Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Hot, the Loud and the Proud #2


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.

To link a post or to view on the Hot, the Loud and the Proud Meme, see the link below

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Words That Inspire – My Interpretation

A flower touches everyone's heart.
Georgia O'Keefe 

I’ve always been attracted to Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings of her landscapes and flowers. Intense colors and shapes that lead viewers to many interpretations, seductive and vivid.


The sensuous lines and curves appeal to feminine desires or imaginary whims.


White is so pure and yet so seductive.


The broad brush strokes evoke desire and the fine lines give intimate details, makes me tingle…


The shocking colors, textures and dramatic shapes do suggest.


A flower does touch everyone’s heart and maybe even more intensely. Georgia was not a prude with her passions!

To view other garden bloggers posts with this theme please go visit 
http://aplantfanatic.blogspot.com/2010/03/words-that-inspire.html and check out the comment section for their links to their posts.

To view other fertilizer Friday's go visit http://www.tootsietime.com/2010/03/

Words to Inspire from Henry David Thoreau


Nature will bear the closest inspection.  She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.  ~Henry David Thoreau



This is our monthly quote for May. Please take the time to reflect on this quote and at your convenience and timeframe post your own interpretation.  This could be a photo, or it could be a gardening experience you would like to share, I think just interpreting this to your place and time is what we want to read about.

I’ll be posting a new quote at the start of each month and hope that the words chosen inspire you to create your own interpretation with your garden views. 
Just so you get an advance – here’s the quote for June

“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old”.
Franz Kafka

There’s only a few instructions if you would kindly follow to participate:

1)  Please Include the quote or poem at the start of your post or on the title so we (your readers) can find it easily.
2) You can use any photos old or new, or written thoughts may work with this month’s theme.
3) Please kindly link back to this meme for others to enjoy different interpretations of the theme.
4) Be creative as you can!

That’s it, are you ready for the challenge?  Well those are the words up at the top of this post, please, come share your interpretation in the comment section below.

To take a look at others interpretations of this months quote please see the comments below for the URL of the participant.

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.simply-linked.com/listwidget.aspx?l=850fbfe7-04a5-4bc3-b317-33a9bac56c1a" ></script>

* make sure when you link your web address that you do not duplicate the Http that is already in the box or it will not register

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Living a Green Life and Celebrating Earth Day


Here in East Hawaii, where over 90 % of Hawaii’s materials and food is imported, life takes on too much dependence on mainland lifestyle and practices.

Fortunately for myself and many of my earth minded citizens here in East Hawaii, we do make wonderful choices to live green and try to reduce our own footprint in the environment. We usually don’t get that many choices and most of those options and services are very expensive to the average consumer.

In East Hawaii, most of us rely on water catchment systems to catch rain from the roof to water our plants, take our showers and wash our laundry and all our water needs. Those that do not have catchment systems go to county water spigots to fill up large containers for their water needs. Fortunately, rainy days on the east side of the island are plentiful and provide adequate nourishment to our tropical plants and the food we can grow.

Since there is no garbage service in our area, everyone is responsible for going to  recycle centers (free) to sort out the greens, the bottles, the paper materials and re-use objects for the community centers… usually by this stage, I only have less than one small garbage bag of pure garbage to dump and thats about once a week.

This is the re-use/recycling center in our local district in Keaau, they recycle clothes, furniture, paint, toys, knick-knacks and other cast offs for re-use.

We have our typical container bins for glass, paper/cardboard, plastic and another section for green waste and lumber. Everyone here sorts out directly into each container, there is no such thing as recycling curbside pick up in Hawaii Island.



Mother nature is kind to us in East Hawaii and many do grow bountiful fruits and vegetables and have some small livestock and neighbors share their abundance with family and friends.


What we cannot grow ourselves can be found at a myriad of local farmers markets producing a variety of products and delicious take out meals, everything fresh and grown locally.


