Joe Summers

By Kit Knotts with Joe Summers
Click images to enlarge


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".

As a horticulturist at MBG, Joe discovered and explored his intense interest in water gardening and the diverse plants which grow in water. In his five years there, he revitalized the tropical water lily collection and introduced his own hybrid of Victoria (V. 'Adventure' with Knotts & Styler, 1999).  

With Jon Sweeney and the St. Louis Water Gardening Society, Joe hosted the IWGS Post-Symposium in August of 2000 at Missouri Botanical Garden, Tower Grove Park, the Jewel Box and other locations. The aquatics displays were stunning, especially at MBG.

 Post-Symposium Gallery

 Another outstanding achievement of Joe's while he was at MBG was the introduction into cultivation of Victoria cruziana seeds collected from wild populations in Paraguay. The story is detailed in "Seeds of the Century".

In the autumn of 2001, Joe moved on to management of DESIGN REFLECTIONS, a leading water garden mecca located in Chesterfield, Missouri. He is President of the St. Louis Water Gardening Society and publishes a column in Pond & Garden Magazine.

 Paraguayan cruziana Gallery

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.

Lily Summers' Gallery 1

Lily Summers' Gallery 2

Lily Summers' Gallery 3

Joe Summers'
Gallery MBG

Seeds of the Century

St. Louis Water
Gardening Society

2000 IWGS Post-Symposium, St. Louis

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