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We met Joe Summers through a mutual interest in Victoria
and tropical waterlilies. He was, for several years, the authoritative
email "voice" of aquatics at Missouri Botanical Garden
in St. Louis. Our friendship has "blossomed".
Joe and Tonya Summers both grew up in St. Louis and first became classmates in the sixth grade. They were close friends until sophomore year in high school when the friendship grew romantic. Both attended Junior College where Joe earned his Horticulture degree and Tonya began her studies of early childhood education. Joe was employed by a wholesale perennial grower for five years and Tonya finished her education. Tonya is now a certified Montessori teacher and this year she is teaching Kindergarten. They will celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary in February 2002.
The couple has hybridized the most unique Lily of them all! They are the proud parents of Lillian Margie Summers, born in July of 1999. Lily's first "official" portrait was on a Victoria pad and the photo was on the cover of Pond & Garden March-April 2000 (Vol. 1, Issue 6). More or less annual portraits of Lily and her pads are taken both in St. Louis and here in Cocoa Beach.