Bill Heritage worked for Highlands Water Gardens near London in the 1960s & 70s when it was part of Lotus Water Gardens, one of the key players in the UK market at the time, just when the industry was starting to flourish. Bill not only had hands-on experience with aquatics but was a skilled writer and photographer. He wrote a book and many catalogue and magazine items for Lotus, and other books including ‘Ponds and Water Gardens’ after that, and his enthusiasm and careful way with words greatly helped to popularise water gardening and the new pond lining materials. He later worked for Wildwoods Water Gardens in Enfield.
In his retirement he continued to write some articles, and was involved with the IWGS from the start, usually seen with his wife Irene close by. He visited Marliac’s nursery in France along with good friend Norman Bennett, reporting back on the state of the nursery and the naming of the lilies at the UK meeting in 1991. This report at the meeting at Sparsholt, and the presence of Martin Sturge who had a house nearby in France, were possibly some of the prompts for the later involvement of Ray Davies in the restoration of those nurseries.
Bill was inducted into the IWGS Hall of Fame in 1988. Over the years he will have inspired countless gardeners into the rewards of owning a pond, and we owe him much gratitude for that.
*Text courtesy of James Allison, IWGS Advisory Board Member