Welcome to the garden! The Sam W. Hitt Medicinal Garden connects the UNC health sciences library physically and thematically to the neighboring schools of health professions. Inside the garden you will find a display of special growing plants, each holding medicinal properties. Our mission is to encourage interest, invite guests and passers-by to stop by for reflection and to enjoy the health sciences library both inside and out!

Creation of the Gardens

The garden space was originally designed by David Swanson of Swanson and Associates, Landscape Architecture, of Chapel Hill, who also recommended the plants included. However, the finished design you see today was done by Kathy Humphries of the University of North Carolina’s Facility Services, who is known by many in Chapel Hill as “The Book Fairy.”  Garden preparation and plantings were done by UNC Facilities Services.

Biology 217 and the GAEA Project

Beginning in the fall of 2015, students enrolled in Biology 217, The Physician’s Garden, took over responsibility for the Sam W. Hitt Medicinal Plant Gardens. The Physician’s Garden, a course designed and developed by Dr. Alan Jones, combines human cell biology with classical botany, elaborating the mode of action of plant metabolites in humans. Dr. Jones challenged the students to develop a plan to help maintain and perserve the garden. The students responded with the development of the UNC-CH student organization, The Gardening and Ethnobotany in Academia Project or The GAEA Project. The organization, with the help of future classes, and donors will continue to improve and maintain the Sam W. Hitt Medicinal Plant Gardens.