Caracas Victoria Society
Images by Juli Carbonell & Fernando
Click to enlarge
Fernando, Juli and Dorothy
Kit and Ben: The world is so small. And it is made
far smaller by the Internet. Over the years, Guillermo
Angulo in Colombia and Fernando
Santos in Venezuela have become treasured friends, by way
of the Internet and also in person. All have a passion for water
gardening, Victoria in particular. It may seem odd, since Victoria
is native to South America, that it is not successfully cultivated
in many South American countries but it is true! Guillermo was
the first in Colombia to cultivate Victoria privately and provided
seeds and support for its cultivation at the Bogota Botanical
Garden. Fernando has tried many times to cultivate Victoria in
Caracas, Venezuela, without success.
Fernando introduced us via the Web to Dorothy
Whittembury, also of Caracas, who provided us with the delightful
and insightful account of her trip to Iquitos, Peru, and her
search for V. amazonica there. Guillermo introduced us and the
Santos via the Web to Juli Carbonell (whom he has not met in
person) who just happens to live in Caracas, has known Dorothy
for many years, knows Fernando's and Lucia's families, but not
Fernando and Lucia. Juli and her husband Luis came to visit with
us in October of 2003 and we will be fast friends forever. They
went home with Victoria seeds, Victoria "cocktail"
and all the information we could load them with.
Very soon after Juli and Luis returned to Venezuela, they
assembled this remarkable "circle of friends" along
with several other important additions. Since we and Guillermo
could only be present in spirit, we begged for reports and pictures,
November 8, 2003
Lucia & Fernando
Fernando: Today we gathered at Juli and Luis's place,
La Hechicera (The Sorceress), to enjoy with a few other friends
an exotic lunch and the beginning of the Caracas Victoria Society.
It is difficult for me to find proper words to describe and thank
Juli for this first and unique meeting
a beautiful place
with orchids everywhere within the lushness of our tropical flora,
an excellent lunch and the opportunity to talk about many things.
Within all the talking, there were many subjects but the beginning
was how all this became possible and the way how each of us got
passion for plants, the Internet, IWGS list, Orchids
Society list, water lilies, Victoria, Kit, Ben, Guillermo, Dorothy,
Juli, Luis and me. And at the end it sounds funny, but Caracas
it is still a small city and the Internet has brought the world
to us and us to each other.
It looks like we have a real opportunity to start this beautiful
project by having Victoria plants privately and in public places
like the Caracas Botanic Garden. Juli´s place is going
to be the nursery for the project. The main reason is the small
temperature changes between day and night at her place and also
because it is easy for me to go to there to teach Juli about
water lilies and Victoria.
Conversation after lunch
Dorothy: Back from Juli and Luis and a lovely huge
lunch, we came to the conclusion that only Kit, Ben and Guillermo
(the Colombian one, not my husband) were missing to have made
a most memorable occasion! Juli had all her flowering orchids
on display and each one was more beautiful than the next one.
Lunch was a sort of Indian menu with curried shrimp, mutton with
a coriander sauce, some delicious rice with grated coconut, raisins
and some other nuts, a salad with mango, tomato and other herbs,
and a chicken salad. All this was washed down with wine and sangria
and to top it Juli had made an ice cream and a dessert was brought
by one of the other guests. Professor Leandro Aristeguieta, "father"
of most present botanists in this country, completed a lively
Juli: The core of the society was present (Dot, Fernando
and me with our respective spouses), Sonia Angeli, my dearest
friend and horticultural partner, and her husband Teo and, last
but not least, my favorite teacher Professor Leandro Aristeguieta
and his dear wife Diana. Leandro was my teacher at the Universidad
Central de Venezuela here in Caracas in my favorite subject,
guess? BOTANY of course. Everybody was very excited and I think
we have a great team.
November 10, 2003
Today Sonia and I went over to the Fernando´s
place (El Toro) to learn the beginning of water gardening
and in the afternoon Sonia´s son sent us the aquarium which
was placed in my orchid house at a place chosen by Fernando.
Next Wednesday Fernando will come over to our place to do the
planting. We already have all the required stuff and anxiously
await him. Fernando approved of the place where we plan to build
our little pond and this construction will begin next Monday.
Luis & Dorothy
Guillermo and Sonia
Gallery of Additional
Images | Gallery of El Toro
| Starting The Seeds
Sonia's Bucket Babies |
Sonia's Bucket Victoria's First
Expedition to Parque
de la Exótica Flora Tropical
Santos | Dorothy Whittembury