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WIN a copy of Victoria: The Seductress from Longwood Gardens!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy Longwood Gardens
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy Longwood Gardens
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy Longwood Gardens
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy Longwood Gardens
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy Longwood Gardens
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy Longwood Gardens

Remember the fascinating interview we posted back in April, featuring Dr. Tomasz Aniśko, curator of plants at Longwood Gardens and author of Victoria: The Seductress:A Cultural and Natural History of the World’s Greatest Water Lily (Longwood, 2013)? (Read it here if you don’t.)

Well, we’re offering you the chance to WIN Victoria: The Seductress! Tell us why you want the book in a comment on this post, and you’ll be entered into the giveaway. 


A winner will be randomly selected on Friday August 16, 2013. 

In the meantime — if you just need the book as soon as possible — you can take up a very generous offer from Longwood, offered exclusively to Fine Gardening readers. Click through to the Longwood store to buy a copy of Victoria: The Seductress and enter promo code Seductress. And for the next 20 days get 20% off AND FREE shipping!


But don’t delay: this offer expires on August 31, 2013.

View Comments


  1. user-1020932 08/07/2013

    I enjoy and WANT all horticultural books but this one holds special interest for me. I have seen this plant growing wild in the Amazonas and was blown away as it is THE plant for exotica,,, at least for me. Not a lot out there to read about it other than general descriptions. I doubt that I will ever be able to grow them here in the Smoky Mountains but I still want to know about this Queen of the Jungle Rivers.

  2. Shona1 08/07/2013

    I took my mom here on a senior road trip - what an amazing place - I would love to win this book.

  3. Letsgomom 08/07/2013

    This book is clearly a must-have for my library.

  4. aeg66 08/08/2013

    One of my happiest days ever was with my dear friend Sandra at Longwood & this would make an excellent present for her upcoming birthday.

  5. user-2198400 08/08/2013

    It would be a lovely addition to my collection of horticulture books.

  6. LHigg93409 08/08/2013

    I am, and always have been, fascinated by the water lily. I fell in love with 'Victoria' back in the 1980's at the Botanical Gardens in St. Louise Missouri and have longed to own some ever since. Being that I live in Maine and don't have a facility to over winter any, a book as lovely as "Victoria: The Seductress" would keep me daydreaming!

  7. Kat_White 08/09/2013

    Garden histories are one of my favorite things to read. This book would have a special place on my shelves.

  8. Candyannmix 08/12/2013

    I have grown water lilies in my back yard pond since 1983. I LOVE all water lilies! I have traveled to Longwood several times to see all the plants and trees. This book on the queen of all water lilies would add greatly to my library.

  9. sonnyk155 08/12/2013

    A good gardening book is always grand to settle back with in an overstuffed chair and read away the day.

  10. bellagood 08/12/2013

    My mom has nurtured her small pond with waterlilies for decades -- this would be a perfect gift for her!

  11. DLBA 08/12/2013

    Well, of course, with a title like that, who WOULDN'T want to read it?! I'd love to win a copy...........

  12. Zen_tu 08/12/2013

    I've always been fascinated with this gorgeous plant. It's inspired artist for centuries. They just seem to make you stop and take a moment. I'd love to place this book in my library.

  13. rjang 08/12/2013

    This sounds like a very interesting book for passionate gardeners, and I love the title!

  14. Alasandra 08/12/2013

    We have a pond and I would love to create something like this and learn more about this fabulous plant.

  15. sdmmn73 08/12/2013

    What an awesome book I would love to add this to my collection of Longwood garden books. We try to travel to Longwood Gardens at least once a year and always are in awe.

  16. den74 08/12/2013

    I would love to win this book. The gardens there are amazing,

  17. user-2417662 08/12/2013

    I hope one dau to visit this garden! Im really interest by aquatic plant and the Victoria is spectacular! I wish to have this book in my library!!!

  18. hontell 08/12/2013

    I have always wanted to grow Victoria, unfortunately, one leaf is larger than my whole pond. If I don't win the book, I'll just have to return to Longwood, again and again!

  19. LazyCat 08/12/2013

    I had never heard of this beautiful water lily before just now - I'd love to win the book and learn about it.

  20. Lesaac 08/12/2013

    Watergardening will be my next garden passion if I win this book!

  21. Sunnie1953 08/12/2013

    I am an avid reader of all things gardening! Absolutely would love to win this book and learn about this. It would be just amazing to do this, but couldn't do it myself without the help from the book! What a great opportunity!

