Monday, April 30, 2012

Bromeliad Envy



While I’m working on my new center island project in the back yard, I visited a bromeliad grower/collector’s garden so I can get inspired and maybe purchase something that would add a nice accent to the various plantings I had in mind for this new bed.



Now this is not just a bromeliad garden, its one of the most unusual and exotic varieties carried by this grower/exporter. He has an extensive collection that any avid collector would drool over.



Needless to say, I was in awe of all the amazing specimens not to mention at a lost for the correct names that he was mentioning left and right and totally not registering in my brain. All I can say was this was an amazing collection that kept me oooohing and aaaaahing at every corner of his garden.




This one had me at hello, its my first purchase and the only one he had, say hello to my new friend which the grower grew from seed and is now about a foot in girth, there was no identification of this species available unfortunately.



The grower had some great varieties of Tillandsias to see, this one was over a foot large which I thought was huge for these plants and the color was an intense orange, of course it wasn’t for sale.




This gorgeous white growing on a coconut tree was not for sell either :(




He even stuck a lot of the tillandsias in the ixora bushes which I thought was original.






Well hello you hot fuschia beauty, your stunning – wanna live in my garden?



And you are just waaaaay over the top…..I have to just take you home with me now!





The sculptural details on this one was just sublime….





The green, red and yellow of this guzmania just stopped me on my walk because it was in a dark shady green area, but it just popped!






This grower breeds unusual varieties like this huge purple aechmea, this specimen was over four feet in its width – gigantic!




I loved this plant, I’m not sure what it is, maybe some type of caladium? I thought the leaves were huge and so colorful with their black veins contrasting with an orange red interior.





I had to take a picture of this bloom, it was just beckoning me to come over and say hello.



Well the friend that came with me, nabbed this gorgeous neoregalia beauty first….lets just say I was not happy and we didn’t talk on the car ride back!




But I found another neoregalia that looked just as stunning, wouldn’t you agree?





Here’s a last photo of a corner of his beautiful garden…wasn’t this just a fun tour? It really felt like being a kid in the candy store and finding something exciting….



Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Major Back Yard Re-do


Too many projects going on with the various garden areas around my home lately. I’m now tackling some major work and new beds in the back yard which have been so neglected due to many non-gardening related activities. But, spring time has given me a new incentive to make some big and dramatic changes to the back yard.

Most of the back yard towards the right side was a neglected vegetable garden, becoming a jungle area again. Reclaiming this from all the deeply rooted vines, junk trees and shrubs is  going to be a major undertaking that I’ll be tacking on later.

The grass area is large and divided into an upper and lower section. I’m planning an elevated center bed with a combination of aged statuary mixed in with colorful bromeliads, succulents and other tropical adornments.

These cement lions below along with some other statuary will be placed into the new island in progress.


After a few days of playing around and moving rocks, the center island bed is coming into place with a classic urn place on top of a lava rock base and filled with crushed lava rocks.


After taking massive breaks from moving the heavy rocks into place, the outer walls are coming into a floral patterned bed.


I decide to place a tall white leaved bromeliad on top of the urn as an accent to the black lava rocks so it would look dramatic…what do you think, does it work?


Here’s a close up detail of the island with the statuary in place.


I think its falling into place pretty well, don’t you agree?  I can’t wait to start putting in all the beautiful plants next. Stay tuned for the fun part coming up in the next post.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Merrie Monarch Parade

Early spring in Hawaii island is our Merrie Monarch festival celebrating hula at its finest. Along with that comes an array of wonderful cultural, crafts events and many dance related venues, a few activities that I will be posting on in the next few posts.

My favorite event during the week is the parade which is very colorful and filled with pagentry and of course alot of flowers and leis. Its one of my favorite people events to photograph here on the island and gives me an opportunity to experiment and play with my craft.

Here's a nice sampling below of this beautiful parade.

A view of Hilo town with some beautiful Pa'u riders representing the various islands of Hawaii.

I loved the expression and the attitude of this guy sitting on a pick up truck


More beautiful pa'u riders, this group is from the island of Molokai represented by the green colors.

Alot of these men are actual paniolo or Hawaiian ranch hands that work the ranches on the island. This pa'u rider has beautiful leis made mostly of colorful croton leaves.

Here's a detail shot below.

