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August 2021 Newsletter

Water Blossom Celebration

By: Teresa Burkert

Please join us for our upcoming Annual Water Blossom Celebration. This year's event will be held on Saturday, August 7th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The location will be at the Denver Botanic Gardens near the Monet Pond and Hive Restaurant deck area.

Please note, timed entry tickets must be obtained for all visitors (members and non-members) in advance. Admission is free to Denver Botanic Gardens' members. Non-members will need to purchase tickets. You will not be able to walk up and purchase tickets in person. Admission to The Water Blossom Celebration is included with your timed ticket. To obtain tickets, please go to:


Have you been considering the best morning to admire fabulous water plants or share these beauties with family and friends?

Do you have questions or need more information about your pond, container gardens, or aquatic plants?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then please join us on August 7th! Experienced water gardeners will be waiting to chat with you at tables located south of the Monet Pond near the Hive Restaurant deck. They will be happy to share free educational brochures on a wide variety of topics as well as being available to discuss water gardening problems and successes.

We will also have member donated bare root plants that will be given away until all have new homes!

Want to know more about the Gardens? Sign up for small group, docent led tours at our tables.

Come and admire some of DBG's carnivorous plants which will also be on display. More interesting items will be on the educational cart located on the north side of the Monet Pond.

The Gardens are so beautiful this year, as they are every year, and we hope you will come and enjoy them with us!

If you have questions, please call Teresa Burkert at 720-219-6481.

August 21st Pond Side Meeting

By: Dorothy Martinez

We will be holding our August Pond Side Meeting on Saturday, August 21st from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm. The Pond Side will be held at two different locations located in Fort Collins. The first stop, from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, will be at the CSU Trial Flower Gardens and the second stop will be at The Gardens on Spring Creek, from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

You are welcome to bring a picnic lunch for yourself and any guests to enjoy at our second stop, The Gardens on Spring Creek.

The CSU Trial Flower Gardens consist of 3 different gardens, the Annual Flower Trial Garden, the Perennial Trial Garden, and the Perennial Demonstration Garden. The Annual Flower Trial Garden is planted with annuals from late May through October. The Perennial Trial Garden is displayed year-round. The Perennial Demonstration Garden contains perennials in a more traditional landscape setting.

You can park in the South College Parking Garage located on Pitkin Street between S. College Avenue and Mason Corridor Transitway. All parking on campus is paid parking. You can purchase hourly parking ($2 per hour). Have your license plate ready when you go to pay at the hourly machines located within the parking garage. One hour should suffice to visit the 3 Trial Gardens.

To reach the South College Parking Garage, from I-25, take exit 268 (Prospect Road) and head west on Prospect Road for approximately 4 miles to S. College Avenue. Turn right (north) on S. College Street to Pitkin Street. Turn left (west) on Pitkin Street. Turn left (south) into the South College Parking Garage. Once parked, you will proceed east along Pitkin Street to Remington Street.

The nearest garden will be the Perennial Demonstration Garden located at the southeast corner of Pitkin Street and Remington Street. Continue south on Remington Street to The Perennial Trial Garden. It is located in the front of the CSU Center for the Arts. Cross Remington Street to the Annual Flower Trial Garden located at 1401 Remington Street. To return to the South College Garage, use the pedestrian bridge to cross S. College Avenue and return to the Parking Garage.

For information about the CSU Flower Trial Gardens, please go to:


For information about parking on the CSU Campus, please go to:


Here is a link to the CSU Campus Map:


Our second stop will be at The Gardens on Spring Creek. The Gardens on Spring Creek are located at 2145 Centre Avenue. To reach The Gardens on Spring Creek from CSU, turn right (south) on S. College Street to Prospect Road. Turn right (west) on Prospect Road to Centre Avenue and turn left (south) on Centre Avenue.

The Gardens on Spring Creek is the community botanic garden of Fort Collins. The 18-acre site opened in 2004 as part of an important partnership between the City of Fort Collins and the Friends of The Gardens on Spring Creek.

