Read this in German

Theo Germann 
Speyer, Germany
President of Gesellschaft der Wassergarten-Freunde

Click images to enlarge

Hello! My name is Theo Germann, and I am from Germany.

Karl Wachter, the famous German waterlily cultivator and member of the IWGS Hall of Fame, inspired my love for waterlilies and water plants. In the early 1960s, I enjoyed three years of education at his nursery in Appen-Etz, a city in northern Germany near Hamburg. In that way, I became a gardener in the fourth generation of my family. My great-grandfather founded the first Gaertnerei Germann in Pirmasens, Germany, in 1906.

My interest for waterlilies and marsh/water plants followed me into my parents' company. In my hometown of Speyer, near Heidelberg, we owned a nursery with the main emphasis on perennial herbs. In the 1950s, we were growing them in the ground, later just in pots.

Because we sold only wholesale, we started the production of waterlilies and water plants on our own. I'll never forget the year we imported a few thousand Nymphaea 'Attraction' from Japan. They all rotted and died. What a pity! . . . not to mention the lost money.

Gaertnerei Germann

Gaertnerei Germann

At that time, we delivered to one of Germany's biggest mail order companies for waterlilies and water plants - a lot of work, but less profit. After big business ups and downs in the year 1983, my wife Henny is now the owner of the nursery.

The hard times are over, and after restructuring the nursery, our customers are 60% landscapers and 40% private customers. I'm going to be 60 years old soon, so I hope we will have 1/2 and 1/2 in the next years or more private customers. 

 Henny Germann

N. 'Panama Pacific'

Karl Wachter founded the Gesellschaft der Wassergartenfreunde (GdW or Society of Watergarden-friends) nearly 20 years ago and now I am the editor of the German Watergarden-Journal. The society elected me president in 2002, and I operate its main office.

The German society is not that big and the work for it is moderate. We have about 200 members, 170 in Germany, 17 in Austria, some in Switzerland, England and the Netherlands, and 1 member each in Italy, Canada, Denmark, France, Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic. You can find our activities on and

Now something about me.

We have four children, two dogs and a thousand frogs. Speyer, the city we live in, has a population of about 50,000 and is more than 2,000 years old. We have a huge cathedral, the biggest Roman church of the northern hemisphere. It is more than 900 years old.

For many years, my hobby was scuba diving. I was president and diving-instructor of a diving society for 14 years. After that, we went sailing in the Mediterranean Sea for a couple of summers.

More recently, I have discovered long-distance hiking. In 2002, I walked about 1000 kilometres (620 miles), all on my feet, from the Pyrenees (the mountain chain between France and Spain) to the east coast of Spain. I crossed Santiago de Compostella (Grave of St. James, the Apostle) and ended up at the end of the world, Cape Finisterra (finis = end, terra = world or land).   

Cape Finisterra, Spain
In 2004 and 2005, I walked with three friends about 500 kilometres (310 miles), starting in Munich, Germany. We crossed the Alps and the Dolomites and ended in Venice, Italy. In the last year I hiked alone for eight days through some mountains, and in 2007 my friends and I will go on a two-week hike to Georgia (formerly part of Russia) into the Caucasus Mountains near the home of Dracula.

I hope God will bless me with health, so I can get very old, and walk across His planet for a long time.

I want to say "Thank you!" to my son Markus who translated this report for me. After visiting a couple of times in England and Australia, I didn't starve there because of not understanding English, but my writing isn't that good.

2006 Walderbacher Seerosentage - Waterlily Days at Walderbach

2006 Tour of Gardens in Germany, Italy and Austria with Gesellschaft der Wassergarten-Freunde

Gesellschaft der Wassergarten-Freunde Web Site

Gesellschaft der Wassergarten-Freunde's Wassergarten-Journal
Winter 2006-2007
In German only - PDF - 10M download

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