First Anniversary of Lava to Lilikoi



Aloha! I can’t believe that exactly one year ago I started writing about my life on an acre of mostly bare lava.

Most bloggers take this time to look back over the past year and reminisce, or see what all has changed. I don’t plan to do that, because periodically, that’s what I do anyway.

All I really want to do is simply offer you this single bloom on my calla lily plant. What a surprise it was to see it when I went to my patio a few days ago! I was stunned by its simple beauty.

Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) for joining me this past year. Please stick with me during the next year as I continue to learn and grow with my plants. One of my projects this next year is to begin writing a small book about ways to create a garden out of Madam Pele’s rich lava. If anyone has other ideas that might benefit the process, please send them to me.

A hui hou!



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Memorial Day, known as “Decoration Day” until the early 1900s, was a major celebration when I was in elementary school. Later, it seemed to become just another day to take off from school or work, and perhaps plan a picnic. Do our children really know why we honor our military personnel, both dead and alive, on that day? Do their parents know?

A memorial is something we do or make to honor the memory of a person or event. We generally think of that person as a hero, someone who has made an impact on our lives. That could be a parent, a teacher, an aunt or uncle, a friend, and not always someone who played the principal character in our lives.

Who have been some of the heroes during our lives? What did they teach us? Which of those heroes are still a part of our ideal for ourselves? Many of these real-life heroes took us by the hand and led us through our journey of life.

And each of us can be, may be, a hero to someone else. We will never know the influence we have on another person. Being a hero is being able to know yourself, to acknowledge your weaknesses and limitations.

The heroes today are all around us. Many children look to their parents as heroes. In spite of their flaws, I was no different.

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Other heroes are those who have been called to serve in the military. As a mother who has borne sons and daughters, with granddaughters and grandsons, I can support and honor those warriors, while objecting to the wars they fight. I believe, perhaps naively, that there is a way to live in peace, in “shalom.”

I don’t mean to say that fathers are not also for peace! It’s just that I can’t speak as a father. I come from a family of peace-loving people who loved their country and wanted to make this a peaceful country.

My family has chosen to serve this country in a variety of ways. Please check out my brother’s post for today on for more information on the Jones/Hilton family history of serving.

I’m not certain about all my ancestors, but I do know that as ministers during the Civil War, my great-great-greats fought to free slaves. My father’s brother, my Uncle Joe, served as a Chaplain in the U.S. Army during World War II. He also served in Korea – and in Vietnam twice. His way of serving was to continue to preach Peace.

My father tried to serve in WW II, also as a Chaplain, but at age 34, they said he was too old. My former husband was a physician in the Navy; he chose to serve as a healer rather than a warrior.

During the last years of the Vietnam war, my son-in-law, my daughter’s fiancé at the time, fought fires with the Conservation Corps in California as a Conscientious Objector.

The older of my two sons served four years in the United States Coast Guard because he said he would rather “guard our coast” than to be put into a killing field. As a Navy Chief, he also served as a Sea Bee (Construction Battalion) in Iraq twice, and in Afghanistan once, trying to help rebuild what has been destroyed. One of his own daughters (my granddaughter) is now serving in the U.S. Navy as a Yeoman.

When my then husband was serving in the Navy, we spent three of his service years on Guam (1966-1969) during a major escalation of the Vietnam war. When we first moved there, the hospital had one or two air evacs per week of injured active duty personnel from Vietnam. By the end of the three years, there were three to four or more per day!

Because we lived next door to the hospital, the only place my children could go to the movies was there at the hospital theater. But they would come home and tell me about sitting next to some young man with both legs and one arm blown off. No child should have to live with that, not my children, not your children, not the child of an Iraqi or Afghani mother! One friend said that “maybe they do” need to see it in order not to perpetuate this craziness.

I tell you this background so you know I don’t come from an idealistic place that is out of touch with the reality of our world. During my “hippy-trippy” days, I wore the following medal produced by “Another Mother for Peace.” It is just as valid today as it was in the 60s and 70s.

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The concept of peace shows up in a variety of words. In Greek it is eirene, in Arabic it is salem. Most of us may be more familiar with the Hebrew – shalom! Often we think of it as simply a greeting, much like aloha or hello. And all of these words have been interpreted by us to mean “peace,” although it is a peace that is more than the mere absence of war.

