By Erin Miceli, Garden Club of DeLand, January 2020
As we enter the roaring ’20’s a roaring, wild garden is the natural choice to receive the first Garden of the Month award of the new decade. On behalf of the Garden Club of Deland, FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital, located at 115 East Euclid Avenue, is being honored as January’s recipient for outstanding planting and maintenance.
The Gardens were designed and are tended to with love by Maggi and Ron Hall for their daughter, Dr. Erin Holder, who opened her practice in 2004.
Upon entering the courtyard through the wrought iron gate one feels as if he or she may have been transported to St. Augustine as a proper Spanish Mission style garden is an uncommon sight in DeLand. The eye is drawn to the grand water feature grounding the center of the courtyard. Stone lions’ heads appropriately grace each side of the fountain surrounded by bold, warm, complementary colored tiles. Tropical plants filling each corner have reached their mature sizes creating a lush, complete look. Ti plants, firebush, and firecracker plants add pops of bold color while variegated Schefflera provides contrast. Philodendrons, sansevieria, and Spanish bayonet play off of each other’s forms and textures creating visual interest. Palms flank the entrance balancing the design while adding vertical appeal and crucial element to include when planting space is limited.
Maggi and Ron, native Floridians, met while attending Stetson University in 1964. After Maggi retired from her career as a special education teacher in South Carolina after 30 years and Ron transferred from his teaching position there to Chair Stetson’s Philosophy Department, the Halls were excited to return to DeLand. Erin attended the University Of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine where she concentrated her studies in avian, exotic and integrative medicine. In October of 2000 the Hall family began the process of restoring the five derelict buildings on the corner of South Woodland Boulevard and East Euclid Avenue. After 6 years and 28 days the project was completed. Maggi was recognized for her tremendous accomplishment with the “2006 Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Individual Achievement Award” for this endeavor. Photographs and details of her outstanding work can be viewed on their website at www.FloridaWildVetHospital.com.
Maggi reflected on her labor of love and had this to say: “I wanted the courtyard to feel like pet owners and their furry babies had stepped into a tranquil setting – a wild Florida environment (FloridaWild!). The environment filled with live plants, flowing water, and comfortable seating adds peace and harmony. So many of my daughter’s clients and their pets feel less anxious; in other words the “white-coat” syndrome often vanishes when they enter our garden. In fact, many clients wait outside rather than the sitting rooms until it’s their turn to see a doctor.”
Without a doubt the Hall and Holder families have made quite the impact on our town helping pets live their best lives.