HOME February March 2012 : Page 67
Susannah Peddie’s Flora & Fauna Of UF Campus Part 2
In Part I of The Flora and Fauna of UF Campus, I wrote about the gardens in the Cultural Plaza, Lake Alice, the Bat House, the Baughman Center and one of the conservation areas.
In Part II of the campus tour, I will take you around the tiny gardens tucked in between dormitories, classrooms and Shands. Little did I know before starting this new adventure that campus has so many water features, rock formations, butterfly gardens and other serene scenes.
I owe my appreciation to Dr Fred Gratto and Martin Werts, both responsible for the beautiful landscaping on campus.They gave me a list of gardens not to be missed.
A pleasant way to traverse many of the smaller gardens, and get a great walk in as well, is to park next to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Gale Lemerand Drive and start your tour with the gardens north ofThe Swamp.There you can find the Gator statue, beautiful magnolia trees and other exquisitely landscaped flora.
Continue walking east to the dormitory area, and you will pass a jumping fountain, butterfly enticing flowers and many beckoning benches in Yardley Garden.
Walk past the Plaza of the Americas heading south to Auditorium Park.There you will see a recently planted 20-foot oak tree in honor ofWangari Maatha, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who planted 40 million trees across Africa.This special oak tree is planted between University Auditorium and Grinter Hall.
Continue walking east to the new butterfly garden south ofTigert Hall by the Fine Arts building. Next, circle back to the west to Architecture Lawn and then continue west to circle back around to the Reitz Union North Lawn.
Rock formations and fountains are also interspersed around the perimeter of the HUB.
Lastly for the ambitious walkers, continue south on Gale Lemerand Road to Wilmot Gardens. Once a thriving garden for patient strolls, dedicated volunteers are restoring the garden to its original state.
The goal is to once again have a garden devoted to allowing patients a tranquil and beautiful reprieve. Currently the garden features gorgeous old camellia bushes, a beautiful new area filled with snap dragons and other butterfly attracting plants.
Future plans include adding a reflection pond, waterfall and wooded areas.
I could not cover all the gardens, and it is well worth the time to do your own garden search on campus.