|Nymphaea 'Garry Wagner'|
Creating a purple waterlily that can survive colder winters has been a goal for waterlily enthusiasts for many years.
Back in 2012 our own Richard Koogle visited Mike Giles at his farm in West Virginia. They talked about the progress Mike had made in creating a purple or blue hardy lily and we're absolutely thrilled that his hard work has paid off and we're honored to be able to offer this lily.
Hybridization is the process of crossing existing lily varieties to create a new one. This is often done by manually pollinating flowers of one variety with pollen from a different variety, and then harvesting the seeds from those flowers. The plants grown from those seeds are then selected out based on whether they show the desired characteristics, and those are then crossed again until the resulting plants reliably produce the new unique look.
Hybrids can also occur naturally. An example of this is Nymphaea 'Lemonade', which was discovered at Lilypons by one of our employees, Greg Barton, in 1996. We cultivated it for the next 8 years until it could be propagated consistently.
The "Garry Wagner" is not the only purple hardy that we sell. A few years ago we added Nymphaea 'Purple Fantasy', hybridized by Florida Aquatics Nurseries to our collection.
That said, the "Garry Wagner" will forever be our favorite because it is named in honor of a man who was a lifelong member of the Lilypons family.
He also did much of the maintenance of the grounds at Lilypons.
He was a kind man with a passion for the outdoors and loved hiking the Appalachian trail.
We all miss him terribly and it seemed only fitting to ensure that his name be forever tied to the ponds he loved so much.