A Self-Proclaimed Neophyte

For someone who claims he doesn’t know what he’s doing, Steve Sampson certainly is creating a garden that belies his statement. In just a year, he and Cindy have put in plenty of muscle power to move lava, haul soil, put in plants. One of Cindy’s creations is the welcome shown above. It greets visitors as they pull into the Sampson’s driveway.

Their two acre piece of lava has taken more work than they would have you believe. As I pulled into their driveway, I was amazed at the long stretch of lava wall they built. It seemed to go on for miles.

These walls were one of the main features throughout their property. I was inspired to start piling up lava rocks at my own place.

By the front door, they have brought color to the gray walls and trees with red cinder and flowers blooming in this circular bed.

Here you get a good perspective of the entry to their lovely home.

I asked Steve if he had a compost. He is just starting one at home, and has been going to the Waiohinu Transfer Station to get what he needs. This is a view of his soil-making area. All of us in Ocean View have had to make our own soil in order for anything to grow in lava.

Here is a closer look at his project. He uses a combination of peat, cinder and bags of garden soil with what he brings home from Waiohinu. It is mixed up here in this plastic-lined bed, then screened to get out large particles. The result is a fine, rich planting medium.

There are so many beautiful little pockets of color here. One of my favorite is the dry stream bed they formed to go under a little bridge.

Here is where the “stream” originates. If you look closely, you will see bits of bright blue scattered throughout the bed.

Every yard should offer the local birds a lovely place to bathe.

I am more than a little envious of this gorgeous patch of color flowing over the edge of the gray wall. Steve said it grew out of a small pot he picked up at WalMart.

More color brightens up the surroundings in these hanging planters. Like many of us, the names of plants remains elusive. I usually give my plants their own unique name that has no connection to reality.

This is one of my favorite touches. I’m sorry I didn’t get a shot of it against a background that would let it show up more. This regal peacock stands guard on the patio.

More color against the gray – this time it’s green.

My one small pot of monstera needs to be put into the ground. Here is what happens when you let it grow outside the pot.

Cindy adds her own colorful creativity with this floral painting – a nice touch to the garden area.

You can see where it is located in their yard, on the path going up toward their water tank.

Here is a good view of their patio. What a lush view over their forest as they dine. The first time I had a glimpse of their outdoors project was when they had invited me up for dinner. The plan to eat outside on this patio was scrapped because of a non-stop downpour of a much needed rain. I knew I wanted to come back and see it again.

Brilliant petunias bring more color to brighten up the patio.

Here is another area of “work in progress,” although I doubt if any gardener is ever totally satisfied with their work. We would never say, “There! It’s done!”

You can see why I was impressed with all their wall work! It goes on and on and on.

The biggest surprise of all is this charming out-building designed to match their home. At first I thought it was an ohana, the Hawai`ian version of a “mother-in-law’s” cottage.

Look at what Steve has on the inside! I’m not envious of this – I’m downright JEALOUS!

He told me that putting the lawn chairs here was an experiment that he wasn’t happy with, but I think it would make a great place to hide out and relax with a cup of tea after all the hard work is done for the day. It is also a sweet view of their driveway.

Thank you, Cindy and Steve, for letting me intrude on your Saturday!

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