Janice Crowl did such a beautiful job of covering the 6th Annual Seed Exchange at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Gardens that I won’t try to top it! http://hawaiigardening.blogspot.com/2008/06/seeding-hawaiis-future.html
I did bring home seeds that will probably go into big containers, rather than into my lava yard! Please do read her post on this wonderful event. She covers it professionally and with good close-ups of some of the seeds and plants available.
I do want to comment on it, however, and show a few of the pictures I took while there. The Theme of “Ignite the Fire Within” was illustrated by two fire bowls.
The gathered fruit offerings brought by the community of gardeners.
So many of us lost plants to the sulfur dioxide. A friend brought blooms from her two protea that survived, saying that it was Pele’s way of weeding out and that the survivors were to be blessed.
Signs from a couple tables with seeds and plants for the taking
Care for a refreshing drink of coconut water?
Next year I plan to wear boots and carry a bigger bag for seeds and plants.
There is dramatic starkness in an acre of lava. The huge ancient swooping ohia trees provide more shades of black and gray against the stony landscape. Another early growth out of new lava is the bit of green fern that gives a spot of color amidst the somber monotone.
The legend told to every newcomer to Hawaii is that Madam Pele will turn you upside down and give you a good shaking. If you can survive that, she allows you to stay, but on her terms. Learning how to handle her and accommodate her moodiness is part of gardening here.
Walking across the a`a lava can be tricky, and I developed a better sense of balance in the process, along with nicks and bruises. Picking up the lava rocks can do some real damage to your skin. I tried using gloves at first, but found it was faster to simply pick them up to move them. My skin toughened up at last.
But skin wasn’t the only thing that suffered. The tires on my car were getting shredded from driving over the rough stones. I needed to cover up the driveway to protect my tires. I bought the cinder, and a friend called in a favor from a dump truck owner. Once the cinder was on the driveway, he used his little Bobcat and smoothed it out. What a difference it made!
I also wanted a place to park near the house, so a base was put down and cinder dumped on that, as well. Here are pictures of that process. Never would I have thought I could be that excited over a load of cinder!