Enjoying Fine Gardens (without any manual labor on our part)

The weather in North Carolina was beautiful this Easter weekend and we spent the weekend outside in the garden. We were weeding mostly. When we returned from Hawaii, we noticed that our yard had taken on some jungle, rainforest-like characteristics. The weeding and mulching will go on in the near term future for quite some time.  So, let’s pause for a moment and admire some of the beautiful gardens that we saw in Hawaii that didn’t require one drop of sweat from my own manual labor.

We start in beautiful Limahuli Gardens on the north of the island. We visited Limahuli on the day that we hiked to Hanakapiai Beach, so my feet were already sore, but it was impossible not to enjoy the beautiful setting.

The garden path starts by winding its way through a “canoe” garden. Basically, a “canoe” garden is a garden composed of all of the different useful crops that the ancient Polynesians brought with them on the original long canoe voyages that brought them to Hawaii.  We learned it was a good thing they brought those plants, since the native fauna of Hawaii included nothing that was actually edible. Taro was the staple.

You then wind your way through the plantation gardens of colonial Hawaii. I liked the sugar cane because it reminded me of the sugar cane that Pa-Paw grew when we were little. He would cut us off a piece, and it was our own sugary treat.

More general Limahuli loveliness:

They’ve got flowers as big as your head there!

What I most appreciated about Limahuli is the acres that they dedicated to recreating a native rainforest and weeding out all of the invasive species. It sounds like a lot of work, but their efforts are absolutely beautiful. They also dedicate part of their garden to showcasing how you can landscape your garden with native Hawaiian plants if you live in Hawaii. I think that is so important. I mean, yes, the varieties of acacia trees from Australia and African tulip trees are beautiful, but they don’t belong there. The natives are so beautiful in their own, unique ways.

 

Driving back from Limahuli to Princeville, we stopped at an overlook to the Hanalei valley, where most of Hawaii’s taro production still takes place.  The fields of this ancient crop are a beautiful sight.

On the south side, we visited the McBryde Garden.  The little bus ride that you take to get to the McBryde Garden takes you past Allerton Garden. Allerton Garden can only be visited in an organized tour. However, its idyllic setting makes me really, really want to do a tour of that particular garden.  In particular, they have a sunset tour and dinner that rates high our list of things to do when we someday go back to Kauai.  I imagine it is a beautiful place to watch a sunset.  In the meantime, we had to content ourselves with just looking down on its beautiful location.

The McBryde Garden is enormous, and we didn’t have much time to spare there.  However, we did do a couple of the self-guided walks, and saw beauty all around.

We saw a beautiful blooming jade tree.  They are rare, and we were told that this tree was blooming two months ahead of schedule.  Mother Nature must be sending some kind of message.

There were many orchids to view that had been grafted onto trees.

And just otherwise, beautiful scenes and shady spots:

 We loved these gardens.

 

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