2017 Lotus Season

The 2017 Lotus Season is in full swing at Lotus Paradise, at Bergen Water Gardens. 2017 started off cool and wet but the lotus plants are now responding to the sun and heat of 2017. Below is a sampling of the many new Chinese lotus varieties, along with a video of our lotus growing in their 5 x 5 ponds. Peak time to visit Bergen Water Gardens during our 2017 Lotus Season is 10am  to 2 pm during the month of August.

July 2017 Hours

Larry will be in China to speak at the Chinese Flower Expo 2017 in Yinchuan China.

Unfortunately this means we will have limited hours for 12 days:

Tuesday      July 11         9:30 – 3:00

Wednesday July 12        CLOSED

Thursday     July 13        CLOSED

Friday         July 14         CLOSED

Saturday    July 15        1:30 – 4:00

Sunday      July 16        10:00 – 4:00

Monday     July 17         CLOSED

Tuesday    July 18         CLOSED

Wednesday July 19      CLOSED

Thursday     July 20      10:00 – 6:00

Friday         July 21        10:00 – 6:00

Saturday     July 22       10:00 – 6:00

Sunday       July 23       10:00 – 5:00

Lotus Paradise July 2017

After a cold and wet spring, the lotus are growing nicely in July 2017. Lotus Paradise is about one month late but we expect the end of July and the month of August to be filled with hundreds of lotus flowers! Please come and visit.

To see part of our 2017 collection visit Lotus Paradise


Lili’s Playground

Lili’s Playground is the new area we have just created to grow our potted lotus. This new section of Lotus Paradise is approximately 29 feet by 100 feet long. Here we will grow, evaluate, photograph and preserve over 320 varieties of Chinese lotus in 2017. Each variety will have its own row and will have a minimum of 2 pots. During the month of June another 400 pots will be filled, creating just over 1,000 pots of Chinese lotus!

Lili’s Playground is the second major phase of our effort to grow and display the many superb varieties of Chinese lotus. Our first phase is now up to 20 – 5′ x 5′ lotus display ponds as of May 2017. As the weather improves, we hope to construct 5 more ponds.

2017 is off to a slow start as cooler than average temperatures, combined with frequent rain, have teamed up to slow down lotus growth. We expect peak blooming season to be late July and August of 2017.

A few examples of Chinese lotus. Our Lotus Paradise page has our Chinese lotus offered in 2017

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2017 Koi and Pond Fish have arrived

New koi and pond fish are arriving weekly at Bergen Water Gardens. Early May has been thus far very cold and rainy therefore limiting the introduction of new fish to outdoor ponds. When the warm temperatures arrive, we will have plenty of koi of and ponds fish.

Choose from:

  • 3 – 4 inch select standard and butterfly koi
  • 4 to 6 inch select standard and butterfly koi
  • 6 to 8 inch select standard and butterfly koi
  • 3 to 4 inch Wakin
  • 3 to 4 inch Sarasa Comet and Shubunkin
  • 4 to 6 inch Sarasa Comet and Shubunkin
  • 4 inch Apricot Comets

Check out our new koi treats you make at home HERE.

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Simple Koi Treats

For koi keepers, hand feeding their koi is one of the most enjoyable experiences of pond keeping. Simple koi treats are hard to find as many manufacturers have abandoned making them. Repashy Super Foods are easy to make and fun to feed! Repashy Super Foods are a perfect way to supplement and enhance for pond fish’s diet. Readily eaten by koi, comets, sarasas, shubunkins, golden orfes, channel cats – all pond fish!

Repashy’s proprietary gel technology uses soluble algae and plant fibers in a combination that optimizes gel stability. Water soluble vitamins and other nutrients are locked into the gel matrix and remain stable until broken down in the digestive tract. Repashy uses only the highest quality ingredients.

Repashy Super Foods are a perfect solution to make your own simple koi treats.

  • Mix 1 part Repashy Super food powder with 3 parts boiling water.
  • Mix well, removing all lumps. Add any “extras” at this point, mix.
  • Four into small food containers or on the surface of a smooth rock
  • Let cool and solidify for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Feed to koi and pond fish
  • Unused food maybe stored in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
  • To adjust firmness of gel, use more or less water as desired.

Our favorite Repashy Super Foods for Koi and Pond Fish:

  • Community Plus – Staple gel for Omnivorous Species of Freshwater Fish and Aquatic Invertebrates
  • Dr. Tanner’s Fruut Luups – First fruit and insect based gelatin food for your fish. High quality ingredients include: Papaya, Mango, Organic Banana, and Fig. PLUS: easily digestible Black Soldier Fly, Krill, and Squid
  • Grub Pie – Insect Based (75%) gel for Insectivorous Species of Tropical Fish. Great for Koi, Goldfish, Golden Orfe, Livebearers, Gouramis, Catfish. Insects are raised in the USA on high-quality ingredients.
  • RedRum – Carotenoid Gel Supplement for occasional direct feeding, or adding to other Repashy Gel formulas to enhance the diet of Fish. Contains a “broad spectrum” of Carotenoids from whole ingredients (no synthetics). Including, but not limited to: Astaxanthin, Capsanthin, Capsorubin, Apsorubin, Beta-Carotene, Alpha Carotene, Beta Cryptoxanthin, Zeaxanthin, Neoaxanthin, Cucurbitaxanthin, Violaxanthin, Lutein, Echineone, Canthaxanthin and Lycopene. Great for Red Comets, Sarasas and red pigmented koi.
  • Soilent Green – Gel for Aufwuchs (Algae and Small Living Organisms) Eating Species of Fish including goldfish and koi.
  • Spawn & Grow Freshwater – a “recovery formula” for malnourished and stressed fish, as well as for conditioning broodstock.  Ideal for raising fry.  This formula is high in fat and not suitable as a staple diet for most species.
  • Super Green – For all Algae Eating Herbivorous Freshwater Fish including Goldfish and koi.

