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Queen Liliʻuokalani’s Flower Garden

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Makaainana published on October 15, 1894.

There is not much written about Uluhaimalama, the Queen’s flower garden in the uplands of Pauoa. But from what is written (and still sung about today), it must have been beautiful. The following is a selection of articles from Ka Makaainana, along with a handwritten invitation to the opening of the garden, as well as a mele composed for the occasion.

Today’s post is special—the translation of the invitation was done by daughter, Patience Namaka Bacon, while the description of the flower planting was done by mother, Mary Kawena Pukui!

Image: Studio portrait of Queen Liliʻuokalani wearing a black dress, seated on throne; Hawaiʻi. Photo from R. J. Baker Collection attributed to Frank Davey, Bishop Museum Archives, SP 37287

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact, Bishop Museum Archives.


Image: “Ua hookaawale ae…” Ka Makaainana, October 8, 1894, p. 8.

The Queen has set aside some of her lands in the uplands of Pauoa as a flower garden, to assist in a number of loving endeavors. The name of the flower garden is Uluhaimalama. Each woman will take up an area to plant and work, depending upon the flower being planted. This coming Thursday, the 11th, the flower planting will begin from 9 a. m. to 12 noon. The Hawaiian National Band will arrive and perhaps some will have tables of food. There is much admiration for this fine endeavor.

(Makaainana, 10/8/1894, p. 8)

An Invitation

The following invitation to Elizabeth V. Kalaiokamanu Richardson written on the Queen’s letterhead is from the Keeper of the Garden, Lizzie Nakanealoha Mana.

Image: An invitation to the opening of Uluhaimalama, MS Group 300, Bishop Museum Archives, SM 220622

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact, Bishop Museum Archives.

Image: An invitation to the opening of Uluhaimalama, cont., MS Group 300, Bishop Museum Archives, SM 220623

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact, Bishop Museum Archives.

Mrs. Kalai Richardson

Greetings to you

There at Pauoa is the flower garden of the Queen called Uluhaimalama. Some of the small beds will be divided for that friend, this friend, of hers to fill with their prized flowers. Therefore, I am graciously inviting you to donate some dahlias, enough to fill your bed which is 10 x 16 feet in size. [In the early days of] August we will all gather to plant their flowers.

In the future we will let you know the day.

Thank you,

The Keeper of the Garden

Day Year

(MS Group 300)

A Description

Image: Uluhaimalama, Ka Makaainana, October 15, 1894, p. 1.

Royal Garden Opened and Beautified with Plants

In accordance with the announcement concerning the time and the day, the place, whose regal name is mentioned above, was opened for the planting of flowering and other plants last Thursday, after nine o’clock. Before that time many people headed to the uplands with plants, some with vehicles and some by hiking.

Planting Began

The National Band was there and just before or a little after nine o’clock they played the tune of “Liliʻuokalani.” It was then that Prince Kawānanakoa, representing the Aliʻi ʻaimoku (ruler) planted a lehua tree from Mōkaulele in the center of the grounds, surrounded by ʻōhā wai and other indigenous plants in a round circle. Below that, Prince Kalanianaʻole planted a lehua ʻāhihi on behalf of the Dowager Queen. After that was done, it was free to all. The place was alive with the weaker sex of our kind of planting this and that; and there were some of the stronger sex to help. It is useless to enumerate all of the flowering plants planted there. There was one spot we admired, a little below the entrance where she [Liliʻuokalani] had already planted to form the name given above. It was beautiful indeed.

The Canvas Lānai

A little way above this planting field, on the upper side of J. Mana’s residence, a canvas topped lānai was erected and it was there that a feast was served. The band played merrily now and again until it was time to eat, at the time the sun reached the zenith or a little after. They continued to entertain until the Queen’s company had eaten. She [Liliʻuokalani] and her sister-in-law [Kapiʻolani] were represented by the Princes. The feast was served three times and everyone ate until he had enough. Some food was also sent to those who were expected but did not come.

The band players also planted and theirs were all the indigenous ones which were symbolic, having a significance recognized by kahunas (ʻano papa kahuna). Through the graciousness and kindness of some, we have received a list with explanations.

The Symbolic Plants

These were actually with true kahuna practices. Here is the list.

Hala Polapola (Tahitian pandanus)—“Here is your favorite lei, O heavenly one. Wear the fruit of Hala-o-Mapuana, sweet to inhale; a cool fragrance to breathe.”

Kou—“A house of kou wood for you, O heavenly one; kou bowls and dishes. Here it grows in Uluhaimalama, living [tree] for the people.

Kukui—“God’s word is a kukui (light), a light for your government, O heavenly one; Your light burning at noonday, the light of Iwikauikaua, ancestor of Liliʻuokalani, the sacred one, the Queen of the Hawaiian Islands.

ʻAwa plant (ʻawa lau)—“May righteousness grow and leaf for your people, your government and your throne, O heavenly one, the righteousness of the living God.”

Pāpaʻa sugar cane—“May the hands, who disturbed the justice of your rule, be burned black (pāpaʻa), O heavenly one. May the feet, used in walking, be burned and may the eyes, used in seeing, be also burned.”

Kea sugar cane—“May your kingdom grow as the kea sugar cane, O heavenly one. Plant your feet firmly, for here is your clump of kea sugar cane.” [Note: ulu kō kea or grow as a kea (white) sugar cane is to grow gray with age.]

ʻUhaloa—“They may seek all of the benefits you produced, O heavenly one, and find them inexhaustible. Here is Hawaiʻi who seeks the distant places (Hawaiʻi ʻimi loa). Here is an ʻuhaloa plant to signify that all of the benefits of your reign have been surveyed and he kingdom is yours and your heirs.”