  22. PattyBinNC 08/12/2013

    While I hope to visit these gardens in person, winning the book would be wonderful and a great way to plan the adventure. I am inspired by the wisdom and insights of accomplished gardeners and put that inspiration to work in our own backyard...

  23. cagkit 08/12/2013

    Yes, a fascinating topic! I am anxious to learn more about the cultural history of Victoria. Perhaps reading the book would spark us into action to take a road trip to Longwood Gardens which has long been on our to do list.

  24. Countryside 08/12/2013

    Water gardens offer a serenity that is very different from land gardens. I look forward to seeing the Victoria in person, and hopefully someday, in the wild. Owning the book would proved a lovely reminder of the real flower.

  25. user-911018 08/12/2013

    I love getting inspiration from other gardeners. I would love to experience this place through this lovely book.

  26. cribinal 08/12/2013

    Book looks lovely and informative, just planted my first water lily, ugh, not doing so well. Have some time on my hands, received news - cancer free. Would enjoy some delightful reading.

  27. GeorgiaG 08/12/2013

    Afternoon travels on a whim from the comfort of my nest, a cup of tea and long visits with Victoria of Longwood Gardens. This sounds like a pinch of heaven.

  28. art2heart 08/12/2013

    I love water lillies and have created them in my cardmaking with stamp images. This book is amazing and be able to read and hold it would give me such inspiration. I can already see the photos are just breathtaking. Visualizing I can win this book to add to my library.

  29. user-1120398 08/12/2013

    Interesting history, beautifulvisuals. I want this book!

  30. user-938512 08/12/2013

    2 reasons: First, as an architect I subscribe to Frank Lloyd Wright's statement, "Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you." Nature is the ultimate inspiration as I design and teach design.

    Second, I visited Longwood many years ago when my sister was living in PA. I remember that day with great fondness.

  31. cmaness 08/12/2013

    Gardening got me through sudden on-set epilepsy. It brings peace and a sense of well-being!
    I started researching water gardens for a not used side yard area and fell in love with the pictures and informtion in the book. I would love to win a copy to learn how to do it.

  32. Unfurl 08/12/2013

    As a water garden designer I have this crazy idea about crossing a pond by
    stepping on the pads of Victoria.

    (Probably with the help of sub-surface supports for the pads).... Learning more about the requirements of the culture of Victoria, with some inspiration and work,
    may bring this fantasy to reality!

  33. Unfurl 08/12/2013

    As a water garden designer I have this crazy idea about crossing a pond by
    stepping on the pads of Victoria.

    (Probably with the help of sub-surface supports for the pads).... Learning more about the requirements of the culture of Victoria, with some inspiration and work,
    may bring this fantasy to reality!

  34. carrollwc 08/12/2013

    As an artist and a wannabe gardner, books like this always appeal to me. The history only adds to the allure.

  35. Knoxgal 08/12/2013

    I would love to receive guidance on the Victoria water lily so that I can incorporate this exotic 'magnolia of the water' into a water feature I'm planning. I'm not sure if my husband will want to invest in a heated water feature but with the inspiration provided by this book anything is possible!

  36. Andysmom 08/12/2013

    Since I know little to nothing about this type of gardening, this book would be so helpful. Also any help for us in the alpine desert would be very much appreciated. Pick me!

  37. Blewbury 08/12/2013

    Victoria is beautiful. I would be honored to win this. I live in the Southwest so I do not know how much success I would have. I usually only grow the the plants that do well in my area but . . .

    Best wishes to all.

  38. kelpqueen 08/12/2013

    I have a passion for gardening books. The way the look and feel and smell. Also gardening. Gardening feels and smells good. : ) And any book with the word "seductress" in the title is the book for me.

  39. RHWilson 08/12/2013

    This sounds like a most interesting book. It would be a
    treasure to my collection.

  40. SueEllen 08/12/2013

    Fabulous plant! Would love to know more about it.

  41. hummergirl 08/12/2013

    Longwood is in my backyard and I have been there many times, although it is never enough! I would LOVE to have this book to sit down with and enjoy, in addition to learning from it what you do not see, when you are there. Also, if I had the book, I could drift off to be there whenever I wanted! Thank you for the opportunity! And also for this blog - Love it!!

