Water Gardening In Finland
Tapani and Seija Mäenpää
Ylinen, Finland

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The winter in Finland is quite hard with lots of snow but in summer it is usually warm. Last summer (2003) we had a very hot three weeks period about + 30C (86 F) during July. We have a quite lot of aquatic species like Nymphaea alba, candida and tetragona. Some more native aquatics in Finland are Sagittaria sagittifolia, Butomus umbellatus, Iris pseudacorus, Calla palustris Caltha palustris, Acorus calamus, Alisma plantago, Filipendula ulmaria, Mentha aquatica Stratiotes aloides, Typha anngustifolia, Spargarium erectum, Lythrum salicaria, Lysimachia thrysifolia, Mysotis palustris and many Scirpus, Carex and Juncus species.

Please note this about our aquatic plants:

The Water Garden Journal Summer/Autumn 1997
Vol. 13 No. 2/3, Page 46:

Hardy Nymphaea Identification Committee (Ray Davies):

"The work of this committee has continued with the trip of Ray and Barbara, together with Paula Williamson and Ed Schneider, to Sweden and Finland in the Summer of 1995 to study Nymphaea candida var. rubra, N. tetragona var. rubra and N. alba var. rubra, all rare and endangered species."

We have a wildlife pond and a stream in our garden and we planted a couple of N. candida waterlilies in the pond to see if they would grow. I found the plants in a lake nearby. I also managed to get a couple of Nymphaea cultivars which I planted. Previously, even twenty years ago, it was quite difficult to buy waterlily cultivars in Finland. Nowadays it is much easier. My collection is about 60 varieties. I have also one Lotus (Nelumbo 'Mrs Perry D. Slocum').

We have plenty of waterlilies outside during the winter. The plants must be deep enough in the water to protect them from freezing (20-40 cm). Most of the lilies we keep in a glasshouse in 30 containers (150x150x45 cm). Of course the glasshouse must be heated for 4 - 5 months and we try to keep a temperature of + 3 C degrees (37 F).

There are many waterlilies which do well in our climate: Some of our favorites are:

N. 'Escarboucle'

'Attraction', 'Conqueror' 'Escarboucle', 'James Brydon', 'Froebelii', 'Mme Wilfron Gonnere', 'Marliacea Rosea', 'Pink Sensation', 'Colossea'
'Marliacea Chromatella', 'Joe Tomocik', 'Helvola', alba, candida, 'Marliacea Albida', 'Gonnere', 'Gladstoniana', 'Albatross' 'Aurora'

N. 'Pink Sensation' 

N. 'Gladstoniana'

N. 'Arc-en-ciel'

N. 'Gonnère'

N. 'Aurora'

N. 'Burgundy Princess'

N. 'Gloire du Temple sur Lot'

N. 'Réne Gérard'

N. 'Yuh Ling'

We also grow some tropicals waterlilies.

N. 'King of the Blues'

N. 'Pamela'

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