So on this Memorial Day when we remember these heroes and recall the wars and periods of shalom, I will sit with my cup of tea and enjoy the gentle and peaceful, soft blue of my agapanthus.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

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There are many “Mother myths” from various cultures and faiths. Some reveal the mother as nurturing, maternal, care giving, full of a feminine mystery and power. Other mother myths portray a darker side of motherhood, but I won’t talk about those today.

In Jungian psychology, there is the archetype of “Mother,” or the Divine Mother. I will briefly tell you about only a few of these.

To start out, there was Mary, Mother of Jesus, who has been called the Christian Goddess of Compassion. She is a universal symbol for motherhood. As a pastor as well as a mother, I could relate to the Christmas story that surrounds the birth of Jesus. I often wonder how she made the trip on a donkey at the time of delivery!

The Virgen de Guadalupe (Spanish for the Virgin of Guadalupe) is considered to be one of the “Black Madonnas.” That’s a story for a later post, but this picture hangs beside my front door.

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Another beloved mother figure is Kwan Yin, or Quan Shi Yin, or Kuan Yin. She is the compassionate bodhisattva of East Asian Buddhists. The actual word used (karuna) means something greater than compassion, which is described as “a love for all beings, equal in intensity to a mother’s affection for her child.”

On the grounds of the Waikoloa Hilton Hotel here on the Big Island stands this statue, the ocean creating a wonderful watery backdrop for this Divine Mother. Please check out my brother’s post on Guan Yin today.

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When I lived in Arizona, I learned of Ha Hai-I Wuhti, the Hopi Divine Mother, who was thought of as the mother of all kachinas. I don’t have a picture of her, but here is a shot taken in Tucson on the church grounds.

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That earthy picture brings me to Gaia, Greek Goddess we might be more familiar with as Mother Earth, the symbol of a mother who nourishes plants and young children. What better way to show her nurturing than by showing some of the local flowers?

All along Ali`i Drive on the Kona side of the island, and many other places as well, you will see the night blooming cereus. I remember friends in Tucson who sat up all night to see their one plant bloom. Here they are in abundance everywhere and certainly spectacular. These had bloomed during the night, but I was able to get a shot before they were completely gone the next morning.

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Here is one of the many flamboyant flame trees you will see all around Hawai`i, often called “Royal Poinciana.”

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Hibiscus are also everywhere in dramatic colors.

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Four years ago, my children got together to celebrate my girls’ birthdays, and also to say farewell to my son who was leaving for his first tour in Iraq. They sent me the picture at the beginning of this post. At first I wondered who all those people were! I thought the shot included friends of my children.

Then I realized they were all mine in one form or another. There were my four children, their spouses, and eight of my nine grandchildren (one couldn’t get away to be there). Since then, two great-grandchildren and one spouse of a grandson have been added to this “rogue’s gallery.”

Of course, I can’t forget my “other” child – Mr. Kaimana Kat! Here he is hanging over a large platter that is a painting of the Virgen de Guadalupe.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and their children – and especially to my gang!


May Day/Lei Day!

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What do you think of when May 1 comes along?

The Lehua blossoms on the Ohia tree above are one sure sign that we are on the verge of summer. By May 1, the trees are loaded with red blooms and more are opening up.

When I was a little girl many moons ago, on May 1, we made little baskets to hang on the door knobs of neighbors. Sometimes these were baskets folded out of construction paper strips that we had made in school. Not as frequently, we were able to go to the “dime store” and buy a few little woven straw baskets.

Whatever we used, we filled them with flowers as our way of saying “Happy Spring!” on May 1, or May Day. Even today, May Day is celebrated here in Hawai`i as “Lei Day” with hula, everyone wearing lots of leis, and the crowning of the May King and Queen in the schools.

When I was a senior in high school, I was a member of the May Queen’s court. As a child, I enjoyed dancing the May Pole Dance, which originated in Great Britain.

For those who have ever done any sailing, “Mayday!” meant a life and death situation at sea. Fortunately, I never had to radio that emergency when I lived on board my boat.

