Garden Gala June 11, 2016- Save the Date!!


Save the date! Saturday, June 11, 2016.

Announcing the 12th annual Garden Gala at the Hahn! 

It is THE best garden party in Virginia and we want to invite you to join us.  The Gala starts at 5:30 and ends at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2016.

Our Gala is an evening of food, friends, and flora, and it will entertain you with two exciting auctions and the music of Pete Hastings and Paul Little on harmonica and guitar.  And of course, the food!  Blue Ridge Catering of Roanoke will again perform their magic on our taste buds.

Mark it on your calendar and check back on our website for more information and registration forms.

HHG Field Trip: Asheville Garden Tour April 15-17, 2016


Join the Hahn Horticulture Garden staff and Robert as they travel to the mountains of North Carolina for a weekend of gardens and nurseries in Asheville.

The Asheville area has many outstanding public gardens and a vibrant nursery industry. This is your opportunity to see some great gardens just a few hours away.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Biltmore House, Gardens and Winery
  • The North Carolina Arboretum
  • Western North Carolina Farmer’s Market
  • Native Plants Nursery
  • Two private gardens

The dates are April 15-17, 2016, and the cost per person (double occupancy) is $475 for ‘Friends of the Garden’ and $500 otherwise. Since membership is only $35 for an individual and $25 for a senior, this might be a good time to become a member! The cost for participants who wish to have single lodging is an additional $150.

The deadline to register is March 25, 2016.

As a special treat: the North Carolina Arboretum will host the American Orchid Society’s 2016 national spring meeting during our visit to the Arboretum. Hundreds of orchids will be on display and vendors will be on site for those seeking to purchase orchids.

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit some really beautiful places and enjoy a weekend with other Hahn folks!

Upcoming trip: Gardens of Japan, October 2-13, 2016

We are pleased to announce our fall trip to visit the Gardens of Japan!
You are invited to join the staff of the Hahn Horticulture Garden and me as we cross the Pacific to visit the extraordinary gardens of Japan.
Experience the serenity and beauty of Japan’s finest gardens while getting a thorough introduction to the culture, art and architecture of Japan.  Our trip begins in Kyoto, followed by Hakone and finally, Tokyo.  Our hotels are all first class.
The dates are October 2-13, 2016, and the cost per person (double occupancy) is $5450, which includes airfare (Dulles to Japan and return), accommodation, all breakfasts, entrance fees, ground transportation, guides, and other amenities.  We fly non-stop to Tokyo and return.
For more information on the tour, take a look at our website:

Upcoming Talk: Drug Discovery from Nature: What is a Chemist Doing in the Rain Forest?

Dr. David G. I. Kingston, Virginia Tech University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

Thursday, February 4, 2016, 7:00 pm

Cost:  $10 for general public.  Free for Friends of the Garden and VT Students with ID

Location:  Fralin Auditorium, Virginia Tech Campus

Questions:  Please call Robert McDuffie (540 818 0154) for more information

The Hahn Horticulture Garden is honored to welcome Dr. David Kingston to our speaker’s series.  David has been working for most of his career searching for anti-cancer drugs found in plants and other natural products.

He was the first chemist in the U.S. to study the chemical qualities of paclitaxel, which is marketed as Taxol and widely used to treat breast and ovarian cancer. He has received 14 patents including several for molecular modifications that improve the activity of Taxol.  Among his many awards and accomplishments, David has had two trees named after him, Taxus kingstonii, also known as the Kingston yew, which grows in India, China, and Taiwan, and Cordia kingstoniana, a South American tree of the genus Cordia.

David was born in London and received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Cambridge University.  He has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech since 1971.  He and his wife, Beverly, reside in Blacksburg.

David continues to do extensive research with natural product development to combat cancer and malaria. Currently, he is the principal investigator and group leader for a biodiversity utilization and conservation project in Suriname in South America and Madagascar.

According to his website:

Natural products have made a major contribution to drug discovery and especially to cancer chemotherapy, with paclitaxel (Taxol) being the best-selling anticancer drug in history. Research in our group is focused on the chemistry of biologically active natural products related to cancer and malaria. In the cancer area we are involved in a search for novel anti-cancer agents from Nature in a major collaborative project seeking to combine drug discovery and biodiversity conservation in Madagascar.