Repashy Super Foods is a perfect way to add garlic or medications to your fish’s diet. Supplements like ground peas, seaweed, mealworms, river shrimp, mysis shrimp and spirulina may be added.

Stop in at Bergen Water Gardens and see a feeding today or order your Repashy Super Foods HERE!

March 2017 Lotus and More

March 2017 has proven to be one of the most challenging months in Rochester, New York area and at Bergen Water Gardens. As a result, our lotus tuber shipping has been delayed by 1 week.

March 8 – 9, Historic windstorm swept through the area, with winds topping 80 mph. Power was lost to over 120,000 area homes, including Bergen Water Gardens and our home. The wind also caused considerable damage to gh 3 and 4. After 3 days, power was restored and temporary repairs were finished.

March 15- 16 : Snowstorm. The Rochester area was blanketed by over 27 inches of snow accompanied by high winds once again. More power outages and travel restrictions.

March 15 & 16: As result of the blizzard threat in New York City, our lotus tuber shipment was delayed. First on the 15th, Customs officers and APHIS inspectors did not have to report to work due to the blizzard. On the 16th, the courier missed picking up the inspected by shipment by 10 minutes. Therefore the lotus tubers were not picked up until March 17th and we received them on Saturday March 18th – about 3 days later than scheduled but the tubers look excellent!

March 17th: Sudden death of my Aunt Florence – Sadly she was the third family member to die in less than year. Helping to make funeral arrangements, followed by the wake and then the funeral on the March 21st took a tremendous amount of personal time and energy.

March 25th: We are completing the final phase of cleaning and sorting the 3,000 Chinese lotus tubers –  We have over 300 varieties growing for 2017!

We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we deal with the challenges of this month. We will start to ship our lotus orders on Monday March 27th as growing conditions dictate in your locality. Thank you Larry and Lili


How to Pot Lotus Tubers

How to pot lotus tubers:

Potting lotus tubers is easy. Selection of the correct pot, planting media, planting location and fertilizer are all important to grow your lotus tuber successfully.

Key Points on how to pot lotus tubers:

  • Use correct size pot with no holes
  • Select potting media or soil
  • Do not damage the lead growth tip of the lotus tuber
  • Add water to planting media/soil
  • Gently place tuber on top of soil, cut end at side of pot
  • Cover with small amount of soil
  • Top off with water to top of growing tip
  • Place in full sun
  • Fertilize once first standing leaf grows
  • Watch our video below:

Live Lotus Tubers: Always be careful of growing tip on a lotus tuber, if it’s broken the lotus will likely perish.

  • Pot Size: At Bergen Water Gardens we use a standard 10 plastic pot, without hole for most Bowl lotus. Most of our lotus we use 15″ plastic pot from Laguna (5 gallon). For larger lotus or to grow the lotus larger we use the Laguna 19 ” pot (9 gallon) Check back in April for more exciting pot options!
  • Potting Media: At Bergen Water Gardens we use heavy top soil. Do NOT use a potting mix, with peat or pearlite, as they will float out. There are also several good clay based potting medias to use if you do not have soil. Lastly, in 2017 there is a new mix with Landon’s fertilizer already mixed in – we will trial this mix in 2017.
  • Fertilizer: Place the potted lotus in full sun. several leaves which lay on the water will appear in about 2 weeks. Soon after the first vertical leaf or aerial leaf will appear. Now it’s time to fertilize. At Bergen Water Garden’s we use Pondtabbs Plus Humates as our primary fertilizer. We use 2 tablets in a 15 inch pot every 14 days. Landon’s can also be used in the soil mix but place a layer of plain soil between the lotus tuber, to avoid burning the new lotus root hairs. After a month start fertilizing with Pondtabbs.

Examples of pot grown lotus at Bergen Water Gardens

Red Bowl 14 Lotus                                                      Big Versicolor Lotus                                                   Sleeping Beauty in Red

Look at all our 2017 LOTUS FOR SALE HERE

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Bergen Water Gardens from the Air

Since the year 2000, Bergen Water Gardens has experienced steady grow. Starting in 2016, our expansion has increased in pace and  scope. To document these changes and to provide a unique perspective of our gardens and our exploding Chinese Lotus collection, we have invested in a quadcopter by Yuneec. Our first aerial pictures are below, documenting the cold winter of 2017. Stop back and visit us all summer long and watch the development of Lotus Paradise at Bergen Water Gardens from the air.

Winter 2017

Display Ponds in February… rather bleak


American Conifer Society National Meeting

We at Bergen Water Gardens are proud to promote, support and contribute to the 2017 American Conifer Society National Meeting in East Syracuse, New York. The ACS National meeting will be held August 17 to 19, 2017. The meeting will feature expert conifer speakers, fabulous gardens featuring conifers and conifer auctions. We are especially excited this year as this ACS National Meeting will host the 2nd ever Conifer College! The Conifer College will feature the latest information of growing, caring and pruning your conifers. The Conifer College will end with a beautiful dinner cruise on Skaneateles Lake. Learn about the American Conifer Society.

Complete American Conifer Society National Meeting information may be found here…. American Conifer Society National Meeting

As a member of the American Conifer Society for the past 30 plus years, Past Northeast President and Past ACS National President I encourage you to join this ACS National Meeting and discover the world of Conifers! A very special thank you to my good friends and meeting organizers, Elmer Dustman and Jerry Kral, for planning this extraordinary ACS National meeting in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York!

Why we love to garden with conifers: