Location and Directions
Children's Garden

photos of plants, bugs, and garden art

Turf Plots
Total of 25 different turfgrasses are displayed. Large planting of turfgrass are found at the following sites:turf plots

  • 'Tifgreen' Bermudagrass - Front of Main Office
  • Dwarf St Augustinegrass – Lawn fronting Hedge Maze
  • 'El Toro' Zoysiagrass – Adjacent to Carport
  • 'Sunturf' Bermudagrass – Herb Garden
  • Seashore Paspalum – Plumeria/Trial Garden
  • Seashore Paspalum – Behind Classroom
  • 'Tifway' Bermudagrass – Ecosystem

Ground Covers
Over 75 ground covers are available for viewing.

Ecosystem Forest
Currently under renovation, the forest will contain native and Polynesian introduced plants. Coastal, mesic, and dry land are the three primary ecosystems in the landscape. Additionally, two species of Azadirachta, or Neem Tree are in the landscape, with other non-native plants such as cotton, Erythrina sp., bamboo and some ferns. An amphitheater is located here for school tours to do activities.

Subtropical Fruit Orchard
Citrus and mango cultivars occupy about half of the 4 ½ acres. Collections of guava, lychee, longan, mountain apple and avocados are examples of what is found in the orchard. Fruits such as carambola, otaheite gooseberry, chico, black sapote, abiu, wi, tamarind, jack fruit, breadfruit, and others make up for the rest of the fruit orchard.

Over 70 different cultivars are in bloom during the season.

There are 41 different Heleconia sp. on display here.

Herb Garden
The original Herb Garden was designed and implemented in 1989, showcasing a variety of herbal themes in designed landscapes. Starting in _______, the original four quadrants are currently being renovated with organic gardening practices to revive the original herbal themes and show diverse landscape materials. The herbal themes, working clockwise from the front-right quadrant, are culinary, medicinal, other, and Asian spice.

Idea Garden
Sample of what gardeners can grow on Oahu. UH varieties of, for example, cucumbers, soybeans, or lettuce are grown to show how these have been adapted to Hawaii's climate. Hard to find cultivars of different vegetables and grains are grown seasonally. Various containers and beds for physically challenged and senior gardeners are on display.

Thirty different subtropical vines are found on fan trellises and arbors.

Different plants used for lei making are found planted behind the Hedge Maze.

A colorful rainbow of different varieties lines the front entrance to the facility.

mazeHedge Maze
Over 60 different plant materials are at the hedge maze. Plantings were spaced 2 feet apart. Trimming is done every 3-4 weeks.

Compost Area
Various compost bins are being demonstrated for the home gardener. Home-made bins are also on display. Various mulches are also on display. Approximately 2,500 cubic yards of mulch are spread yearly in the garden areas. Currently, a compost demonstration site to provide compost for our gardens has been started.

Trial Garden Site
Volunteers are allowed to garden and are encouraged to grow various crops. Produce is the property of the Urban Garden Center volunteers and staff. Winter melon, soybeans, beets, bittermelon, virus-free Tahitian taro, okra, yard-long beans, and eggplant are just a few of the common vegetables grown by volunteers. Vine-type vegetables are found growing on the trellises. School tours with advance appointments have access to visit the garden site during the year.

A 4,800 square feet shade house (20% shade in front and 80% shade in rear) is used to propagate and grow plants for future landscape projects as well as for germplasm collection of anthurium, orchids, and other ornamentals.

There are Hibiscus sp. cultivars with flower colors including red, pink, yellow, orange, white and colors in-between planted here.


Children's Garden

  1. Pizza Garden Plants that are commonly found on a pizza are found in this garden, such as basil, pineapple, wheat, tomato, parsley, chili pepper, and green pepper.
  2. Animal Garden Plant collection with animal names in major categories (wild animals, farm animals, house hold pets, birds, ocean creatures and insects) are found in this garden.
  3. Hawaiian Alphabet Tree Garden Native Hawaiian trees representing the 13 letters of the alphabet (5 vowels, 8 consonants including the okina) found in the Hawaiian language are located in this garden.
  4. Sundial Garden A combination sundial and compass features have been incorporated in this garden.
  5. Sensory Garden Accessible to the physically challenged, this garden is equipped with hand railings and the only one with concrete walkways. Plants with color, texture, geometric growth and patterns are planted in two raised garden beds.
  6. Boardwalk Garden – Accessed by two different bridges, visitors can walk along a unique boardwalk and see a collection of plants with varied color, shape, and texture.
  7. House Garden – A story book house can be found here. There are five different rooms with plants associated with each room (such as bottle brush tree in the kitchen or shower tree in the bathroom).
  8. Butterfly Garden – Kids will enjoy walking through a caterpillar tunnel and watch Monarch butterflies hover overhead.
  9. Alika Rabbit Garden – The tale of Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor was adapted for this garden theme.

Variegated Plant Collections
Over 12 different plants with splashes of white and green occupy this site.

Day Lily Trial Gardens
Different varieties of heat tolerant day lilies are shown here.

Dryland Taro Trial Garden
About 90 different varieties of dryland taro are exhibited here.

Hawaiian Herbal Garden
Organic practices are used in growing Hawaiian medicinal plants such as aloe, kukui, laukahi, and ti.

Gardenia Garden
Sweetly scented gardenia bushes and trees are planted.

Bromeliad Collection
These unique plants are found in the bus turnaround area and along the sidewalk leading to our main office.

Container Gardens
Throughout the gardens, various containers have been arranged along pathways and around buildings.

Rose Garden
Through a partnership with the Honolulu Rose Society (HRS), the Grand Opening of the UGC Rose Garden took place in February 2010 featuring 135 roses in 9 varieties. Five years later, the area continues to be developed and improved to showcase even more roses. After the yearly renovation of the rose garden, it currently features over 215 rose plants in over 70 varieties (March 2015). Please visit the HRS Urban Garden Center webpage for more information.

Cacao Trials
44 trees representing 11 different varieties of cacao used in making chocolate will be planted in fall 2010. After the plants mature to producing cacao pods, demonstrations on making chocolate will be presented.

Future gardens

  1. Bark-n Garden
  2. Bougainvillea Collection
  3. Conifer Collection
  4. Seasonal Garden
  5. Anthurium Collection
  6. Papaya
  7. Labyrinth
  8. White Garden

Research Activities
A termite research plot is maintained at the facility to determine the longevity of pesticides used for subterranean termite control. There is an on-going monitoring program with trapping of fruit flies in the citrus orchard. Indigo plants are being cultivated to gather information for using plants as dyes by a master from Japan. UH researchers are monitoring varroa mites on honey bees with a lure station and active beehive and studying different growing environments for cacao. NOAA has installed a weather station recording rainfall and temperature.

Volunteer Program
Currently there are about 100 volunteers. They assist in planning, construction and maintenance of the gardens, in dissemination of gardening information, construction of infrastructure and buildings, and fundraising. U.H. Master Gardeners volunteer weekdays to assist homeowners with gardening questions. See the volunteering section for more details.

An octagon shaped building measuring 24 ft. by 24 ft with shingle roof and accented with a copper cupola accents the gardens and serves as a resting place for visitors, classroom, and meeting area for the community.

Informational Kiosk
An informational bulletin board for visitors of upcoming events, classes, facts, new plants, CTAHR new releases, etc.

Web Design by - Office of Communication Services, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawai'i at Manoa