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

Mrs. Wilmot & Roy James Jr. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Wilmot Botanical Gardens (1954-2024) and it is also the 10th anniversary of the opening of our greenhouse. Figure 1 was taken of Mrs. Wilmot and her son, Roy James, Jr., both of whom are standing beside…

Human Health & Plants Research: Contact with the Soil Microbiome during Gardening Alters the Skin Microbiota and Influences IL-10 Cytokine Levels

Forest bathing and gardening are suspected of facilitating exposure to environmental volatile organic compounds of biogenic origin and/or the soil microbiome, which may potentially contribute to the therapeutic health benefits of such activities.  However, available empirical evidence relating to the underlying putative therapeutic agents’ identity and mode of action is…

Under the Glass: News from the Greenhouse

Thanks to a grant we received from the LoveIVLawrence Foundation in 2020 and again in 2021, we were able to launch a therapeutic horticulture program specifically for students at the University of Florida who struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. I described this program in a previous…

Under the Glass: News from the Greenhouse

Over the past year I have been part of a team that has created and launched the Therapeutic Horticulture Activity Database (THAD), a great resource for horticultural therapists, allied professionals, and anyone interested in exploring activities that use horticulture in therapeutic ways. The THAD was spearheaded by Lesley Fleming,…

Human Health & Plants Research: Does Gardening Modify Brain Activity and Impact Emotion?

There is an enormous body of anecdotal commentary that engaging in activities with plants and gardening provides a number of psychological health and well-being benefits, such as less stress, anxiety, depressive symptomatology, and greater positive affect.  If true, then where, and how do many of the ballyhooed well-being benefits actually…

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

From my office directly across Mowry Road from the Wilmot Botanical Gardens I am able to admire the beauty of the azaleas that are in full bloom as I write my director’s message. If you are not pleased with your azaleas this spring, it could be a problem with the…

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

Now that our very successful Fall Plant Sale is behind us, we have been working on projects we hoped to conclude before the end of the year. We were extremely fortunate to receive a very generous gift from longtime supporters of the gardens that allowed us to move forward with…

Under the Glass: News from the Greenhouse

This fall we launched a research study on the effects of therapeutic horticulture for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) care partners. Thanks to Siang’s leadership in putting together the grant proposal, we received funding for a year-long project from the Parkinson’s Foundation. We are wrapping up our first semester of the study…