Volume 2, Issue 3                                                                    July 28, 2017

From the Director's Desk:

Thoughts of a Weed Puller

In 2012, our team at the Wilmot Gardens initiated a patient care program, therapeutic horticulture. Since that time, the program under the direction of Ms. Elizabeth (Leah) Diehl ably assisted by a host of volunteers has served a diverse group of individuals with various physical and often times mental challenges. In the fall of 2016, the team accepted the opportunity to work with a small group of young adults with autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Indoor gardening was employed as the vehicle to enhance the well-being and quality of life of the participants. Subsequently, a small grant obtained from the Wal-Mart Foundation as part of their State Giving Program combined with a gift from Dr. and Mrs. B.J. Wilder made it possible to greatly expand this initiative ...


The Augusta National Golf Club was formerly a plant 

nursery and each hole is named after a tree or shrub.

The par 4, 494 yard 10th hole is the camellia hole.

Human Health and Plants Research:

Health Benefits of Nearby Nature

A study published in 2017 by Cox and colleagues, reported remarkable multiple health benefits of nearby nature, such as having a private garden or the amount of neighborhood vegetation cover. The study surveyed 1,023 adults living in Southern England during the month of May. Dose-response analyses accounted for the type of nature, frequency, duration, and intensity of nature experiences associated with health outcomes for depression, physical and social health, physical behavior, and nature orientation ...


What's in bloom?

Milkweed serves as a source of nectar for beneficial insects and 

a critical larval food source for beloved Monarch butterflies.

Click here to learn more about Milkweed!

Under the Glass:

News from the Greenhouse

Greetings from the Greenhouse! Once our therapeutic horticulture (TH) programming ends in May, the greenhouse tends to quiet down quite a bit. We still get many summer visitors wandering in to see what’s growing - we’ve even had a good number of sales recently. While we have visitors drop by everyday, this spring and summer we’ve also given many organized tours and TH informational sessions. Several garden clubs and garden circles have visited Wilmot this spring and summer to learn about our projects and programming, and they often pair the visit with their monthly meeting in our conference space. I've made recent trips to both The Atrium and Oak Hammock to talk about our programs as well ...


The Baby Gators Visit the Wilmot Gardens

Over the course of two mornings, we had about 70 five-year-olds visit the greenhouse to explore plants and participate in a planting activity.

"Thank you Wilmot Gardens for

enriching our children's lives!"

 - Katie White, Summer Camp Coordinator, Baby Gators

This year the Baby Gators made a glove garden during their visit to the greenhouse, which involves planting a different vegetable seed into each finger of a plastic glove with a damp cotton ball. The activity involves plant education and seed identification.

"We love telling the kids that they can touch any plant they want - gently, of course; the glee on their faces is priceless."

 - Leah Diehl

Director of Therapeutic Horticulture, Wilmot Gardens

Volunteer Spotlight: Kim Lepore

In December of 2013, Kim Lepore was busy finalizing her studies with the IFAS Florida Master Gardener program. At a tabling event focused on connecting burgeoning master gardeners with local service sites, she was introduced to Leah Diehl, Director of the Therapeutic Horticulture Program at Wilmot Gardens. “I just immediately took to her and what they were doing,” Lepore recalled of this initial meeting. As she learned more of what the program had to offer, Lepore's intrigue grew and in the spring of 2014, she began volunteering. "I was excited about it because I have always believed that nature heals," Lepore said. Since that time, Lepore has assisted with virtually every population group in the Therapeutic Horticulture Program ...


Interested in volunteering?

Upcoming Workdays

• August 12 (8 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

• September 23 (8 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

• October 21 (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.)

• November 11 (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.)

• December 9 (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.)

Both groups and individuals are welcome. No gardening experience necessary.To register or for more information, contact Bailey Hillman, business manager, at bahillman@ufl.edu or (352) 273-5832.