I believe in composting since we have minimal soil here,  and we have to build up beds above the lava rock to create fertile soil…leaves, grasses and kitchen scraps all go back to the compost pile to create fertile mulch and soil.

Electricity rates are the highest in the country in Hawaii and we do watch our consumption. I typically set my water heater only for a few hours in the morning and at night.  The laundry sits on a wire to be dried by the sun and all my electrical equipment is plugged together into jacks that can be switched off.  We open our window for the natural breezes and most homes actually do not even have HVAC systems for heat or cooling…at least here in East Hawaii where the temperatures are moderate year round in the 70’s to 80’s.

Gasoline is also the highest prices nationwide in the US with Unleaded typically averaging $3.50 per gallon. My rule to using the car is that I need to do at least 5 tasks of related driving activities within an area to be able to use my car. This has effectively made me consolidate trips and stop wasteful last minute errand runs. Hitch hiking is still cool here and I usually pick up some interesting travelers from around the world visiting our island and with nice stories to share.

As you can see, in our area we are only given a few choices: either pay a lot upfront for these services, import most of our goods and materials or we can be more creative and efficient with what we have. We can grow and share what nature provides. I have strived to live a simpler and better lifestyle that espouses my beliefs and my wallet thanks me for being conscious.

Thanks to Jan at thanksfor2day blog for sharing with bloggers about this special event, please do go visit the her site to see how other bloggers are making a green impact to their own environments. 
Mahalo to All for caring for the aina ( land )

To visit other Thats my World Tuesday go to http://showyourworld.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Hot, the Loud and the Proud (Coming Soon )


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.

Below is an example of what I will post:


Brownea coccinea subspecies capitella

A beautiful red-orange ball of flowers characterizes this small tree that or shrub that is native to northern South America, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. The flower clusters that appear from late winter to spring.

When the time is set for next month use Mr Linky below to type in your name/blog and URL to participate. This link will be open 2pm Eastern Standard Time.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Another new Dawn in Paradise



Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise. ~George Washington Carver  





I climbed out over the lava rocks to view a new dawn approaching.  



         I see it in the once dark skies that a new day is beginning and I wonder if the new day will bring promises of sunny or grey clouds or maybe and ongoing changing pattern of both.    




Hurry, hurry, the sun is coming finally .... there it is.  I stand there by myself and watch in awe.        



I don't want anybody to stand between the individual and existence. No prayer, no priest -- you alone are enough to face the sunrise                                           -  Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh


Happy Aloha Friday everyone



To visit other Skywatch Friday posts go visit http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quiet Contemplation at Queen Liliuokalani Park



















To visit other wordless wednesdays go to http://www.wordlesswednesday.com/

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tropical Wild Orchids for Bloom Day

Wild orchids do really dot the landscape throughout Orchidland in East Hawaii. These hardy  plants grow in solid lava rocks,  up in trees and what little earth or cracks in the earth they can establish a growing environment. It is up to mother earth to nurture and water these wild orchids and when there is abundant rain, the landscape is dotted with many flowering stalks. The presence of wild orchids here is an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. These orchids are highly evolved plants and thrive in its natural habitat. Surprisingly, these three orchids are not really native orchids to these areas and have naturalized in these environments and in fact throughout the wetter areas of the Hawaiian Islands.

One of the most abundant types of orchids here in Orchidland are the bamboo orchids (Arudina Graminifolia ).   They develop these amazing stalks that can reach up to six feet in height and the orchids are at the tips of these stalks. It is amazing how these plants can survive difficult growing conditions in the wild areas of Hawaii, but in the right conditions they flourish like these bamboo orchids.



Another wild orchid that can be found throughout East Hawaii is this ground orchid called Philippine Orchid  (Spathoglottis plicata). Like the bamboo orchids, these hardy orchids also are abundant all over East Hawaii and grow in harsh environments with little soil and nutrients. They flourish among the weeds, Ohia trees and dense grasses fighting for nourishment and creating beauty in the wild landscape.