  42. Meelianthus 08/12/2013

    Viewing 'Victoria' is like a trip through a fantasy land -phenomenally regal and mysterious in it's amazing size and beauty. To share this plant with the world so that others might see how it has been growing for millions of years is breathtaking. To share your love of this beautiful plant through your writing is a bit of reality for all. Thank you.

  43. flittingimage 08/12/2013

    This is not the usual time of thing I read, but it sounds absolutely fascinating.

  44. DotsPots 08/12/2013

    Why wouldn't I want it?! I love gardening and gardening books. I visited Longwood Gardens about a dozen years ago, and it was fantastic. This book would be a pleasant reminder.

  45. ssaltern 08/12/2013

    Water lilies are beautiful! I would love to learn how to grow them like the visuals in the book.

  46. rpkk 08/12/2013

    I live close enough to Longwood gardens to have been there numerous times. The water lily gardens have always been one of my favorites. I'd like to win this book to learn more about this fabulous plant and anything I can learn about the behind-the-scenes operations and planning of this fabulous place.

  47. samlilypepper 08/12/2013

    Ahhh... water gardens, my weakness. How I wish I could have a magnificent water garden but sadly our climate won't allow for many of the most beautiful flowering plants. So, I have to live vicariously through books. I would love to have a copy of this one. It's beautiful. The plant in the photos looks more like a lotus than a waterlily!

  48. kruidentuin 08/12/2013

    I love waterlilies. I have a small pond were i grow waterlelies. I would like this book so i can read what is the best way to keep them beautiful and growing. Perhaps my english is not so good because Dutch but i think that i got the message across,I would like to have that book.

  49. dezignlady 08/12/2013

    The waterlily feature was one of the highlights of my visit to Longwood Gardens last summer. The book would be the crowning memento of visit.

  50. user-1130625 08/12/2013

    I live in the semi-desert of Southern California and can only dream of the lush gardens of England. I would love to have this book as an incentive to visit Longwood someday.

  51. domiano5 08/12/2013

    Would love to win this book. Looks really fabulous, from such a beautiful garden.

  52. trashywoman62 08/12/2013

    Normally, we gardeners go into nurseries, gardens and greenhouses looking for a particular plant or just one that WOWs us and never give a second thought to how that plant got there. I am sure there are many plants with amazing histories and this sounds like a fascinating one! I would love to read about it and now I will have to find more stories about bringing other plants to the public. Thanks for the eye- opener.

  53. user-7006949 08/12/2013

    While my yard is too small for a suitable pond and the raccoons would thank me most heartily for providing them with a tasty meal (or at least another toy), I can still dream and this book would provide me hours of heaven. I'm too possessive of my books to let them go pemanantly-LOL, but would definitely loan to my other like minded gardening friends.

  54. hubisheblond 08/12/2013

    I remember seeing this water lily regularly at the New Orleans botanical garden in City Park. My friend Mary and I would spend Saturdays at her Aunt's house on Bayou St. John, across from City Park. The WPA Art Deco era rectangular-shaped pond looked so exotic with the huge floating lily. I would adore knowing more about this significant plant.

  55. marygardener 08/12/2013

    Living in Canada, my chances of visiting Longwood Gardens are not that great. I certainly would be able to learn about the genus Victoria and its' home there at Longwood. Can't wait to find out more about this species.

  56. gardenclubtx 08/12/2013

    this would be the perfect book for me to teach my class . with the beautiful gardens and water lillies, etc.

  57. alohaland 08/12/2013

    I grew up in Penna. and made many a trip to Longwood Gardens.
    Living in Hawaii for the past 10 years has been challenging on many levels, but I would love to try my hand-with the help of my Filipino neighbors-at growing this beauty!
    And when I grow nostalgic for beautiful Penna.-York in particular-I will have this beautiful book to fondly remember the wonderful change of seasons.

  58. oraclady 08/12/2013

    I absolutely love Longwood. I went their many years ago with a very close girlfriend who had not been there for several years. We couldn't spend much time as we were driving and had many miles to drive. I'd love to read the book and learn more about the flowers at Longwood. I've always wanted to go back but haven't been able to.

    Winning this book would be so extra special and I would share it with my girlfriend to read as well as I know she would very much appreciate it.
    Good Luck to all

  59. GooseLake 08/12/2013

    I have a beautiful water feature that would benefit greatly from this water lily. I would have something spectacular to show.I would love to win the book and learn how!

  60. user-7006950 08/12/2013

    Would love to add this lovely book to my collection of Garden Books! I have never seen this plant, but would love to, some day.

