For discovering and introducing into cultivation some of the rarer and unique wetland plants from around the world.
Walter created his first water garden 1938. As a child he always had a passionate interest in the natural aquatic environment. His mother built a pond and Walter sent off for his first two lilies Conqueror and Chromatella. After he married Ann he built his own ponds and filled them with plants he collected from around the world in his travels as a Electronics Engineer.
One of Walter’s great contribution’s to the society has been his extensive research of water gardening both in the field and in the library. He is generous in distributing his discoveries; all free of charge including postage. He has collected plants from Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Trinidad India, Australia, Tanzania and Japan. Walter has found that some of the more interesting plants were found here in our own backyard in the remote swamps and marshes of the United States.
Walter is more than an aquatic plant enthusiast, underneath that gruff and hairy exterior is a heart of gold. When Nigel Davies brother and partner of Ray Davies suffered a swimming accident in San Diego, Walter moved heaven and earth to remove Nigels young son, Stuart, from juvenile protective services and bring him to his home. Walter and his wife Anne opened their home and took care of Ray, Barbara and Stuart for weeks while Nigel was in the hospital. Sadly after Nigel was brought back to England he quietly passed away.
Walter Pagels was the first president of the IWLS and continues on as our Librarian and Society Historian.