However you think of “May Day,” it primarily means lots of flowers and a feeling of new life in our gardens. Here are a few signs of “new life” as we begin the month of May.

I call this my “Buttercup” plant because of the many yellow blooms that cover it. Some have already fallen off but there are many more buds ready to open up.

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Blossoms on my little coffee tree was one of the many surprises I found this past week! What do you think the chances are that I’ll get a cup of coffee out of this?

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Two weeks ago, I planted three Spic & Span gladiolus bulbs and today, I saw that two of them have sent up spikes of almost two inches! Today, I also planted one Florence Vaughn Canna
and one Canna Indica. I can hardly wait to see these all sprout.

Somehow, I have squash vines coming up in the oddest places, especially where I did not plant them! I think the birds have left me these gifts. At any rate, here’s one of the squash plants that many people around here eat. Sometimes they get about two feet long! The vines must be spreading out at least four or five feet. Here is a squash and I have no idea what kind it is. I have another one growing where I planted okra!

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The fig tree my daughters gave me last spring has five branches covered with figs. Here is just one branch! There were two figs on it last summer and they were sweet. It looks like I’ll have more than two to eat this year, if the birds don’t get them!

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I’ve planted nasturtiums to cover some of the areas that are not hospitable to other plants. They have just started to come up.

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My donkey tail is getting plump. I need to make or buy some macramé hangers to get them up where they can really grow.

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My mixture of salad greens is about ready to give me a little salad.

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Along with the salad makings, I have several beautiful basils. Here is the Siam Basil.

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I have planted Holy Basil, also, but it’s not big enough to see yet. The Sweet Basil is growing like crazy, however. This picture was taken last week, and it’s about three times as big now. You can see the small lettuce plants a student gave me beside the basil. The other day, I ate a fresh sweet basil, tomato, and Jarlsberg cheese sandwich on whole grain bread that was heavenly.

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A common flower, but one of my favorites, is the geranium. These red ones are in pots outside my kitchen window, taking their cheer inside.


This peach colored geranium is starting to get a little growth on it.

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Today I did a lot of pruning, planting, watering, and weeding – then fed the weeds to my hens. On these warm, sunny days, I run out of time with so many projects to take care of. Once school is out (just one more week!), I’ll be able to spend more time outside.

A hui hou!


Full of Grace and Drama

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Some of the first cuttings I received in early 2006 were the “Angel Trumpet” from my friends in Na`alehu, or what is more properly known as Brugmansia. At first, I called it Datura, and I discovered that I’m not the only one to confuse it with Brugmansia.

“Dave’s Garden” is a website I go to often for questions I have about certain plants. This link gives a thorough description of the differences. One of the most noticeable is that the Brugmansia has long pendulous blooms, while the Datura has a more upright trumpet. Also, the Brugmansia can become tree-sized and the Datura doesn’t grow taller than about four feet.

So the beautiful trees with the cream or peach colored blooms hanging down and swaying in the breeze all over the island right now is actually a Brugmansia, as far as I can tell from my research.

At any rate, Brugmansia is what I was given over three years ago, and they rooted quickly. Here is a picture taken toward my driveway from the house and you can see several of them, easily distinguished from the palms and plumeria. This was taken when they were one year old (April, 2007).

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These two trees are nearer my front door, taken at the same time (April, 2007).



I have nursed all of these, watered regularly, put plenty of soil around them, and bestowed them with lots of TLC.

Just this week, I had my first bloom, and it wasn’t even on the biggest of the plants I have. In fact, it was in the smaller of the two trees in the above photo.

During my regular watering last Saturday (April 18), I noticed this long green bud hanging down from the center of the plant. Normally, I examine each plant carefully and talk to it as I water to check for bugs, disease, and growth, but this bud had escaped me. It seemed like it must have come out overnight.

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I took pictures as it unfolded. You would think it was my new baby – and in a way, I guess that’s absolutely true. Those who have several full-grown trees in their yard, must think I’m crazy, but after struggling to get even one bloom, I’m ecstatic with what I have.

Three days later (April 21) it had started to open.


The following day (April 22) it was open even more


By Thursday (April 23) it was fully open.


