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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…

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…

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

In this issue of our quarterly newsletter, I am pleased to share with you some very exciting news. Arrangements have now been completed for the University of Florida to acquire approximately one-half of the original Gordy camellia collection located a short distance northwest of Ocala, Florida.  Approximately 675 specimens will…

Under the Glass: News from the Greenhouse

Our spring plant sale was a tremendous success and I have to credit that in large part to the outstanding work our many program groups contributed. Each of our therapeutic horticulture groups planted seeds, transplanted seedlings and plugs, watered and fertilized the crops, and…

Volunteer Spotlight: Erin Alvarez

Native Floridian Erin Alvarez comes from a multi-generational family of gardeners. She describes her relationship with nature as starting “at birth” and has been gardening with her family for as long as she can recall. “In gardening, my biggest inspiration would have to be my mom, no doubt, and her…

Human Health & Plants Research: Horticultural Therapy and Schizophrenia

A newly published study in 2018 reported that horticultural therapy (HT) resulted in improvement of the psychopathological status of patients with chronic schizophrenia. A total of 28 schizophrenia patients were enrolled in the study. Participants were voluntarily assigned to either the control or the HT treatment group. The HT treatment consisted of…

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…

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…