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
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.
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.
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 www.wassergarten.de and www.watergardenersinternational.org.
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
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
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).
2006 Walderbacher Seerosentage - Waterlily Days at
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
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
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.
In German only - PDF - 10M download