Two young people working in a garden

Adeline Hawken Memorial Garden

This garden, funded by Mr. LeVerne Hawken of Nanaimo, was designed and constructed entirely by students in the Horticulture program. Mr LeVerne Hawken, a passionate fruit grower and gardener wanted the garden to be a memorial to his late wife, Adeline Hawken. The students were encouraged to create a garden which would serve not only as a memorial for Mrs. Hawken, but also would be an embodiment of several ecological and educational goals central to the G. R. Paine Horticultural Centre.

Consequently, the students were asked to consider several factors when designing the garden. Mrs. Hawken loved roses, so the students were asked to include a rose garden and, because of Mr. Hawken's fascination with fruit tree growing, fruit trees were also included in the design. In addition, because sustainability and the creation of demonstration gardens is central to the vision for the G. R. Paine Horticultural Centre, the students were asked to consider these concepts in their design. The rural nature of the site meant that there was a healthy deer population, so this garden had to be deer-proof. The resulting garden, which serves as a beautiful entrance for our facility, provides a place for students and the general public to relax and take in the lovely views of Mt Benson and the surrounding agricultural and forest landscape while being exposed to different species of plants and sustainable horticultural concepts.

LeVerne and Adeline Hawken's legacy is a beautiful educational garden, an asset to VIU's Horticultural program and a resource for the community. The following is a description some of the features of the garden.

An attractive and deer-proof fence

One of the challenges of gardening in Nanaimo and on Vancouver Island is keeping deer out without feeling you are barricaded into your own garden. This fence illustrates how, in a rural setting, a 7' high fence can be both attractive and effective.

Hawkens Garden

The entrance gates are a pretty feature and show clearly where the entrances are to the garden.

Rose garden

Several different rose varieties such as hybrid teas, rugosas, and climbing varieties are on display. The planting also demonstrates plants that grow well under roses.

A garden for plant identification

The garden contains many different plants, all labelled, for students to use for their courses in plant identification. This is also an attractive, general interest feature for the visiting public.

Plants for propagation labs

Many of the plants serve as parent stock for plant propagation labs and the resulting progeny will be sold to raise funds for future projects.

A place for irrigation labs

Several different kinds of irrigation are demonstrated- The garden also provides a large flat area for various techniques to be worked on in lab exercises.

Sustainability issues

Some of the planting is drought tolerant and we have included an eco-lawn to illustrates drought-tolerant alternate species that can be used for lawns.

Fruit trees

Varieties that can be grown in small gardens are featured.

Appropriate context

The garden serves as an appropriate entrance feature to the Centre. The informality of the design reflects the rural context of the garden.

A place for relaxation

We have a feature seat-wall made of stone, and benches for quiet contemplation while enjoying the inspiring views of the mountains.

The Adeline Hawken Memorial Garden is a welcome addition to the G.R. Paine Horticultural Centre, the Vancouver Island University Horticultural Program and the Nanaimo community.