The female pa'u rider has very elaborate leis and very well crafted and made with orchids, the orange abutilon and her hair piece made with bromeliads and heliconia blooms. These riders represent the colors and island of Lanai.

The beautiful pa'u riders coming from the island of Maui wear the hot pink outfits with gorgeous leis of roses and carnations.

A male pa'u rider and his horse, aren't the leis amazing to see?

Of course whats a hula parade without some dancing, this troupe all the way from Easter island peformed at one of the exhibition nights and is giving a parade performancee with  with their version of Tahitian dancing.

Our Miss Aloha 2012, the main female solo competion is very competitive with traditional and contemporary dancing along with chanting and singing. Miss Aloha had it all and rode down the boulevard to share her aloha.

This beautiful girl on a float was holding this hand woven hat to signify a deceased loved one, I'm glad I was able to capture this at the right moment.


Taiko drumming is very popular in Hawaii with many different clubs. I could never really capture the essence and beauty of this type of performance but with the tree in the background, you get some type of feeling and essence of the drumming reverberating throughout the parade route.

There's also little beauty pagaents that go on and they also get to share in the glory at this parade.

Here coffee is king and shared with the queens of Kau and Kona coffee along with their supped up camaro, what a classic!


Here's the backside to our pa'u rider from Kauai with purple colors and fresh leis adorned with dendrobium and cattleya orchids, isn't this just dazzling to see?

I hope you enjoy our little parade, its one of my favorites to see every year especially to photograph. Maybe you can come and visit this event with us live next year?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April Garden Bloom Day


(Late afternoon light my newly transplanted vireya in the new side garden)

It’s amazing that spring is already here, how quickly the season changes, even here in Hawaii where we practically have two seasons, wet and dry.
Come and take a walk with me around my garden this morning, there’s a lot of beautiful blooms to greet us on our tour and I want to show you some more of the areas that I’m starting to work on and get your opinion.


These are the beds from the front door over looking the roadway and forest in Orchidland.  The plants in this bed is tightly packed in with impatiens, geraniums, ti, dracaena, ferns, crotons, vireyas, fuschia and strobilanthes.


A detailed shot of corner portion of the front bed with various plantings.


On the other side of the front beds is this hibiscus ‘Yoda’. Something has been eating the leaves so I have quickly mixed up a water and hot pepper spray on the leaves along with the ti plants that have also been getting big holes in random spots. I’m sure our hot Hawaiian peppers will stop these predators from munching on more delicate leaves.


Below is a newly created bed in the front corner lined with these huge lava rocks I rolled into place since they were just to heavy to carry. A large six foot Medinilla Magnifica (left) is setting of some flower buds and will be blooming soon. In this bed are newly planted maroon colored ti, yellow ribbed croton, black magic taro, red dracaenas, fancy coleus and hot pink fuschias.


Here’s a detailed shot below.

Another front garden jewel, say hello to hibiscus ‘Starfish Pie’.

In a small front bed, one of my small tillandsia with its bright red plume sits next to some variegated shapes of crotons and miniature bromeliads.


The side garden re-do is starting to take shape, this variegated bamboo, Phyllostachys edulis, was planted a month ago and is starting to fit in nicely and the plants behind are growing and hopefully form a nice barrier to the next door neighbor.


Behind the bamboo is a beautiful vireya shrub that’s also taking to the new area and has started to bloom with these hot pink flowers with orange throats, I’m so glad things are finally taking shape in this area that was totally neglected and used for storage.


In the other shady side garden, its wild and filled with different ferns so I never know what will be coming up from this jungle. Here a pink vireya is greeting us this morning.


Beautiful ‘Mountain Air’ is greeting us again this morning, with its soft lavender blooms.


I have this beautiful green pot that’s been empty for the past year, I finally got around to creating an interesting combination to complement a new back yard bed below. Inside is a mixture of black mondo grass, red  and variegated red/green dracaena, black ti, fuschia, strobilanthes and a large phormium.



Below are some hot pink and almost black hibiscus in the back yard, I’ve been doing a lot of work recently in the back yard and will post the progress of the area in a future post.



I enjoyed our walk this morning hoped you saw a different part of my world today that inspires, thanks for joining me.

To visit other garden tours this morning go to
Related Posts with Thumbnails