Volume 2, Issue 1                                                      January 18, 2017       

From the Director's Desk:

Thoughts of a Weed Puller

I hope that you and your loved ones enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and that 2017 is off to a great start. We remain extremely busy landscaping the Chapman Healing Garden and initiating the winter/spring semester therapeutic horticulture programming in the Greenhouse at Wilmot Gardens. In addition, the routine maintenance of the gardens is nearly a fulltime job so everyone is working at full capacity.

The 2016 Fall Plant Sale on December 3 and 4 was very successful. Camellias, azaleas and roses sold well in the outdoor Commons area, while Christmas cacti, a wide variety of succulents and miniature terrariums were very popular items in the greenhouse. More than 70 volunteers provided their expertise during the one and one-half day event and we thank each and every one for their efforts to make the ...


The fastest method to propagate most japonica camellias is through the

technique of air-layering which results in a true copy of the original cultivar.

Under the Glass:

News from the Greenhouse

We’ve had a busy few months in the therapeutic horticulture program and in addition to updating you on the goings-on under the glass, I’d also like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit about how the therapeutic horticulture program works. Each activity we do in the program is related to plants in some way and most of the time we work with live plants; planting, propagating, harvesting, and nurturing. We learn a lot about different plants and horticulture techniques along the way. We also use plant materials to create art from time to time. No matter the activity, the aim is to do the activity in such a way that ...


Dedication of the 

Chapman Healing  Garden

Friday, February 24, 2017

4:00 p.m.

The Chapman Healing Garden will provide another venue for patients and the public to experience the therapeutic benefits of greenspaces and will expand Wilmot Gardens’ diverse garden settings. Specifically, the garden will focus on providing an abundance of sensory experiences related to plants, including their fragrance, texture, shape and color as well as auditory stimulation from a water feature. The Chapman Healing Garden was made possible due to a generous donation from The Dr. Jules B. Chapman and Annie Lou Chapman Private Foundation.

The dedication ceremony is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 24, 2017. Light refreshments will be offered in the Conference Center at Wilmot Gardens following the ceremony. Wilmot Gardens is located on the main campus of the University of Florida at 2023 Mowry Road. For directions and parking see the Wilmot Gardens' website.

Human Health and Plants Research: Walking is Good, Walking in Nature Even Better

A recent European study (Gidlow, CJ (2016) J. Environ. Psychol. 45, 22-29) suggests that taking a 30-minute walk through a natural landscape with or without views of water is more restorative than a walk in a city residential area with little or no plant life. Thirty-eight healthy adults, 61% male and average age 41, went on three walks: “urban", “green,” and "green with a water feature." Both total mood disturbance and the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were reduced regardless of the walk environment indicating that walking is a beneficial physical activity ...


Therapeutic Horticulture Program Awarded UF

Medical Guild Grant

The Therapeutic Horticulture Program at Wilmot Gardens, directed by Elizabeth Diehl, registered horticultural therapist, received a $3,000 grant from the University of Florida Medical Guild in September. The mission of the University of Florida Medical Guild (UFMG) is to promote friendship among members and render service to the UF Health Science Center. The UFMG, which was originally formed in ...


Spring Volunteer Workdays

All are invited to join Wilmot Gardens staff and volunteers during regularly scheduled Volunteer Workdays, which occur throughout the year. Individuals with all skill levels will be engaged in restoring and maintaining the gardens, which provide an important natural respite for patients and caregivers served by UF Health Shands Hospital, as well as the rest of the university community and beyond. The gardens also represent a historic landmark on the University of Florida campus. Activities include weeding, pruning, planting and general groundskeeping ...

Spring 2017 Schedule

• Saturday, February 11 (9 AM - 1 PM)

• Saturday, March 11 (9 AM - 1 PM)

• Saturday, April 1 (11 AM - 3 PM)


Volunteer Spotlight:

John Maruniak

In the 1970s, John Maruniak was enrolled as an undergraduate student at the University of Florida studying fine arts. During this time, John occasionally visited Wilmot Gardens with friends and dates during the blooming season and recollects the gardens were “pristine, beautiful and well-kept.” However, in the summer of his junior year, John’s studies were abruptly interrupted. Drafted for the Vietnam War, he found himself relocated to New Mexico ...


What's in bloom?

The Camellia japonica 'October affair' with its light pink petals and formal double bloom is one of many spectacular camellias flowering in the gardens.

Stop by to enjoy the show!