Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Hot, the Loud and the Proud #7


Show us your tropicals and exotics, your hot mediterranean colors and wild combinations, amazing discoveries and unusual variations. Or how about something exciting you just saw, a crazy garden,  amazing garden art or design, an inspiring visit or hike?

This meme is open to all (you do not have to live in an exotic location to participate)  and will be on the last day of each month…so mark your calendars and lets do something fun on the hot, the loud and the proud meme. I’ll have the link available early, east coast time (USA) to catch you early birds and even earlier for those of you in other countries.


This exotic combination of Japanese and tropical garden lies completely on lava rocks and lava beds. The owner of this exciting garden decided to leave intact a lot of the original lava flow that occurred on the property and use this as a design element in their garden.


The beautiful contrast of these ti plants against, heliconia bamboo and this tropical cercis type tree against the lava pathway really high-lights these foliage plants in this garden.


I think the black pathways is such a great foundation and grounds everything…unfortunately the weeds love this environment just as much as the real plants and requires a lot of hand weeding in this garden, quite a task in this mostly rock garden, truly making this a labor of love since the owner does not use any pesticides.


Although the theme is predominately Japanese the tropical influence is present with large cycads, palms and colorful flowered species including these vivid Ixoras miniatures.




I hope you enjoyed this exotic garden tour, its a very special place on this side of the island. 
To visit other Hot, Loud and Proud posts today go and check out the links below.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Destruction, Beautiful New Land and Beaches Being Born


What is going on here you may ask and why is this coconut tree almost encased in this bed of lava rock. It actually is a coconut tree that was not completely burned out by lava that recently ran above ground very close to the ocean entry where lava has been spilling out for the last 20 plus years, up until recently the lava has just started to flow above ground  and into virgin forest lands close to the ocean in Kalapana, East Hawaii.


Sadly, a small portion of this beautiful virgin forest was over run with hot lava not even a few weeks old. Being immune to this type of daily activity, I decided to take a hike to this wilder part of the island and was surprised to discover so much destruction, amazing cliffs and vistas, lava and also a new beach completely born out of this lava eruption.



Here below, is the new beach that just recently developed, its is called Kawaaloa, when lava enters the cold water, it shatters immediately causing fine crystals to wash up on the cliffs and in the shallower areas creates an entirely new black sand beach….just amazing to see!


As I wait patiently for the sun to set, beautiful cloud formations and colorful hues echo the suns retreat and  paint the skies vivid and glowing tropical colors. 


It is hard to imagine that just a few yards away from this pristine and untouched forest is the wretched path of lava pouring down lava tubes and above ground to finally enter the cool Pacific waters. I stayed until the night stars came out and a real firework show started from Pele’s volcanic fury.




I’ll show you in an upcoming posts, that despite these harsh and scary conditions, people actually live very close to this area.  Crazy you may think, but having an affordable slice of paradise is what draws a few out to live here.

For more views of the sky this friday, go visit
To see other photohunt’s theme for natural go visit

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Morning Walk Around My Garden


Its a cool and drizzly morning here in Orchidland as I take a morning walk around the garden. There’s alot flowers blooming for us today that I would like to share with you on our walk, come and take a look.
This is a relatively new addition to my garden, a pretty hibiscus called ‘Yoda’ that I purchased from the Bian sale, an island wide grower show and plant sale. The double flowered petals and dual toned colors drew me to this plant and said ‘ take me home now '’.


This is always a nice surprise when I keep getting these volunteer begonias popping up all over the garden, the polka dots on the leaves add such nice texture to this plant.


One of my more prolific hibiscus plants. I keep trimming the tops to make this more dense, but the tallest stem is now reaching a height of 15 feet and just does not want to be contained, scary isn’t it?


This white ginger is not as invasive as some of the other wild gingers which can overtake entire neighborhoods, it flowers constantly and the smells are really sweet and with perfumed ginger overtones.


Here’s another hibiscus in my front garden next to the house. It just refuses to be controlled, even though I trimmed it drastically less than a few weeks ago, most of the stems are reaching 8 foot heights, time for some even more severe chopping.



All my pink Medinilla Magnifica plants are starting to unfold their beautiful cascades of pink florets, I’m just waiting until each flower petals start to come out and really put on a show.


I love this bromeliad called, Aechmea blanchetiana, the inflorescense on this
bromeliad can last months and the foliage alone is this amazing chartreuse.


This beautiful Mandevilla Splendens ‘Red Riding Hood’ has these intense deep red flowers, its really stunning don’t you think?


You can’t imagine that entire back yards are filled with these small weeds we call princess flowers or Tibouchinas, even the larger Tibouchina urvilleana are such invasive weeds in our area, you pull one and dozens come back. At the higher elevations they are a deep purple color but in the lower areas they turn pink for some reason. The ones pictured here are the miniature Tibouchinas.


Here’s one of my favorite Hibiscus blooms coming out again this morning, I love that they constantly bloom for me. Following are a few other tropical blooms showing off their blooms on our walk this morning.





I hope you enjoyed the walk around my garden this drizzly morning, all the plants are happy today!

To enjoy more views of other gardens around the world for bloom day, come and visit

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An Orchid as Tall as a Tree






Really? I asked my friend who was talking about his orchid blossoms that were starting to unfurl these six foot spikes of orchid blooms. Well a small tree actually, it took over nine years for the first blooms of these plants and he was very excited to show his first blooms to this plant fanatic in exchange for some photos.

I was very interested in checking out his story and considering that they are very slow bloomers, it was worth the effort coming out to his place in the jungles of Opihikao, Hawaii. 


The photo below shows my friend, who is 6 ft tall, with the flower spike already looming above his head.  Each flower alone is about the size of his outstretched hand.




The orchid growing on the ground is a species of orchid called Grammatophyllum Speciosum which the largest orchid species in existence. Its pseudo bulbs alone can grow up to three miters in height and in maturity can reach to over 25 feet, isn’t that unbelievable? This plant is a very young nine year old and yet the flower spikes were over six foot tall, quite impressive, and there were already three flower spikes coming out simultaneously. Next to the stems are the psuedo bulbs which in the picture are probably four foot in height.




Well this really does inspire and hold true as one of the largest orchids I have ever seen. I’m glad I took the time to visit, take some pictures and am now sharing this beautiful orchid with my viewers, hope you enjoyed this visit.


To see other flowers for today come and visit

To visit other fertilizer fridays go to

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