Hi, I haven't posted for a long time. I have raised fish and waterlilies for 45 years. I used to joke with people on pond forums that I have fish older than they are...and that might be true. :) I started raising waterlilies in 1967, but really got more into it a couple of years later. I am obsessive compulsive and it is hard for me to do anything in a small way. I am either absolutely crazy about something or I have no interest at all. I had about 40 varieties of lilies and raised koi up until about 1999. I had six mud bottomed ponds that I raised koi in, and I raised fancy goldfish...orandas and telescopes, in aquariums and in tanks in my greenhouse. I don't think I ever had a hobby that I loved more, and it was just a hobby. I didn't sell fish or lilies. Spawning fish like koi or fancy goldfish, you have a lot of culls, so I only kept the ones I liked best....of course, I had to vie with the herons and snakes for the best koi. They always seemed to love the same ones I did. I kept turtles in one of the ponds too, and that was a lot of fun. I also had two gars that I fed the culls to.
Then after 30 years of being in one place, we moved farther out in the country. I had more room but not as many ponds. I live on a bayou now, so I have raccoons to deal with, but we have managed to co-exist and, bigger and better snakes here too.
I got online and discovered people all over the country who shared my love of watergardens. Watergardening was just
becoming more popular and you could find waterlilies at all the big box stores and many nurseries carried them, as well as nurseries that devoted themselves just to watergardening.
I traded and bought more plants and I ended up with about 200 varieties of waterlilies. As usual, my hobby was a lot of work. Then my mother got very sick and my time was spent
mostly looking after her. It was a very sad and stressful time.
One day I came home to find that my horses (my other "big" hobby) had gotten out and totally trashed my complete waterlily collection. When I say totally trashed, they had pulled them out of the pots, eaten many, eaten parts of others, stomped them, laid down and rolled on them and had even gotten into some of the shallow tanks, laid down and rolled and pawed them up. The lilies were ruined. I could have salvaged some, and I think I probably did. Tags were lost too. But the biggest job would have been to repot all of those lilies. I used to live on a place that had been a dairy farm before we bought it. The soil was wonderful, and you could dig it up with your hands. Here on the bayou, the soil is very heavy clay. Rock hard when it is dry....sticks to your shoes when it is wet. It is a big job to pot even a few lilies and it was danged near impossible to repot what I had. Plus, my mother was dying and I didn't have the time or inclination to do it. So, that pretty much put an end to my waterlily collection.
A few years ago, I once again bought a few lilies...concentrating this time on small flowering types. I prefer to grow lilies in above ground tanks. It is easier on my back.
Anyway, I don't enjoy potting lilies any more....if I ever did. I just divided two huge lilies that were long over due to be divided. I am going to offer them on the aquatic exchange.
I will trade them for just about anything. I have a friend who has an antique and collectibles shop and she sells garden type things and some plants and offered to sell them for me, if I potted them, but I am not up to potting up that many of the same lily. I am old now....and it is just more work than I want to do. In times past, I never removed a lily from the pond (tank) until I was ready to mail it, but I got these out today because my husband was here to help me. I hope I can mail them out tomorrow or the next day, or at least as soon as
The two lilies I removed today were Wanvisa and Pink Grapefruit. Wanvisa won waterlily of the year in 2010, and it is very unusual for a hardy like Wanvisa to beat out the tropicals. It is a beautiful lily with variegated brown and green pads, and a salmon colored bloom with yellow flecks. Sometimes a bloom with be all yellow or pink, or more often...half yellow, half pink. It is truly unique and it is a very free flowering and easy to grow lily. Very vigorous. Don't do like I did and wait three years to divide it! Pink Grapefruit is also a hardy and also very vigorous. I may also have one trade of a small flowered lily called Mary Patricia. It isn't a mini lily like Helvola....more on the order of Comanche.
I will have some tropicals to trade in the near future. I have
Blue Beauty, Bullseye, Woods Blue Goddess, Woods White Knight (night bloomer), Green Smoke, Colorata, Ostara, and
June Allison. I also have the hardies Colorado and Patio Joe....which are similar, both being salmon pink, but Patio Joe is smaller. May also have a trade of Joanne Pring and James Brydon.
So please check out the exchange and let me send you one of these lilies.