EWLA: Symposium London

The European Waterlily and Lotus Association had their second symposium.

The very first symposium with EWLA was in Barcelona in december 2017. As you might remember, that was a very heated period because the Catalan people wanted to become in-depended. This one, the second one, took place in March 2019 in London. Yes, just before the deadline of the Brexit, we love places that have a certain political vibe.

At the Barcelona symposium there were around 14 people. Almost every one of them, came back for the second symposium in London. We did miss Sander though, who was at another waterlily paradise in Thailand. In 2019 we even had more waterlily enthusiasts that showed up. We had people from Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, The UK and even from Switzerland. It is save to say, we start to attract more people from all over Europe.

Tomas Escribano

This time we all met in the most beautiful garden in Europe, The Royal Botanic GardensKew.
We even had some presentations planned in The Lady Lisa Sainsbury Lecture Theatre at Kew. Sounds impressive no?
If passionate people talk about their passion to other enthusiasts, it’s impossible to stay on track. I have no idea how long each presentation should have taken, but I am certain they all took a while longer.
We had Tomás Escribano who talked about his passion for waterlilies, followed by Florian Henaux who let us in on his secrets of organising his hybrids.A few people from IWGS were present and James Benett was so kind to show us one of their new projects, being an up to date database on aquatics.
Of course we couldn’t leave before enjoying a presentation from Carlos Magdalena about Australian species. It felt like his book came alive on stage 🙂

Carlos Magdalena & Nymphaea thermarum

Luckily we already visited Kew before, because there really was no time left to just wonder around the gardens. We were fortunate though to be able to go behind the scenes of the greenhouses. We were guided by Carlos Magdalena himself through Europe, Oceania, Afrika and Asia,… So many continents, so many plants.
If you can’t see thermarum in it’s natural habitat, Kew is definitely the second best place to meet this world famous waterlily.

Walking trough the greenhouse with cactus, carnivores, palms, and so many, many more beautiful plants we all noticed the one greenhouse with waterlilies. Carlos wanted our attention for all the other amazing plants and shouted: “come here, stop watching porn!” I think we all felt a little bit caught red handed 😉
He was right though, there is so much more to see in those beautiful, perfectly organised greenhouses than waterlilies, but still… it’s difficult to focus on anything else if you are waterlily geeks like us.

After our tour in the greenhouse, we listened to the presentation of Gianluca Bonomo, who was colourful even without slides 🙂
And of course, we ended the day with the most important lecture of the evening, given bij Nicolas Long and Carlos Magdalena about their ambitious project. I think you will all hear about this very soon.