The last orchid that tends to be less common and only found in the wetter areas around East Hawaii, this orchid is called a Nun's Cap or swamp orchid (Phaius Tankervilliae) . These beauties are more rare and tend to hide in the rain forests and jungled habitats in shady and filtered light areas.  When they bloom, they send out tall and straight stalks of tiered white and purple blooms with dark purple and striated white throats, a beautiful combination of colors. They are also highly fragrant especially in the morning time frame.




To see more garden blogs with bloom day posts for today,  please visit Carol’s
website at  http://www.maydreamsgardens.com/

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cattleyas Blooming for Aloha Friday

Its another Aloha Friday, have a fantastic day. I'm presenting this beautiful cattleya blooming this morning. Its called Cattleya Halona Belle 'Volcano Queen'. Isn't it a real show stopper?

This is a beautiful hybrid that came from Akatsuka Orchid Gardens and nursery up in Volcano Hawaii which specializes in cattleyas and is one of the largest orchid growers in Hawaii. Their growing nursery is unique in that it is located in the higher elevations of the rain forests which have cooler temperatures of 40 to 70 degrees year round. The ideal growing conditions should be anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees which is more suitable in the lower coastal areas. I will write about Akatsuka's in a later post on how he was able to create an optimal growing environment for his hybrids and other specialty orchids to be a major exporter of orchids in Hawaii.

These cattleyas are hard grown (hard grown means that the orchid plant was not babied in any way) so they develop bigger and studier with strong leaves and maintain brighter and longer lasting blooms.

For more information on cattleya orchid care you can visit this site, http://www.orchids-plus-more.com/cattleya-orchid-care.html. Or you can easily google cattleya orchid care and find alot of information and growing these beauties.

To view other blooming friday posts go visit katarina at http://rosorochris.blogspot.com/

and to view fertilizer friday go visit tootsie at http://www.tootsietime.com

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Nature Inspires Art


I’ve always been inspired in my art with my garden and the natural world. Taking hikes into the forests, walking along the rugged coastline or wandering amongst tall redwood trees close to where I lived were always inspiring to me. My artwork reflects this reverence to this world and the things I observe closely.


I love using wood panels as a canvas because the grains show the organic and beautiful patterns and complementing the burning effects (wood burned outlines and detail work). I follow up with acrylics and oil pastels to give the colors more vibrancy and individuality in the details.  Birds and animals come and visit my work and create whimsy in the composition.


Here are some samples of some pieces I keep in my home to remind me of these places I love and events that happen and things that inspire at the moment.
















This last panel is a tribute to an artist, Frederick William Frohawk who did an amazing series of illustrations of Hawaiian Flora and Fauna in the 1890’s and was instrumental in documenting many of the extinct birds or birds that are close to extinction in Hawaii during that time frame.

I’ve always been attracted to these posterized illustrations and this is an homage to that type of composition. These are Iiwi birds  or Hawaiian Honey Creepers (Vestiaria Coccinea ) in the rain forests of Volcano National Park. The Iiwi are a major part of Hawaiian myth and folklore. Their feathers were used primarily as the main portion of the cloaks of the ancient Hawaiian chiefs and priests. They are still alive and feeding off the Ohia Lehua trees and other flowering trees in the native rain forests of Hawaii.



Thursday, March 4, 2010

Can You Say Frangipani Ten Times Fast?


Aloha friends,
I have a special guest post from my friend Kimberly from Garden in Paradise. We are doing an exchange post this week and Kimberly will expand on the origins and unique uses for Frangipani, one of my favorite tropical flowers. Aren’t the blooming photos spectacular, these photos are also courtesy of Kimberly.


