Boxwood blight, a fungal disease that wreaks havoc on the shrub, has closed a portion of the historic Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library gardens as the WWPL prepares to remove the 83-year-old plants. Designed by landscape architect Charles F. Gillette, the boxwoods were planted in 1933 as a Restoration Garden project of the Garden Club of Virginia. The garden is one of 13 historic gardens designated and maintained by club.

The Boxwood blight (Cylindrocladium buxicola) disease was first identified in Virginia in 2011. By 2013, several properties around the Commonwealth were infected with the fungus. Symptoms of the disease include brown leaf spots that lead to defoliation and black streaking on box¬wood stem tissue. Some cultivars of boxwood are more susceptible to the disease, with the most susceptible being English boxwood. This disease has spread to other states as well. For more information on this disease, visit the Virginia Tech or the Saunders Brothers web site.

The lower gardens where hundreds of the shrubs grow has been closed to the public since late October. Because specialized procedures are required to remove the boxwood, the cost of the project is estimated at more than $50,000. Some operating funds will be used to cover the cost, but the foundation is planning to have fundraisers to help offset the cost of the project. Landscape architect William Rieley, of Charlottesville, will then be tasked to with the new garden’s design.

If you would like to donate to the Boxwood fund, you may do so on our website at or simply click on this Donate Now link. Be sure to check the “in tribute of” box and write in BOXWOOD. All money raised will be used for the removal of the boxwood. Any additional monies will go toward the new garden

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did you know?

Wilson was president throughout World War I. He sought a neutral position for the United States and even won reelection with the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Nonetheless, actions by the Central Powers (notably Germany) threatened this neutrality. Following years of attacks on American shipping and citizens on the high seas, particularly the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, public opinion began to turn. The final straw came with the release of the Zimmerman Telegram, forcing the United States to declare war on the Central Powers in April of 1917, joining the war on the side of the UK, Russia, and France.

Woodrow Wilson was President when the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920 giving women the right to vote.

Wilson piloted the ship that brought America onto the world stage. He made the first steps of leading us out of isolationism, violating Washington's tenet of avoiding foreign entanglements.

He led America during World War I. His fervent hope was for the US to join a League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "Life does not consist in thinking, it consists in acting."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "The Constitution was not made to fit us like a straitjacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being."

The Seventeenth Amendment was formally adopted on May 31, 1913. Wilson had been president for almost three months at the time. The amendment provided for the direct election of senators. Prior to its adoption, Senators were chosen by state legislatures.

Wilson was the first president to receive a PhD which he got in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. He had received his undergraduate degree from the College of New Jersey, renamed Princeton University in 1896.

Woodrow Wilson could not read during the first decade of his life. Though undiagnosed, he may have suffered from a learning disability

Woodrow Wilson was known as "Tommy" until his college years.

Woodrow Wilson during his boyhood, helped establish the "Lightfoot Baseball Club" with his friends. Wilson played second base and was an avid sport fan throughout his adult life.

Woodrow Wilson was the first president to attend the Major League Baseball Fall Classic. He saw the debut of a young 20 year old pitcher by the name of George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

Woodrow Wilson was a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University and the only president to hold an earned doctoral degree.

Woodrow Wilson image is on the $100,000 bill although it is no longer in circulation