The Gardens on Spring Creek requires all visitors, including Members, to purchase/reserve admissions tickets for a specific date and time prior to arriving at The Gardens. The last general admission is at 4 pm to allow ample time to enjoy The Gardens. Tickets must be purchased in advance, online for a specific date and time. You will not be able to walk up and purchase tickets in person.

Plan on buying your advance tickets for 1:00 pm. Please print out your ticket or plan to show them on your phone when you arrive. Adult tickets are $11 each. Seniors (65+) are $9 each.

You do not have to arrive at the exact starting time of your ticket. Instead, you may choose to arrive up to 30 minutes after your ticket time to limit crowding at The Gardens entrance. When you arrive at The Gardens, please have one member of your party check in at the front desk while the remaining members of your party proceed outside to The Gardens.

For more information about The Gardens on Spring Creek, please go to:


To purchase advance tickets, please go to:


For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Dorothy Martinez at (303) 279-3137 or dam@johnfunk.com.

In Memorium, Ken Landon

By: Keith and Marji Johnson

A Tribute to a truly unique and multifaceted man

Ken Landon will be sorely missed. Ken passed away at his home in San Angelo, TX, on July 15, 2021, with his much loved and faithful dog, Sparky, at his side. He was a kind and gentle soul who, more than anything, wanted to bring beauty into the world through the simplicity of flowers, most specifically waterlilies.

As a teenager, he saw a barren backyard at his family’s home and asked to build his first pond. Ken knew he needed to add some beauty and bought his first waterlily. Thus was born a lifelong passion of all things Nymphaea.

Ken built and maintained The International Waterlily Collection in San Angelo that has delighted and awed visitors from around the world for the past few decades. He was a determined and avid collector of species lilies in an effort to save them for the world to see, enjoy, and have available for hybridizing. He was a daring explorer and traveled far and wide to obtain a variety of specimens for The International Waterlily Preservation Repository, which he founded and maintained. Many of his collected plants were thought to have been extinct.

An artist who loved to create, his many hybrids are now worldwide. He shared material and his knowledge with hybridizers and other collections everywhere. It brought him happiness that he was able to supply the seeds that helped the country of Egypt restore Nymphaea caerulea, the Sacred Lily of the Nile, to its original home.

He loved the science of it all. He wasn’t satisfied with the fertilizers he found, so he created Landon Aquatic Fertilizer Collection to nurture the plants we all love. A founding member of the IWGS and a 2001 inductee into its Hall of Fame, Ken’s life revolved around waterlilies. Mostly, he loved sharing his collection with the people who would stop and visit. Ken never met a stranger, he loved to talk about the flowers and hear about the joy his flowers brought into the lives of others. He would often be working in the pools and upon seeing visitors, pick a flower to bring a smile to someone’s face, especially children.

Ken Landon was a true genius, and his talents were not confined to the world of Nymphaea. Trained and educated as an engineer and teacher, he contributed to the space program and led student teams in design competitions. He had a successful cotton farming operation.

Ken was a master of chemistry and pyrotechnics. There were many a Landon firework show that happened over the San Angelo skies. He loved to delight the crowds with the many colors and wizardry, they were all set off with such spectacle and flair. He mixed and built all of his own displays. Ken was so accomplished at this craft that he was asked to do the fireworks display for President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.

Ken was a caring and generous man who truly enjoyed helping others. He was an extremely humble man. He accomplished his mission in life, he added beauty to the world in many ways.

About the Authors
Keith and Marji Johnson have helped Ken the last several years with the collection. They became close friends and treasure the time they were able to work with him.

Reprinted from International Water Garden & Waterlily Society, Water Garden Journal, Summer 2021, Volume 36, Number 2, Page 23.

