The Water Gardens of Fairchild
by Robert Ziebro
Within the beautiful, bountiful eighty-three acres of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden are nestled five separate water gardens. The first is the tranquil pool and waterfall of the Sunken Garden. Here in this natural solution hole you can sit, relax, think, meditate or perhaps just enjoy the lush vegetation that surrounds this natural tropical retreat.
|The cascading waters of the Sunken Garden|
Next is the Founders’ Pool near the South Gate, home to a variety of various water lilies including the ‘Ostara’, the ‘Star of Siam’, and my favorite Nymphaea, the ‘Blue Bop’. This water lily congregation is watched over by the Dale Chihuly’s beautiful, hand blown, blue glass sculpture Cobalt Herons.
|The Founder's Pool complete with Chihuly's Cobalt Herons|
As we continue our stroll through the Garden, we come upon the Palm Glade Pool. Here we are presented with the fascinating blooms of the Nymphaea ‘Caliente’, the Nymphaea ‘Day Glow’ and Nymphaea ‘Purple Zanzibar’. In the very center of this intriguing group is the star of the Pool, the Nelumbo nucifera ‘Chawan Basu’, the sacred lotus plant. A lot of care and attention is required by this plant but when it blooms, it is definitely worth the effort.
|The Palm Glade Pool and its centerpiece lotus|
The next pool we come to is in the Amphitheater Pool. Sequestered by palm trees, this pool is home to a number of different water lilies, from Nymphaea ‘Key Largo’, ‘Star of Zanzibar’ and ‘Queen of Siam’ to name a few. Hibiscus coccineus, Equisetum giganteum and Neptunia oleracea also dwell here.
|The Amphitheater Pool is a hidden gem|
The final pool we come upon is the crowning jewel of our water gardens. It is the Victoria Pool. Here, among the various water lilies, we experience the majesty of the Victoria cruziana and the Victoria ‘Longwood Hybrid’. These plants are native to South America and their leaf span is from 12 to 40 inches. Their flowers bloom white the first day, pink the second and die off the third. Unfortunately, since the Victoria water lilies only grow in very warm weather, with lots of sun and very warm water, they are considered an annual in most climates.
|The Victoria Pool holds gigantic lilies with leaves two feet across|
If you would like more information on our water gardens or would like to experience the beauty and wonder of these fantastic plants first hand, please come and visit Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. You’ll be glad you did.