Kele’s Garden


This past Saturday, our Big Island Self-Sustainability group (BISS) met to celebrate the Summer Solstice with a potluckat the home of one of the founding members, Kele, in Hilo. I love living in Ocean View, but I have to admit to more than a little envy when I see what can happen in a yard where there is actual soil and rain to help things grow.

These pictures are in order as I walked around the outside of his home. There were surprises with every step. I won’t try to give you the names of everything I saw, but most of you will recognize banana trees, and the amarylis in the foreground.


You might say that his entire garden is a banana grove.



Even with a house (and more flowering plants) on one side, the banana grove feeling remained.


The path curved down away from most of the bananas, guiding me around the corner of the house.


For those of you who are familiar with the tobacco plant, you might be surprised at the small size of the leaves on this specimen. Perhaps if it was in the ground instead of a pot, it would look more like the tobacco most of us know.


Oops! More bananas, plus some great-looking papayas!


These are ornamental bananas, a pretty pink, but not for eating!


And yet more bananas about ready for chopping off the tree.


Sometimes there are pieces of interest that are not growing.


I got a few ideas for how to handle some of my pots from Kele.


The bananas don’t seem to stop!

Here’s one of the striking spots of color.


A simply stunning display! Too bad I had to get a car in the background.


The bright blue ginger provides a colorful background for the salmon cannas.


And this takes me back to the driveway entrance to Kele’s home.


I had no idea that Betty Crocker offers landscape awards. Some of the community groups sponsor these awards here in Hawai`i and each year, they encourage local residents to nominate someone they believe has an unbelievable garden. There are four categories, and Kele won this year. He’ll be flying to Honolulu soon to accept the award. I think you’ll agree that his yard certainly deserves it.

Congratulations, Kele, and thank you for letting me share this beauty with my readers.

A hui hou!

11 thoughts on “Kele’s Garden”

  1. Lucy, you captured the soul of Kele’s garden perfectly! I walked it with you the first time and it was like seeing it again with new eyes through your photos…. BTW, the gray/silver car in the background of the pic with the ‘stunning’ display was my car….LOL
    It was fun meeting you in person, finally. I too was thinking of blogging about our get-together…

    1. Many people could write about the same event and every single post would be different. I loved yours because it showed all the people, and that was more appropriate for yours, especially since you know everyone’s name 🙂 And it was helpful for me to see people’s names again. What fun – and I’m anxious to get to the next one!

  2. It is fun to read the different views on the same topic….
    I just met some of the people there last week for the first time….as some are new members and others had never attended previous events…

  3. You can’t stop bananas from growing anywhere! Really love the fruits. Looks like delicious. The pink colored banana, what is it use for?

    1. I didn’t know that there was such a thing as “ornamental bananas” until I saw these in Kele’s garden. I’ll ask him and let you know if there is a use. I also have an ornamental pineapple, that will sprout tiny little pineapples that are only for looks, not for eating. Mine hasn’t borne fruit yet, but the one my friend owns does have many. Personally, I want fruits I can eat!! 🙂

    2. Aloha, Rose! I just got a response from Kele.
      He says: “Other than the fact that they are rather pretty, that’s about all I can say about the use of them. They make a nice accent in a garden and they are very adaptable to even indoor, in-pot, growing in temperate climates providing that the room has high light and the plant is kept moist at all times. They don’t grow nearly as tall indoors as they do outdoors here in Hawai’i but that is a benefit as who wants a 7 foot high plant in a studio apartment? If they are outdoors, you can let them fruit, leave it on the plant until they peel themselves and you’ll find birds feeding off the seeds. My Cardinals love them!”

  4. 😉 I like fruit to eat too, but I do love using the little ornamental pineapples in arrangements! They are so cute!

    1. Yes, in arrangements they can surprise people and look very tropical! 🙂 My plant is getting large, but so far hasn’t produced any of the fruits. I may need to repot it, but it’s so difficult to work with unless you wear heavy gloves!

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