Gardens of Ireland Summer Trip! July 3-16th

Join us in July to see the finest gardens on the Emerald Isle!
Johnny Cash sang about 40 shades of green in Ireland—and it’s true, the green is incredible!  But the Emerald Isle is not only green.  It’s red, yellow, purple, blue, azure and a host of other fantastic colors.  The gardens in Ireland are lush with vegetation sprung from a seemliness endless well of moisture and a wonderfully mild climate.
We will be exploring those lush gardens when we visit Ireland July 3-16, 2016.  Dublin, Belfast, Galway, Killarney, Kilkenny, Cork…are home to some of the best gardens in Europe.  But it’s more than just gardens–it’s the scenic richness you find on the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, the Giant’s Causeway and the Burren—all places we visit on this fabulous tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
But don’t forget the gardens.  Here’s a sampling of what we see:  the Dillon Garden, Annes Grove, the Bay Garden, Mt. Stewart, Florence Court, Ilnacullin, Ballymaloe Cookery School Garden, Powerscourt, and many more.
I am Robert McDuffie and this will be my 4th garden tour of Ireland.  I am a landscape architect and Director of the Hahn Horticulture Garden at Virginia Tech, and I’m excited about visiting my Irish garden friends again this coming summer.
Come with us on this adventure to experience Ireland for yourself.  The cost is $5050 (per person, double occupancy), and it covers non-stop airfare from Dulles to Dublin and return, lodging, guides, entrance fees, ground transportation, all breakfasts and some dinners.
If you’re interested, look at our website for more information and please contact me if you have questions.  The website is:, and you can contact me at or 540 818 0154.

Stream Garden Renovation complete!

Our long-awaited cleanup of the Jane Andrews Memorial Stream Garden is now finished.  The contractor for the work was Southern Landscape Group near Lynchburg, Virginia. Southern worked with Paul Chumbley, a member of the garden staff, along with a VT Facilities crew operating a septic cleanup truck.
The project took around three weeks and our koi are happy to be back home. After removing four snapping turtles and numerous catfish of unknown origin, the stream is now clear and clean.

You can see the cleanup work in a time-lapse video called “Wipeout” below!

Upcoming Trip! Gardens & Culinary Delights: Venice and the Lake District May 17-27, 2016


Join us on this exciting garden tour in northern Italy, as we visit some of the finest gardens around Like Maggiore, Lake Garda and Lake Como. Along the way we’ll also experience the fine art of Italian cooking as we have two culinary sessions with two top chefs in Venice and on Lake Garda.

The cost is $5050 per person (double occupancy) and includes lodging, all breakfasts, ground transportation, airfare from New York’s JFK airport, non-stop to Venice and a non-stop return from Milan

We stay at the finest hotels. In Venice it’s a former palazzo on the Grand Canal. In the countryside near Lake Garda we stay in a former monastery surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Today it is a 5 star hotel. Our final hotel is right on Lake Maggiore with stunning views across the lake.

For more information about this incredible journey, visit our website at:

This will be my 8th garden tour in Italy and you can be sure that every detail has been planned to make the trip unforgettable. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Warm regards,


Holiday Open House Monday, December 14th!

2105HahnHolidayYou are invited to a Holiday Open House at the Peggy Lee Hahn Garden Pavilion!

On December 14, we are celebrating the season with an event called, Christmas at the Hahn. Come and enjoy light refreshments with other garden lovers as we celebrate the season.

This event is free and open to the public.

Just drop in any time between 6 and 9 p.m. at the Hahn Pavilion on Garden Lane off Washington Street. It is a chance for the staff of the Garden to say thank you to our many supporters at this festive time of year.

Warm regards and Happy Holidays! See you on Monday, December 14!

Robert McDuffie, Director, Hahn Horticulture Garden

The new walkway in the Patio Garden is finished!

finished1Students in Tom Martin’s Hardscape and Materials Installation Class (Ag Tech 0174/Hort 3664) have completed the construction of a new walkway connecting the Allee Walk with the Patio Garden.  Originally grass walkways provided a means of getting from the allee to the patio, but as time has gone on and trees have grown, it has become impossible to maintain turf along the paths.  So the solution was to build a new walk to the patio which is made of the same pavers found on the patio.  Work began around September 21 and finished last week.  They did a great job and the walk now provides convenient access not only to the Patio Garden but also to the deck at the Stream Garden.  Congratulations to Tom and his hard-working class for their skills and effort.  Garden users will benefit from this most recent construction project in the Hahn for years to come.

Check out the images in the gallery- from design to completion!