1881, when Latour-Marliac ordered some from Louis van Houtte in Belgium. The plant was one of Latour-Marliac’s favorites. The flowers, which are edible, resemble an orchid and have a powerful perfume, which one can smell from a distance. The plant is not invasive but self-sows easily and is quick to propagate. At Latour-Marliac they bloom year-round in a dedicated spring-fed pool, which remains at 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Farenheit) even in winter. I like this plant because it is there and in full bloom where and when other aquatic plants aren’t – in cold, shaded water and in winter. It’s relatively vigorous, but not invasive and it’s not prone to attack by some of the more common pests. [Editorial Board Note: In the UK, its leaves can be severely attacked by false leaf miner (Cricotopus) when planted up in new ponds.]

*These plants exhibit favorable traits; however, plant growth is also dictated by climate, nutrients available, and growing conditions. Care should always be taken to choose plants appropriate to the location. Know the law and never release plants into natural water bodies unless they are indigenous.

About the Author
Rob Sheldon is the owner of Latour-Marliac Nurseries. He acquired the nursery in 2007. Sheldon, of American origin, has a long personal and professional experience with waterlilies and water gardening. He is also a passionate entrepreneur and scholar of entrepreneurship, holding an MBA from the FW Olin School of Business at Babson College and a Ph.D. in Organisation Science from Sciences Po Paris. Sheldon spends the winter in Paris, where he is a professor, and the summer in Le Temple-sur-Lot among the waterlilies.