Home » History


NWG Main Structure - 1997 Click Picture for Slideshow

Nelson Water Gardens is a retail plant nursery with a specialty in aquatic plants. After 20+ years of working for Lilypons Water Gardens (a mail order and retail aquatic plant firm) Anita and Rolf Nelson decided to start their own business in 1996.

Anita and Rolf have a passion for plants and each received  Bachelor of Science Degrees in Horticulture from the University of Maryland.  They wanted to branch out to grow and sell all types of plants not just aquatics. Noticing that the Katy area lacked an independently owned, high-quality garden center, Anita and Rolf decided to create the type of Nursery that carried unusual plants, garden ornaments and fountains with a specialty in aquatics. The goal was to create a “destination” location.

Mike Swize joined Anita and Rolf in the summer of 1996 and together, started growing waterlilies and bog plants at their respective home sites. The only income during this time for Mike, Anita and Rolf came from selling aquatic plants at wholesale along with a few landscape projects of Anita’s.

In April of 1997, after a year of searching for property, putting up a building and growing a crop, Nelson Water Gardens opened the doors for retail business. At first, customers came for our aquatic plants but as time went on, Nelson’s quickly gained a reputation for hard to find plants and fountains.  It quickly became the “destination” that Mike, Anita, and Rolf had envisioned.

In 2001 Peter Nelson, the son of Rolf and Anita came up with the Disappearing Fountain Concept. Although not a new idea, the concept of water disappearing into the ground was not easily constructed or readily available in the consumer marketplace. Nelson Water Gardens made Disappearing Fountains available to the average consumer by developing a hidden reservoir that was built from lumber and rubber liner. In the early days, we created fountains out of jugs, but that idea evolved into using glazed ceramic pottery as fountain pieces. The demand grew so great that we began manufacturing our own pre-molded reservoirs and selling and distributing them to other wholesalers all over the United States. We also now bring in at least 11 container loads of pottery a year.

Nelson Water Gardens & Nursery, Inc.  is now known not only for fountains, hard to find plants and aquatics but also as the number one source for pottery in the Metropolitan Houston Area.

Click Here to view a slideshow of Nelson Water Gardens under construction!