From the Director’s Desk: Thoughts of a Weed Puller

Dr. C. Craig Tisher

This is one of the most beautiful times of the year to stroll through the Wilmot Botanical Gardens. A large number of camellias and many of the azaleas are in bloom despite the recent two day cold snap. We are especially pleased to see that the vast majority of the 100 new camellias relocated to the gardens last year are adapting well to their new surroundings and contributing significantly to the current “bloom.”

This week the first 2 camellias that arrived individually in an 80” tree spade were planted. Another 98 are slated to follow in the next several weeks as we begin the second year of the camellia relocation project. The majority will be dug with a 36” or a 50” tree spade depending on their size, wrapped in burlap and placed in baskets before transport to the UF campus. When this 2 year project is completed, 200 camellias will have been transplanted in the Wilmot Botanical Gardens and another 480 at several sites on the main campus.

The fall plant sale was well attended and very successful. Pre-orders for camellias exceeded 300 plants and the overall gross sales for the 2 day event set a new record for both our previous fall and spring sales. We thank all of you who supported the event.

I am sad to announce that our business manager at the gardens, Ms. Bailey Hillman, will be leaving us. Her talents, energy and dedication to excellence have contributed enormously to our many successes over the past three years. We thank Bailey and wish her nothing but the very best as she embarks on a new career path.

C. Craig Tisher, M.D.
Director, Wilmot Botanical Gardens, College of Medicine