Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Garden in Kapoho, Hawaii



I love to sing and the chorus I sing with, the Puna Men’s chorus, held a fun wrap up party after our Aloha  Broadway performances featuring 100 years of Broadway hits. Let me just say that singing here is a lot of fun and also challenging, but the parties and places we go to are also amazing!


One of our board members has a beautiful home and garden in Kapoho on the eastern-most part of Hawaii island. Since I came early to help with the preparations, I got to explore the garden by myself on a beautiful sunny, cloudy and stormy day all happening in a single morning!


Walking around the grounds and the swimming pool area, a large Bismarkia B. nobilis palm on the left side, it is a beautiful silver grey color and adds nice texture along with the other palms in the background.




There were many colorful hibiscus plants in many intense color hues, here’s one of my favorites below.




A picture of the side garden leading down to the volleyball court hidden beyond the bougainvillea.




The plumeria in the top photo is from this grouping of deciduous plumeria trees that are just starting to bloom before the leaves start to come out. A beautiful traveler palm in the background adds a nice fan shape to this vignette.




In a shady dell is a grouping of different bromeliads and a nice spray of blooms in the foreground. Ferns and aloe in the foreground add a nice green base.



Orchids in trees are very common here since little care is taken to maintain them here, its survival of the fittest and hand watering down here is never done.








I love these powderpuff calliandra shrubs or trees, the intense red colors commands instant attention to their wispy puffs. They always add nice accents in a forest of green trees.



Sunny and cloudy skies are beautiful and yet can turn stormy at a moments notice so outdoor activities have to be done in covered patios or lanais.



More plumerias that are starting to bloom and develop leaves, below are red ti’s which add a nice color to the naked trees in wintertime.



A beautiful solitary jasmine bloom, from this almost tree sized shrub. Not sure which type this is, but I’ll guess it might be a night blooming indian jasmine.






Wasn’t this a beautiful garden to visit, add some singers, food and hanging out by the pool and it’s a perfect place to spend a wonderful lunch and afternoon. I’m so glad to come back and visit this sweet place.


This is my contribution for February’s Garden bloom day, please go to http://www.maydreamsgardens.com/ to see some other amazing gardens in bloom.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Its so Embarrassing…..


Yes, we gardeners have dirty secrets hidden and not always willing to admit, but I’ll let you in on my secret if it will prompt me to really make changes and soon!


I must confess, I would have never mentioned this if not for the fact that I had a big Christmas party and it was obvious to all my guest that came early before night fall -  what a sorry view and state things had become. What is it you may ask? Well if you take a look beyond the Christmas decorations - the view directly into the side yard is completely horrendous and looking directly into my neighbors driveway.

Fortunately, most of the event was in the evening so it was hard to see beyond the dark windows, but take a look. Here is the view during the daytime from the dining room.


Ah, I’ve lived with this view for quite awhile and never done anything about it….shameful isn’t it? It just keeps getting worse with junk trees, huge piles of sleeping grass, intertwined weeds and tall cane grass and who knows what else in this pile of green.

Always making excuses and too busy to acknowledge this real eyesore, I just chalked it up as a storage area and staging place for my potted plants.

The problem is I had to walk this route almost every time I wanted to go to the back yard, making it a depressing experience.


But let me say, in the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to make this side garden and the view from my dining room more lush, tropical and screened for privacy. I’m almost embarrassed to say I’ve never done anything to this eyesore until I finally decided to take out the Satellite dishes and opt for ones on the roof, leaving me an open area and exposing my neighbors dull front yard as my viewing area.

So now I’m ready to take in this challenge and start making changes and my potted plants below are ready to be planted into their new space.

Here are some of the choices below that will fill this huge 15 x 75 foot space.

I have some lovely potted palms including this red sealing wax palm -
Cyrtostachys renda


I’m really fond of Acalyphas, this one is called inferno firestorm. They are like japanese maples, but the tropical version that can be grown in humid environments. Don't these look like a maple to you?


I have some potted white bauhinias on this yard, hopefully I can yank them out from their pot bound roots at this junction.


Of course I do have a variety of variegated ti plants, this one has a beautiful flowered spike blooming at the moment.


Another favorite ginger plant, this alpinia called Vittata is used ornamentally for its foliage, the flowers are small and insignificant.


I have propagated a few more of these pink medinellas and I think they can make a nice tall screen from the neighbors driveway.


This very large yellow hibiscus is against the front door and is already hitting the eaves. I think its time to move this large guy if it isn’t too late already. Fortunately, I’m not afraid of making big moves like this.


I love this variegated green and white gardenia shrub, it has small but sweetly scented flowers.
Here is a close up of the leaves below,  pretty isn't it?


Another favorite plant is this red smoke bush tree - cotinus coggygria. They grow so well in this area and are very easy to propagate. This one is propagated into a one gallon container is ready to be planted in full sun!


So you can see, I do have some favorites that can cover the area, now how to start and what to tackle first.

Well that’s where I’m open to any and all suggestions on what would work in this large space. I’m open to hearing any suggestions from all my gardening friends and gardening wanna be’s…please help. How can I make this side garden shine – I do have some ideas but want to get more ideas from all my gardening friends

...come on now don’t be shy!
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