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In the Media

Gail and the Garden Groupies

Categories: Resident Stories

Gail Robinson, an Oak Hammock resident, moved into the community seven years ago from the Orlando area. She and her husband, Robbie, always had a love for growing things, from starting a vegetable garden to growing roses in their large backyard. Gail and Robbie found delight in bringing seeds to life. Seeing such beautiful things grow from their plantings inspired them toward a passion for gardening.

The story of the Garden Groupies began when Gail and Robbie moved to Oak Hammock and noticed the beautiful gardens near the front of the apartment buildings. She decided she wanted to grow assorted vegetables in a garden plot of her own on campus.

One of her neighbors also cared for a plot, and their time gardening together sprouted the idea for the Garden Groupies. The special interest group would be a way for people to bond through a common hobby, making new friends and getting creative in their gardening adventures.

As a member of the Garden Groupies, Gail found remarkable ways to enrich her life in retirement, specifically by helping fellow neighbors find their passion for gardening. Rhoda, an Oak Hammock resident, is at the center of one of Gail’s favorite Garden Groupies stories.

After a long day of tending to her garden, Gail found Rhoda mesmerized by some of the flowers in other plots. She approached Rhoda, asking her about her interest in gardening. Rhoda claimed she didn’t know much about gardening, but she’d love to learn. She wanted a plot of her own, and Gail was up for the challenge.

She set Rhoda up with a mentor so the garden newbie learn gardening skills from a pro. Every day, Rhoda was dedicated to tending to her garden until she was no longer able to do it. Today, as Rhoda approaches her 100th birthday, her Garden Groupies friends tend her garden for her, and everyone knows it will always be “Rhoda’s Garden.”

Gail shares several stories about ways the Garden Groupies have contributed to the colorful landscape that is Oak Hammock. Neighbors and friends gather together for the good of the community, and Garden Groupies is a perfect example of the harmony found here.

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Article by: Siera Miller


Oak Hammock at the University of Florida

Gainesville, FL 32608