I hope that this means I’ll be seeing more blooms on my other Brugmansia plants soon.

There are some other features about this plant that you should know. First, please realize that all parts of both Datura and Brugmansia are highly toxic. When you work with them, I recommend that you wear garden gloves and certainly don’t put your fingers on your face if you’ve touched them. One friend ended up having a difficult time breathing after she’d been trimming them.

“The plants are sometimes ingested for recreational or shamanic intoxication as the plant contains the tropane alkaloids scopolamine and atropine; however because the potency of the toxic compounds in the plant is variable, the degree of intoxication is unpredictable and can be fatal.” (

It has been used in shamanic rituals, as well as in a drink called “ayahuasca” in South America. On the north end of the Big Island of Hawai`i, there is a group (they call themselves a “church”) that uses ayahuasca in their rituals. One of my students just gave a talk on ayahuasca this week in my class on substance abuse. I won’t go into it here, but please do the research if you are interested in finding out more.

In my research, I also found a society dedicated to Datura and Brugmansia – the American Brugmansia & Datura Society, Inc. So evidently I am not the only who seems to think of them together.

Another fascinating connection, at least for me, is that the Datura and Brugmansia belong to the perennial herbaceous family of Solanaceae – that includes Belladonna and other toxic plants. When I was a child and constantly suffering from asthma, the only remedy that seemed to work was Asthmador made of Belladonna . It came in cones of incense, powdered form, as well as cigarette form. When the first two could not be found, my father taught me how to smoke Asthmador cigarettes!

Since then, at least one medical article has come out that talks about how a toxic psychosis could be induced by Asthma-Dor. (Can Med Assoc J. 1971 February 20; 104(4): 326) I also discovered an art site that showed a “vintage box” of Dr. R. Schiffman’s Asthmador cigarettes that was on auction.

Although that drug is the only reason I am alive and breathing today, I hope I haven’t become too obsessed with learning more about the graceful and dramatic Brugmansia outside my door.

A hui hou!

Various Projects on the “Farm”

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Relocating rocks can be either hard labor, or you can look at it as good exercise! I choose to think of it as a way to get in my weight lifting. This weekend, I put on my heavy duty garden gloves and started creating a spot in the sun for my three new boysenberry plants.

Soon after I moved into this house, I created a side path out of cinder and 12-inch pavers with the help of a friend. The photo above shows the path before we added the pavers, but gives an idea of where they would be going – fairly close alongside the house. This was also before the lattice work was put in around the base of the house.

Boysenberries need to be in full sun. There are many places around my acre that are in full sun, but only this one place where they would have something to climb on without building a frame. For several reasons, that wasn’t an option at this time.

So my first task was to move the pavers to create an area for the berries. Here is the new path, curved to leave a planting spot.

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This space will hold three boysenberry plants – I hope.

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A couple weeks ago, a friend helped me build an addition to the chicken run. The “girls” seem happy with their new space. Here is a view from the front toward the water tank.

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This is a closer view from the other side. They all gathered to see what I was doing. As you can see, there is a little more to be done to finish off the top. They love scratching around in the lava, especially after I’ve tossed in a bunch of weeds.

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As I was moving the rocks for the boysenberry bed, I found several flat rocks that looked like pieces of concrete from the original construction period that had been stained by the red concrete. I pulled those out and created a path in some of the beds in the patio. I’ll dump in either cinder or soil and let something like a low-growing herb of some sort or alyssum fill in the cracks.

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The left side of this path is unplanted, so it’s full of weeds right now. You can barely see the right side where I have arugula and other salad greens planted. Original steps at the lower end of this path were put in by my two daughters last March.

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Here is another angle.

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You even get a glimpse of my pink geranium in this view.

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While I was taking pictures with my new Nikon Coolpix S610, I thought you might like to see the back half of my acre. I stood at the door of my shed and took several shots of it so you can see the potential for more growing space. When I figure out how to use the video ability of this camera, I’ll do a sweep around the property. Until then, just pretend that this is one panoramic view, from left to right. If you want to see a larger picture of each one, just click on it.


