By Emma Ea Ambrose

On Aug, 23 one of Purdue University’s newly revitalized greenspaces was dedicated as the Jules Janick Horticulture Garden. Janick, the Troop Distinguished Professor in the horticulture and landscape architecture (HLA) department and director of the Center for New Crops and Plant Products, recently led the effort to renovate this space.

The garden is located next to the Horticulture building on Marstellar Street and features dozens of different plants, newly erected trellises and benches. Janick’s leadership, vision and generous contribution brought the garden into fruition.

The space will be used as a teaching garden, according to Michael Dana, professor of horticulture.


Dana teaches a course on herbaceous ornamentals, one of the many classes that will utilize the garden. He is also a longtime colleague of Janick’s who, he said, has had a profound impact on the university and its horticulture department.

“Jules has an international reputation in the world of horticulture. He gained this stature as editor of several major horticulture reference journals and expanded it through his teaching and research program.”

Janick’s tenure in the department has been a long one. He began in 1951 as a graduate student and with his editing, teaching and research, quickly became a household name in academic horticulture circles around the country. More recently, Janick published a seminal book, Unraveling the Voynich Code, shining light on the infamously enigmatic manuscript. Homer Erikson, a former colleague of Janick’s, said the garden is one of the jewels in Janick’s crown.

“He has distilled his dedication for horticulture into the creation of this garden,” Homer said.

The garden reflects not only Janick’s devotion to his discipline, but also to the work and vision of the entire department, Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture, said, especially its students, many of whom were instrumental in installing the garden this summer.

“One of the great things about this space is that it is for everyone. It’s a really selfless gift,” Plaut said. “What you see here is a learning space but not just for students. Everything is labeled so we can all enjoy and learn.”

Jay Akridge, Purdue University provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity and former dean of the College of Agriculture, revealed that the masterplan for campus involves the introduction of more green spaces and beautification projects. This garden is an important contribution to that vision.

Janick was delighted to see the plans for the teaching garden realized and said he hoped it would serve professors and students alike for many years to come, enriching more than just their minds. “I like to say that horticulture provides food for the body and soul,” Janick said.

Jules Janick (left) at garden dedication.
Jules Janick (left) at garden dedication.
The Jules Janick Horticulture Garden. Photo by Tom Campbell.
The Jules Janick Horticulture Garden. Photo by Tom Campbell.

Video by Kelsey Getzin