Restored West Pavilion Gardens
Pink dogwoods planted on Founders
Day to mark occasion
by Stephanie Gross
Carter (with shovel) and Mina Wood (right), both of the Garden
Club of Virginia, helped plant a pink dogwood tree last Friday
to honor the late Alden Hopkins, who designed and supervised
the restoration of the pavilion gardens. U.Va. President John
T. Casteen III (center) called the gardens a source
of delight for generations.
For this work, we owe Hopkins
and the Garden Club a debt of gratitude.
By Lee Graves
Thomas Jefferson looked out on the site for his University, he
saw only a disused cornfield rising high and dry by itself,
without any obstructions in the way of trees or bushes.
the Grounds are lush with gardens, and on April 12 two more trees
were planted in a Founders Day ceremony that honored a turning
point in the greening of U.Va.
John T. Casteen III joined representatives of the Garden Club
of Virginia and other officials in observing the 50th anniversary
of the opening of the West Pavilion Gardens. Shovelfuls of dirt
were placed around two freshly planted pink dogwoods in honor
of the late Alden Hopkins, who designed and supervised the gardens
gardens] have been a source of delight for generations,
Casteen said, standing between the dogwoods during a brief respite
from Fridays rain. For this work we owe Alden Hopkins
and the Garden Club of Virginia a debt of gratitude.
renowned for his work in Williamsburg, was selected as the landscape
architect when the Garden Club offered to restore the Universitys
gardens in 1948. He oversaw work on the gardens until his death
in 1960; his assistant, Donald Parker, completed restoration plans
for the East Gardens.
ceremony actually was held in the East Gardens at Pavilion VIII,
because the two dogwoods were planted to replace trees that died
recently, said Mary V. Hughes, the Universitys landscape
noted that until the West Pavilion Gardens dedication in
1952, they were off-limits to the public.
then many people in Charlottesville have made walking through
them part of their weekly, or even daily, routine, Hughes
said. So theyve gone from a private amenity to a public
resource that we too often take for granted.
Club members Bessie Carter, Lucy Ellett and Mina Wood werent
taking them for granted. After performing their shoveling duties,
they walked westward across the Lawn to the garden behind Pavilion
I and admired the tulips rising to their peak in the mid-April
mist. Carter commented that the flowers were the precise ones
specified by Hopkins in his original design.
are very proud of the combined effort of Mary Hughes working with
Will Rieley to take the garden back to the original Alden Hopkins
design, Carter said. Rieley is an adjunct professor in landscape
architecture and consultant with the Garden Club.
and her companions praised the meticulous maintenance, but Hughes
said the state budget crunch will affect her ability to hire seasonal
help, usually students, during the summer.
summer we wont be able to hire any, Hughes said. That
makes it hard to keep up the elaborate maintenance of these plants.
The University is in the process of raising money through the
Historic Gardens and Grounds Endowment. Our hope is that
such an endowment will buffer the gardens from the kind of maintenance
cutbacks that we anticipate in the current budget crisis.
gardens will be in tiptop shape, however, when the University
observes Historic Garden Week April 20-27. The Pavilion Gardens
will be featured April 23 as part of a larger focus on the gardens
of Monticello and Charlottesville April 20-24.
information, see Hot Links.