My Garden: Water lilies

  • Article by: CONNIE NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 9, 2007 - 4:30 PM

Soni Forsman loves water lilies. An early advocate of water gardening, she's been growing lilies in her Eagan ponds since the 1970s. In the last couple of years, she's taken on a new challenge: Victoria water lilies.

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Soni Forsman took this photo of a water lily in her garden.

Soni Forsman loves water lilies. An early advocate of water gardening, she's been growing lilies in her Eagan ponds since the 1970s. In the last couple of years, she's taken on a new challenge: Victoria water lilies.

Grown in the time of -- and named for -- England's Queen Victoria, these tropical lilies have proven to be quite a challenge, even for Forsman. She starts the plants from seed she finds (usually on the Internet), and raises the seedlings in heated tubs in her basement before carefully moving them outdoors to her ponds. But Forsman said it's worth the work: The lily pads grow to more than 4 feet in diameter and boast softball-sized flowers that produce a sweet, pineapple-like smell.

"What I love is when people come over and they just can't believe the size," she said. "When every flower blooms, it's an event."

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