Pōpolo—“The pōpolo of Kāne, planted above, fruited above and ripened above. Here it grows in Uluhaimalama.”

Hawaiian ʻape—“Here is the ʻape to irritate the moving lips that utter unkindness, those of the men and women who rebelled against your righteousness O heavenly one. Look and see!”

Pilimai sugar cane—“May the love of your people cling fast (pili paʻa) to you, O heavenly one. Yours today, yours tomorrow, yours always, May the benefits remain fast to your land, people, and throne; yours for all time. Amen.”

Hawaiian bananas—“Yes, I have visited all the beauty spots of the world, From the cold northern zone to the pleasant southern zone, I have glanced at the mountain tops from their shores, Have seen their waterfalls, their tranquil streams, True, they have revealed their various beauties, But there is one place greater, to my estimation, Hawaiʻi is the greatest of all.” [By Kalākaua, after his world tour in 1881].

Here they grow in Uluhaimalama, the Hawaiian bananas, planted on the day of Hua, to be fruitful for your kingdom, for your people, your throne, O heavenly one. May benefits be borne for the body and the spirit. The winter with its stormy months are gone. Here are the torches burning at noonday, the torches of Iwikauikaua, ancestor of Liliʻuokalani, Queen of the Hawaiian Islands, lighted today and for endless time, for her and her heirs. Amen.


After one o’clock, the feasting was over. In the later hours the flower planting women went home with the public. On the side of the road encircling Punchbowl sat some spectators.

Some women were attractive with their hats and grayish blue ribbons printed with the name of the garden in gold letters. They looked very nice indeed. Many such ribbons are being seen today.

We thought that the night and the day, too, belonged to Mōhalu but we learned that both night and day belonged to Hua. It seems that the fruiting plants will not fail to bear fruit, the pulp in pulpy ones and the beauty in beautiful ones. They shall not be Mōhalu (appear full) and be hollow inside for it (Mōhalu) is gone with all of its unlucky aspects.

Solomon Hiram planted a black rock, to commemorate this “stone eating” period, in which he and his fellow band players eat “the wondrous food of the land.” It is sufficient for the man! [Note: a song was written at the time of the overthrow, declaring that the stones, wondrous food of the land was sufficient and the author and her friends would not sign to support the new government].

This flower garden is up in Pauoa, above the stream, below the Chinese cemetery and in front of J. Mana’s residence but a little way above it. This land belongs to the ruler herself.

Among those we saw planting there, besides the two Princes, were Mrs. Kahalewai Cummins, Mrs. Aima Nawahi, Mrs. Linahu Nowlein, Mrs. Mary Dickson, Mrs. Lilia Aholo, Mrs. Minerva Fernandez, Mrs. Kaniu Lumaheihei, Mrs. T. B. Waka, Mrs. Evelyn Wilson, Mrs. Nore, Rev. S. Kaili and his wife, Miss Eva Parker, Miss Helen Parker, Miss Lizzie Doiron, and Miss Hanaia Kanahele. There were innumerable others that recalled the sayings “Forty thousand in Kailua and four hundred thousand at Kāneʻohe (Kini Kailua, mano Kāneʻohe) for “Kohala was crowded to the points with men” (Lēʻī Kohala i ka nuku ʻo nā kānaka).

(Makaainana, 10/15/1894, p. 1)

A Mele

Image: “Hookahi lanui ua hiki mai,” Kapiʻolani-Kalanianaʻole Collection, Bishop Museum Archives, HI.M.30, p. 512.

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact, Bishop Museum Archives.

Hoʻokahi lā nui ua hiki mai,
ʻO Uluhaimalama he māla pua,
Ua ana pono ʻia nā kapuaʻi,
Ka loa a me ka laulā,
Hoʻolawa pono ʻia nā hoa,
E kanu a ulu, liko a lau,
Pua a mōhala i ke kakahiaka,
Puīa i ke ʻala o nā pua,
Onaona māpuana hanu o ka panasy,
Ka popohe a ka lihi weleweka,
Pehea iho ʻoe a i ka lehua,
Nā lehua makanoe o Luluʻupali,
Haʻina mai e ka pūnohu,
Ka pipiʻo a ke ānuenue i luna,
ʻAʻoe i ana iho kuʻu makemake,
Ka popohe a ka pua ponimōʻī,
Kuʻu pua waioleka poina ʻole,
Noho mai i ka malu hoʻonoenoe,
ʻAuhea lā pua ʻōhā wai,
A he pua mililani na ke aloha,
Puīa onaona ka puana ʻia,
ʻO Uluhaimalama ʻo ka lanakila

Hula ʻia e Master Waiola1 ma Uluhaimalama, Pauoa, Honolulu

(HI.M.30, p. 512)

1Appended to this mele is the note: “Danced by Master Waiola at Uluhaimalama, Pauoa, Honolulu.” Whereas Waiola is given as the composer in the version of this mele included in F. J. Testa’s “Buke Mele Lahui,” under the title “Malapua o Uluhaimalama.” Both the version in the weekly Ka Makaainana of October 22, 1894 under the title “He Wehi no Uluhaimalama” as well as the version in Nupepa Ka Oiaio of October 19, 1894 under the title “Onaona o Uluhaimalama” do not mention Waiola.

This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

One Response

  1. While doing genealogy, I discovered my great-great-grandmother is buried in the Queen’s Garden Uluhaimalama. The story I was told by my Mom Louise Pohina, Lelia was requested with many others living in Pauoa valley to bring plants for planting in the garden. Her burial is recorded …,1%20Feb%201917

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