Here is a close-up of where the patio is from the shed, shielded by a stand of wild grass. When the grass is pulled, I will plant more flowers and veggies in that area, as well. So many ideas, so little time and energy!

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One last picture that I took at the same time is my beautiful bell pepper – a lovely green against the gray/black lava rocks.

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Addendum – just before I posted this, I made a few changes to my boysenberry bed. I removed the rocks from the outside of the pathway, dug three holes with the help of a friend who recently moved to Hawaii from Washington. In another post, I’ll tell you about her and how this blog prompted her to move here.

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She and I dug three deep holes, then she held the plant in place while I dumped in my combination of soil and chicken manure. We put rocks around the outside to help hold the soil and water. New growth was already beginning to show on the roots!

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A hui hou!


A Spring Day – Easter!

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When Spring looks like the photo above, any little sign of growth is so very welcome. This is Inga’s front yard (my daughter in Idaho), taken when she was suffering from a bad case of Spring Fever this year!

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I remember an Easter Sunday in Kodiak, Alaska when I bundled all my family in heavy parkas, wondering if we’d see any sunrise at all – and we didn’t! On another Easter Sunday in Rhode Island, a heavy snowfall had covered everything by the time we finished church services.

Gradually, bits of color started to peek through the snow in Inga’s yard.

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Snow starts to give way.

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More color starts to show.

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Suddenly, the snow is gone and the blooms display their glorious colors.

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And that’s how Spring arrives in Boise, Idaho!

Spring comes in a different way here in Hawai`i. I’ve been getting sun, interspersed with a few rains, enough to help some of my plants send out blossoms.

Here is my own spot of bright yellow – sweet calendula.

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The agapanthus that I transplanted out of a pot is blooming again, and sending up more stalks that will open soon.

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The hibiscus that I cut way back has shown lovely growth and put out the first bloom just this week.

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Even the wild snapdragons that pop up all over are looking beautiful this year.

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The Japanese Walking Iris (Neomarica candida) is sending out all sorts of flowers.

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Here are a couple of close-ups of my blooms. Amazingly beautiful!

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A newly planted ivy geranium cutting is already blooming.

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My vegetables and varieties of basil are sprouting. Here are my string beans. They have doubled in size and have started climbing just since I took this picture last week.

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Watching plants gradually come to life in the spring is probably why I still can get excited over the first blooms. They are a living lesson on an abundant life after death.

A hui hou!

Palms of Spring

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Just a couple weeks ago on March 11, Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota held a celebration in honor of three separate religious holidays falling on the same day. The three holidays were Jewish Purim (celebrating the story of Queen Esther), Hindu Holi (celebrating several Hindu myths and springtime), and Muslim Mawlid al-Nabi (celebration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad).

Now we have moved into April and there are other religious festivals to celebrate. In the Jewish tradition, this is near the time of Pesach, or what we commonly call Passover. This year, it begins at sundown on Wednesday, April 8 and commemorates their Exodus from Egypt out of slavery.

In the Christian tradition, today is Palm Sunday in remembrance of Jesus’ triumphant ride into the city of Jerusalem. The people expected him to liberate them from the oppressive government, so they were excited to see him and spread palm branches on the road before him. It is in honor of that day that this post focuses on palms.

The opening photo is looking up into a tall coconut palm in a friend’s yard over in Na`alehu, loaded with coconuts. I just hoped none would fall on me as I was taking the picture.

The tall palms all over Hawai`i are beautiful, although not native. Here is one in the middle of the Ala Moana Shopping Center on Oahu.

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When I visited some of the Hawai`ian sacred sites in Hilo with a group of students last month, I took these pictures of the tall palms scattered around the area.

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Then we have the banana palm trees. Here is a small one in a friend’s yard. I have a few but they are still way too small to even think about bearing.

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This little coconut palm in my yard has a long way to go to match the one on top of this post! It has been badly damaged by the wind and sulfur dioxide.

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I was given this saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) in a large pot by another friend.

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Since then I have taken it out of the pot and planted it in the ground.

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Over the past couple of years, I’ve been putting in triangle palms (Neodypsis decaryi) to line my driveway. Here are a couple of photos to show you. Maybe in about five years or so, they’ll be closer to the size I want. This shot was taken before my driveway was put in.