  61. Liberty1889 08/12/2013

    I would love to win this book because I love Longwood Gardens. Living in Ohio I do not get there often enough, so having a piece of Longwood Gardens in the form of this lovely book would be wonderful.

  62. user-1051803 08/13/2013

    I love anything to do with plants and gardening. I am a master gardener and try to learn all I can about this subject. I once went to Longwood Gardens and will never forget it. This book fascinates me. The idea of learning all I could about this particular Lily Is very exciting to me. Thank you,

  63. divergirl 08/13/2013

    Wow, these photos really intrigued me. Just looking at the photos makes me want to read the book. I love growing all kinds of things and I live in the tropics where everything grows easily. I've only seen a few lilies cultivated on Saipan, but I bet if I had this book I would be able to start a whole new trend on our tiny island! The tourists too would love it!

  64. Turnips 08/13/2013

    I can dream can't I? At 84 years old I will never see Victoria in the wild, my health not permitting. But! I can dream can't I?

    Reading still stimulates the imagination and I think the book will more than fill my dreams and transport me into another part of this amazing planet.

  65. user-1020932 08/13/2013

    turnips, as much as i want this book (i will just buy it) i HOPE you win! i read your other comments and i like you already.

  66. GardenDaze 08/13/2013

    I have been to Longwood & seen these fabulous plants in person. While my own backyard pond is too small to support one of them, I'd still enjoy reading about these fascinating plants!

  67. Suzoid 08/13/2013

    Dear Fine Gardening,

    What a wonderful opportunity you have given all of us! Congratulations to Dr. Anisko for writing what promises to be a fascinating read for anyone lucky enough to relax with a copy! If I was the lucky one to receive this free gift, I would give it to my Mum who is 80 and can't walk very well. She really misses her time in the garden.

    Thanks FG for providing a bottomless treasure chest of gardening info and great ideas!
    Very best regards!

  68. Sandi_M 08/13/2013

    This book will make the perfect gift for my friend Victoria! She owns a B&B in Virginia that sits on 5 acres of land. Victoria and her husband reclaimed the land that had been farmed and have turned it into beautiful gardens and native woodlands with walking paths throughout. Guess what? It also has a beautiful pond! Not only would that pond look lovely with a Victoria lily in it, but this book would look lovely on one of the tables for all her guest to view.

  69. bpanic 08/13/2013

    My two passions are gardening and reading, this book helps me do both! I have never even heard of this plant before so I'm even more intrigued, and it would mean a lot to me to get to learn more.

  70. houseplantguru 08/13/2013

    I would love this book! I've only been to Longwood Gardens once, and I'm pretty sure heaven will be just like it! Thanks for the opportunity to win this wonderful book!

  71. Jeaniepat 08/13/2013

    Water lilies have fascinated me since I was a little girl and saw my a Monet water lily. It was the dead of winter and I felt like I was looking at the most beautiful garden ever. The first time I went to Longwood and saw this amazing plant in person, I was awed. This book would spark dreams and conversations galore if I won it!

  72. Jeaniepat 08/13/2013

    Water lilies have fascinated me since I was a little girl and saw my a Monet water lily. It was the dead of winter and I felt like I was looking at the most beautiful garden ever. The first time I went to Longwood and saw this amazing plant in person, I was awed. This book would spark dreams and conversations galore if I won it!

  73. lucyg22 08/14/2013

    These huge water lilies are fascinating. This will make great winter reading.

  74. laurajasz 08/14/2013

    I love Longwood Gardens and the Victoria plant is such a highlight when it is in summer glory. A seductress indeed!

  75. ljkrfnc 08/15/2013

    The book looks exciting. I love to read, almost anything, but especially garden related and something to dream about. The pictures are fantastic.

  76. windycindy 08/17/2013

    My father is 95 years old and has been a prolific gardener, since he was a young child. His mother came over from Calais, France, when she was 14. She loved all types of gardening and flowers. My uncle and dad built her a small pond, when they were very young, long before they were popular. He has told me about the water lilies they had in their pond and how the tiny ducks would swim around them...
    He would enjoy this gorgeous book very much!
    Many thanks, Cindi

  77. AquaTerra 09/03/2013

    ...Seductress... is not just a coffee table book; it is an art book. As a collector of both art and horticulture books, I would very much enjoy having this book either on my coffee table, or in my library.

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