Volume 3, Issue 1                                                                 January 31, 2018

From the Director's Desk:

Thoughts of a Weed Puller

For many of us 2018 is off to a wet and very chilly start. As I glance across the gardens from the conference center this morning, freeze cloth dominates much of the landscape as we try to protect our most vulnerable plants. The blooms of the sasanqua camellias are fading, while the japonica cultivars are providing most of the color as we begin the new year.

In looking back for just a moment, one must conclude that 2017 was an outstanding year for the Wilmot Gardens. In February, the beautiful Chapman Healing Garden and the Richard C. Christensen Memorial were dedicated ...


Sacramento, California is known as the Camellia City.

Volunteer Spotlight: Ray Odeh

During high school, in the hopes of qualifying for the Bright Futures scholarship program, Ray Odeh began looking for service opportunities in his local community of Sarasota, Florida. He volunteered at several locations before finding the right fit at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, a small, well-manicured garden with subtropical species located on the coast of the Sarasota Bay …


Human Health & Plants Research: What Happens When We View Pictures of Cityscapes and Garden Landscapes?

A small study was conducted in Korea with 18 young adults consisting of nine women and nine men. The research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2017 revealed some rather extraordinary findings about what happened when study participants viewed twelve photographic images each taken in winter of cityscapes or garden landscapes. Changes in brain activity in the prefrontal cortex were assessed ...


Artist in Residence Joins Wilmot Gardens

Wilmot Gardens is pleased to announce that Peg Richardson will be joining the team as the first “Artist in Residence”. She has set up a modest studio space and gallery in the foyer of the Greenhouse at Wilmot Gardens, and her colorful watercolor paintings now grace the walls. Considering that Richardson specializes in painting botanicals, gardens and flowers, her work is a harmonious addition to the facility.


"Rainbow Chard" by Peg Richardson (Watercolor, 2017)

ASD Program Update

Greetings from the ASD Job Skills Training Program! I began the Fall semester at the National Autism Association Conference in New Orleans. It was an honor of a lifetime to meet and speak with Dr. Temple Grandin not only once, but twice during my stay! Upon my return to UF, the Fall 2017 semester was off and running! We were busy learning not …


Certification for Horticulture Professional

The ASD job readiness program initiated an enhancement when Dr. Charlie Guy, a professor in the Department of Environmental Horticulture, began weekly tutoring sessions in 2017 with three of our program participants that had expressed apposite enthusiasm for plants and horticulture. The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) offers a certification as a Horticulture Professional based on a high level of horticulture knowledge for individuals already working in the horticulture industry and for those seeking to enter the profession. FNGLA developed a study manual and conducts an examination based on the manual’s informational content. Those making a passing score earn the Horticulture Professional certification. Two of our participants will be working on identification of upwards of 200 ornamental plants in early 2018, and expect to take the examination in the near future. We have three additional participants that will begin in January studying for the certification. The ASD program very gratefully wishes to thank FNGLA for donating three copies of the study manual for the participants to use in preparation for taking the certificate examination.   

What's in bloom?

Camellia season is in full swing - be sure to visit the gardens soon to view the full collection of spectacular blooms!

Click here to learn more about Camellias!

Volunteer Workday Spring Schedule

Get involved!

• February 17

• March 24

• April 14

• May 19

Click here to learn more!