Volume 3, Issue 3                                                          August 1, 2018

From the Director's Desk:

Thoughts of a Weed Puller

Most of my past messages have addressed activities and events within the gardens, largely after the fact. In this quarterly newsletter, I will draw your attention to a very severe deficit in our programming that we hope to correct. Currently, the therapeutic horticulture program at Wilmot Gardens is devoid of a permanent outdoor venue for gardening classes. Absence of instruction in outdoor gardening is viewed as a major deficiency in our current offerings because we are not able to instruct our participants on how to grow many popular and useful plants to maturity such as tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and other edibles. This lessens the appeal of gardening for many. Ideally, a total gardening experience involves propagating starter ...


With hopes to expand the therapeutic horticulture program, Wilmot Gardens is currently fundraising for the addition of an outdoor working garden to be located on the western edge of the 4.8-acre property.

In 2017, the American Camellia Society accepted 29 new cultivars in their registry. Information and photographs of each can be found in the 2017 American Camellia Yearbook.

ASD Program Update: Two Participants Pass

the Certified Horticulture Professional Exam

Wilmot Gardens is proud to announce that two young scholars who completed the first cycle of the of ASD Job Skills Training Program at Wilmot Gardens, Amy Puccio and Eric Estores, have recently been awarded the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association’s (FNGLA) Certified Horticulture Professional (FCHP) designation. The FCHP program is the industry standard for measuring horticulture knowledge and is designed for people working in the industry or interested in entering the field. The exam covers a wide range of knowledge, including plant identification and landscape management. The two FCHP graduates prepared for the exam for 12 months under the guidance ...


Volunteer Spotlight: Monica Marrocco

In the summer of 2017, Monica Marrocco, then a sophomore at the University of Florida, was asked by a friend what she wanted to do with her life. Like many young college students, Marrocco did not have a definite answer and replied, “I want to work with plants and people and do yoga.” Little did Marrocco know what seemed like a trivial response at the time would change her educational path. In reply, her friend informed her about Wilmot Gardens ...


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Human Health & Plants: Can Plants Help Reduce Stress of Children in Elementary School?

Suppose engaging in activities with plants for less than one hour once a week could reduce stress and stress hormone levels in troubled elementary school children. It would be utterly amazing. If so, such activities could become a key component in an educational environment to improve the well-being and academic performance of distressed children. A recent small pilot study was reported in the peer-reviewed ...


What's in bloom?


Summer is in full swing and the gardens are buzzing with pollinator action. Be sure to plan a visit soon!


FOREGROUND: The Cat's Whiskers (Orthosiphon aristatus) plant is an evergreen member of the mint family with showy white blossoms that attracts bees, butterflies, and even birds.

Click here to learn more about Cat's Whiskers!

BACKGROUND: Firebush (Hamelia patens) is a Florida native shrub that can grow to be an astounding 12 ft. tall. It is known for its bright orange-red blooms that appear in forking cymes, which appeal to both butterflies and hummingbirds.

Click here to learn more about Firebush!

Interested in volunteering?

Groups and individuals are welcome. No gardening experience is necessary.

Click here to learn more about how you can get involved!


Upcoming Volunteer Workdays

• Sat., Sept. 22, 8 AM - 12 PM

• Sat., Oct. 20, 9 AM - 1 PM

• Sat., Nov. 17, 9 AM - 1 PM

• Sat., Dec. 8, 9 AM - 1 PM

To register for an event or for more information, contact Bailey Hillman, business manager, at bahillman@ufl.edu or (352) 273-5832.

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