Frangipani…what a fun, unusual word! Pronounced “fran-juh-pan-ee”, the word rolls off the tongue! So, what is a frangipani? The dictionary defines it as, “a deciduous tree with strongly perfumed, white, yellow, or pink flowers. Native to: tropical America.  Genus Plumeria.” Hmmmmm….genus Plumeria. So where did Frangipani come from? Apparently, according to Encarta.msn.com, the Plumeria was given the common name of “Frangipani” after Muzio Frangipani, a 16th century Italian creator of a perfume for gloves. I don’t know that he was successful, but I’m certain that Plumeria, or “Frangipani” makes an intoxicatingly sweet perfume! It also bears one of the most beautiful flowers I’ve come across!


The gorgeous blooms are typically about 2” wide with 5 petals. They range in color from white with yellow centers, to dusty apricot, coral pink and dark red. As I’m told, the darker the red stain, the more desirable the flower! The shrub/tree itself grows to an average of 15-18 feet tall, although it’s been known to grower taller. Related to Oleander, Periwinkle and Allamanda, the Frangipani contains a poisonous, milky sap.


As previously stated, the Plumeria shrub is deciduous, meaning that it loses its leaves in the winter, or cooler months. This was perplexing to me when I first settled in SE Florida several years ago, as I noticed stark, ugly branches readily accepted in beautiful, lush, tropical landscapes. Why in the world would anyone purposely grow a deciduous tree in a tropical climate where year-round foliage and brilliant blossoms are so easy to achieve?!?! Coming for a harsh, northern climate where winter temperatures dip down below zero degrees Fahrenheit on a regular basis, I couldn’t understand! I couldn’t understand until I saw the chipper little fresh foliage popping out in the spring, followed by the strikingly beautiful blooms and insanely wonderful, sweet perfume! I would love to wear a flower in my hair everyday!


Of course, I’m not the first to consider wearing the lovely blooms. The Frangipani is grown commercially in Hawaii for their famous lei production. According to Wikipedia, “lei” is a Hawaiian word for a garland or wreath. More loosely defined, “a lei is any series of objects strung together with the intent to be worn.” The concept of giving a lei as a form of affection became a tourist tradition between the Hawaiian Islands and the continental United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.


Of course, I had to have some Frangipani for my own garden. Luckily, I discovered the plant is easily propagated by taking a cutting of the leafless stem tips in spring. Allow the cutting to dry out at the base before inserting it into well drained soil. Wait a while and voila…you’ll have a wonderful blooming Plumeria!


Please remember that most varieties of Frangipani are deciduous, so it may not be wise to grow it in the center of your yard as a focal point, unless you like leafless, lifeless sticks protruding from the ground part of the year. I think Frangipanis mix well with flowering tropical’s such as Cana lilies, bromeliad, and palms that accentuate their design qualities. There’s also a new dwarf variety that looks a bit like a bonsai in a container.
Want more Plumeria? Hawaiian residents or visitors can check out the Dean Conklin Plumeria Grove, part of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens! If you’re not traveling to Hawaii any time soon, you can view the fantastic florals by clicking on this link: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/bridges/plumeria/plumeria.htm .
Please visit Kimberly’s blog at Garden in Paradise and you can check out my post about on a garden tour in Orlando. Mahalo, Kimberly for sharing your wonderful post on the Plumeria today!
Also for more Blooming Friday Posts, please visit Katarina at http://rosorochris.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oh Sooth My Soul at Ahalanui

Oh warm my soul at Ahalanui and refresh my body... your healing warm waters heal my spirit and the aches in my body.

Meanwhile, the air circulating through the coconut trees surrounds the pond, blowing soft and cool winds to my face, a perfect complement to the warm pool.

The wild and thrashing ocean waves crashing outside the barriers into the pool adds to the experience while all inside in this inner sanctuary easily relax, play and float in contemplation.

I love laying on my back and looking up at all the swaying coconut trees singing to me always, with some mornings grey haired tutus (grandmothers) gather together, holding hands and singing to themselves in joy.

I feel like I have discovered a secret, of old Hawaii and of a time and place that still exists.

To visit other Thats my World Tuesdays go to http://waterywednesday.blogspot.com/
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