One of my intentions since the beginning of this blog almost three years ago has been to show readers what some of our local residents have managed to create on their acreage, and what they are doing to make it livable as well as beautiful. If you want to see some of these past posts, go through the categories on the right hand column of this blog.

The Southern end of the Big Island of Hawaii is not exactly the luxurious tropical atmosphere most people envision when they think of Hawaii. Here, every bloom is nurtured and prized, every square inch is utilized as much as possible.

Many of my posts talk of the challenges we face when we try to garden on our a`a lava. It is a constant process of finding which plants will survive during drought or heavy rain, coping with toxic air full of sulfur dioxide from the volcano, sheltering our plants from the strong trade winds, and working with minimum soil that we (mostly) need to make ourselves out of compost.

Little by little, our lava beds can become works of art. Recently, our Ocean View Garden Club visited another local property that exemplifies the creativity that is possible here, in spite of harsh circumstances. Plant art, found art, junque art – all are at home here and work together to form an oasis of beauty.

Click here to view a slide show of what is possible when creative minds are put to work.

A hui hou!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Regina May 9, 2011 at 3:17 am

Even though you now and then describe the lava-soil and the challenges you are facing with it I always still have to discipline my inner pictures of Hawaiian gardens with big, colourful flowers growing over and all over the ground…….

Actually we do have the mildest and warmest Mai in Germany one can remember. Nature is almost exploding and so does the offer of flowers one can buy in our flower-discounters.

Your description of your gardening makes feel on the one side like a FlowerQueen. And on the other side I stare at your fotos like at a wonder and I´d love to be there and see and smell and feel that totally different and challenging way of gardening you do.

Thanks for sharing your ways !!!

Regina

2 Lucy Lee Jones May 9, 2011 at 6:34 am

I love getting comments from around the world! Thank you – and keep that inner picture of Hawaii. There are places in Hawaii where a bit of soil is available, but those are older islands. The area I live in is newer, has had a more recent lava low (about 100 years ago), and thus hasn’t had a chance to decompose into soil. Remember these Hawaii islands were created by volcanoes and thus are made of lava. There is another island forming under the ocean SE of where I am, but it will be many generations before it appears. I hope to visit your beautiful country someday.
Aloha,
Lucy

3 Sonia May 9, 2011 at 7:49 am

I’m so glad to see you posting again, Lucy….. I was missing you!

Fortunately, I live on a section of the Big Island that has some deep soil….but there are still challenges to growing plants, even here and my biggest challenges are, either too much rain or….pigs throwing an all-you-can-eat party in our garden….;-)
This last one is by far the most destructive!

4 Lucy Lee Jones May 9, 2011 at 7:52 am

Mahalo, Sonia! I was missing it, too, but school was getting in the way. Now that the school year is over until fall, I plan to get back into it! People who don’t live in Hawaii, have a difficult time imagining the challenges we have here. I think we paint a different picture for so many others.

5 Sonia May 9, 2011 at 8:05 am

I was one of those that thought all of the islands were just beaches, coconut palms and completely covered in tiots of vibrant blooms….. until my first visit here when I visited the volcano and saw dessert and arid spots…..! It is still an amazing place to live though…and I thank my lucky stars that I can call this island home….. I cannot imagine living anywhere else now….

6 Sonia May 9, 2011 at 8:06 am

Sorry, meant to write riots and it came out as tiots!!!

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