History of Sunland Water Gardens
Sunland Water Gardens
History of Shadow Hills Property
In 1943 Amos Ikenberry, a teacher in Burbank, CA, decided to make a long time dream come true. He purchased a 20 acre parcel of land on Sunland Boulevard, a windy two lane road, in an area of Sunland known as Shadow Hills. This was a remote area with few homes and zoned for parcels of land ½ acres or more. He had grown up in apple orchards and always wanted his own fruit orchard. The majority of this parcel was orange grove with a few other fruit trees, farm animals and sage brush hill sides. He continued teaching for a few years and then to make a living he sold oranges and later created his “Famous Amos” orange cones. This was a unique and delicious frozen whipped orange juice product which became very popular with people near and far. He kept the business for about 15 years until the widening of Sunland Boulevard forced him to move his building. At that time he decided to sell 15 acres of the land to a sub-divider to build a track of homes, one of which would be for he and his wife, son and two daughters. He kept the front 5 acres and opened “Ikenberry Cacti and Water Gardens” and used the building he had for his orange cones. He built another house for him and his wife directly above the water gardens when he sold his family home to his daughter and family. The remaining 3.5 acres contained the water gardens which he and his wife worked for many years until he sold it to his granddaughter, Jacklyn Nagasawa and her husband Mitch Nagasawa in 1980.
Jacklyn and Mitch decided to change the name and focus more on the aquatic side of the business. Selling off thousands of Cactus. So Sunland Water Gardens was born. First just selling small amounts of floating plants and water lilies. In 1981 Jacklyn and Mitch had a home “moved” onto the property so Jacklyn got her Contractors license and they finished the house. With that license she decided at the request of her customers to start building ponds. Then ponds needed Koi. Jacklyn and Mitch had ties to Japan so soon Koi where coming in every few months. Which then lead to customers asking “where can we get a pump or a filter or other pond supplies”. Little by little as the need arose more and more products where brought in to help pond owner with their needs.
1990 -with three children and the end of her marriage Jacklyn began to run the business solo. With this came changes to Sunland Water Gardens. More pond building, wholesale to other nurseries, and pond maintenance. Soon more help was needed. Jacklyn’s little brother Jeff joined in as well as her children to lend a hand. Truly all in the family.
1995 – Adding to our Wholesale accounts – Green arrow / Green thumb and Orchard Supply Hardware… Wholesale became a big part of Sunland Water Gardens. Added more employees as well. Many of which have gone on to have their own successful aquatic business’
2009- Become the official Los Angeles sanctuary for the preservation of water turtles, Protecting, saving and finding homes for thousands of turtles each year.
2010- Aquaponics comes to Sunland Water Gardens. Starting with little floating islands of herbs at first. Progressing to full Aquaponic tables with lower tubs of Talapia. Growing fresh organic veggies like tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, corn, lettuce and strawberries. Growing fresh healthy organic Talapia on the bottom.
2013- Now we are the premier aquatic grower in California supplying quality pond plants like water lilies, bog plants and Lotus specializing in hard to find aquatics. We import Koi, goldfish, frogs, and many other pond critters weekly. We are distributors for the top pond supply companies in the world. Always looking for the best quality products for our customers and fellow pond and water gardeners.