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Mike’s Waterlilies and Frogs at Nelson Water Gardens

Frog photo 1

Next time you’re in the Houston area, stop by Nelson Water Gardens & Nursery in Katy – you won’t regret it. The Nelsons (Anita, Rolf and family) are good friends of ours who have been operating their unique destination since 1996. They grow aquatic plants like waterlilies and bog plants, and specialize in fountains, water features and hard to find plants and pottery.

Mike Swize joined Anita and Rolf early on and has been the propagation manager at Nelson for over 30 years. Mike studied waterlily hybridization under Dr. Kirk Strawn at Texas A&M in his graduate program. Mike recognized a new variety of waterlily growing in a tank at Nelson’s and decided to propagate it and name it the ‘Lindsey Woods’ variety after a 14-year old family friend who died from cancer. In 1999, Nelson’s introduced the new waterlily commercially, contributing $20 from the sale of every plant to the Texas Children’s Hospital – for a total of over $60,000 to date! 

Mike is also a talented nature photographer who took these photos of frogs on the beautiful waterlilies at Nelson’s!  I’m so thankful Mike captured these amazing shots; I bet there was patience involved! 


Reader Interactions


  1. Johnny French says

    Dr, Kirk Strawn was my major professor when I got my MS in Fisheries @ TAMU in ’73. He grew water lilies, craved honey of all flavors, and ate grapefruit constantly. Drove him and another Aggie as he led a field trip to collect fish from Galveston to the east side of Florida & back.

  2. Sally says

    He sounds like he was a very interesting man. Thank goodness for teachers, especially those that get out in the field with their students. Thanks so much for sharing Johnny. I really wanted to include a photo of Mike with this blog but he declined. Shucks!

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