For more information about The International Waterlily Collection, please go to:


How to Care for Marginal Plants

By: Aquascape

Marginal plants are simply the aquatic plants found growing around the edges, or margins, of your water garden. To create a natural-looking pond, a good selection of marginal plants is very important. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from and they come in all shapes, sizes, textures, and flower colors.

Attractive and Beneficial
Other than just adding beauty and naturalization, marginal plants also serve many other purposes in the water garden. They add valuable filtration to the pond and they remove elements that would otherwise feed algae. They attract and provide cover for wildlife, and you can also select from among many different hardy or tropical varieties.

In an [Aquascape design] ecosystem pond, marginal plants are generally placed directly into the gravel. This lets them thrive naturally and filter the water more effectively. Certain plants like thalia, bulrush, and reeds can be problematic and may even damage the pond liner. You should either avoid planting them altogether, or plant them in an aquatic pot, surrounding the pots with rocks and gravel to maintain the natural look of the pond.

Streams are another great place for marginal plants. Again, they provide valuable filtration as the water flows past their roots. They also soak up additional nutrients, minimizing algae problems. Just picture the last time you saw a stream in nature and all the wonderful plants growing in the water along its edges. That’s the look you want to create.

Planting Considerations
Start by selecting the proper plant for the water depth, sun exposure, and location. Water depth is an important consideration when it comes to choosing aquatic plants. More specifically, the concern is with how much water a plant will tolerate above its crown. For this reason, most marginals are planted on the first shelf of the pond. Select plants of different heights, foliage types, and flower colors to create a pleasing mix.

After selecting the plants, it’s time to place them in the pond. Start off by washing away most of the soil from around the root system. You don’t want to disturb the root system of the plant, so be careful and avoid removing too much. Once the soil has been removed from the plant, push the gravel back and place it in the pond, filling the gravel back in around the root system.

The same process can be used for planting in a stream – carefully selecting aquatic plants that like or tolerate the stream’s moving water. Not all marginal plants can thrive in moving water.

Special Care for Aggressive Plants
If the plant you decide to use is overly aggressive, you should consider leaving it in a pot to help contain the spread of the roots. Remember, most aquatic plants prefer width over depth in their respective growing areas so give them plenty of room to spread out. Many marginals are shallow-rooted, therefore depth is less of a factor than surface area.

To plant, fill the hole-less aquatic pot with 2 - 3” of heavy topsoil, placing the fertilizer in the bottom of the pot. Unlike the marginals you planted in the gravel, you will need to fertilize these plants as they are not as effective at drawing nutrients from the pond because their roots are contained by the pot.

Finish filling in around the plant’s roots with heavy topsoil. Then fill the pot to within one inch of the top, firmly pack the soil, and cover it with a ½ to one-inch layer of gravel. Remember, when you’re done, the gravel level should be about even with the previous soil level.

Continuing Maintenance
Taking care of marginal plants in an ecosystem pond is fairly simple. Remove any dead, discolored, or excess plant material as needed. Marginal plants (unless they are in pots) do not need to be fertilized, as they will flourish from the nutrients in the pond.

For winter care, simply cut the plants back to two or three inches above the water level of the pond. In the spring, remove all dead plant material. And remember, the growth of plants that are directly in the gravel is not restricted – they will need to be thinned so they don’t engulf more of the pond than originally planned.

A Final Note
The flowering waterlily may be the apple of your water gardening eye, but marginal plants play a crucial role in the function, maintainability, and beauty of a properly-conceived water garden. Without marginal plants, the water garden will look out of place and unnatural. They provide many textures, colors, and blooms that soften the edges and help blend the pond into the surrounding landscape. So, when you’re in the planning stages of a water garden project, don’t forget the marginals because they’re simply part of Mother Nature’s recipe ... and we all know better than to argue with her.

Article Source:
Aquascape, St. Charles, IL, USA. www.aquascapeinc.com.

Reprinted from International Water Garden & Waterlily Society Water Garden Journal, Summer 2017,Volume 32, Number 2, Pages 4 – 5.