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This shows the cinder dumped onto the driveway, with a friend and his son on the bobcat, ready to grade it down for me.

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This gift triangle was already about three times as big when I got it as the others I have. Such a prize!

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Then I was given four small triangles to put into the ground. One has made it, but the other three are still waiting to be planted. Someday I’ll get around to it – along with all my other projects!

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Perhaps someday, mine will be as big as the one a friend has on Maui. He planted these in 2003.

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A post on palms wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the “Sago Palm,” which isn’t even a palm at all! I think people call it a “palm” because of the way the branches look, but it is really a cycad. Perhaps I’ll do a post on that another day. Here is one that belongs to my friend on Maui.



If you are interested in knowing more about the various religious holidays I’ve mentioned, check out one of the following websites. I highly recommend this Interfaith calendar that lists all the religious festivals. The Religious Tolerance site is also very informative.

Time to go water my palms!

An English Spring

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It was three years ago during my Spring Break, plus a few days, that I traveled to England with a friend. Although it was very cold, especially to someone fresh from Hawai’i, there was no rain for the three weeks we spent there.

These photos will be in three sections. The first group was taken in London, in and near St. James Park. As you can see above, the daffodils in England are a brilliant herald of Spring. They are some of the first flowers to be seen.

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They were in large clumps everywhere I looked.

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Of course, there were more flowers in bloom than just daffodils. Tucked here and there one could find these lavender beauties.

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Here is another view in St. James Park with its carpet of blooms.

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If you rest on a park bench by the river to feed the squirrels or have a cup of hot coffee and warm up, you will see the “old man willow.”

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This second section shows our drive through the Cotswolds, visiting such places as Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare country). Again, there were early blooms poking through the cold ground in little hidden spots.

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Of course, who among us doesn’t love the romantic sight of a thatched roof? It brings back memories of “Merrie Olde England,” doesn’t it? There are a few flowers blooming along the road in front of this home.

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Mostly we drove along narrow roads lined with bare hedges, and through the narrow winding streets of the villages.

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The fences were made out of the yellow limestone so common in Cotswold country.

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For the third part of our journey, we drove toward the English Channel and the White Cliffs of Dover. One of the English women I’ve come to learn about is the novelist Vita Sackville-West. A visit to her home in Kent (Sissinghurst Castle) took us through her “white garden,” even though very little was blooming. If you are interested in seeing her gardens in full bloom, go here.


The English spring daffodils were in full bloom here, too.

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And narcissus….

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In every corner of her gardens you are invited to rest and meditate.

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I love to fantasize about what it would be like to live in an English home like this one. I can imagine the novelist working out in her gardens (when she wasn’t writing), then sitting on the bench against a warm wall to view her results, cup of tea in hand.

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There are pictures of Sissinghurst in bloom on this website, as well as a different view of her home. I spied these blooms climbing up the end of her home.

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Sometimes you are left with the feeling that she has just paused in her planting. These beds are ready for the new annuals to be put out. Because her gardens and castle are part of the National Trust, I’m sure there are gardeners who still carry on her “white” theme each year.

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Here is another cluster of color along one of the winding paths.

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There was a moat that surrounded one area with a boathouse under the bridge. The boat was still there! In the background you can see the roof of one of the oast houses, used for drying hops to make their brew.

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I’d love to go back to visit Sissinghurst sometime when it comes back to life in the early summer. Someday I will get to do that.

Spring Has Arrived!

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Do you think my cuttings of donkey tail will ever look like the ones Bob Elhard grows above?

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Even though we don’t have as well-defined a change in season as most locations on the mainland and other parts of the world, there is a certain feel to this time of year. For me, it is a time when I simply have to pull up what has stopped producing and prepare the beds for new plantings. That time came for me this past week. Between the rain and the wind, I was able to do a little of that.

I was down to a few bug-eaten leaves on the mustards and collards, so those were pulled up and fed to the chickens. The same thing was true of my string beans, although I have new beans planted and they are already sticking up their heads.

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I was able to get my potted Bearss Lime into a larger pot. I need to trim this back a little bit, although you aren’t supposed to do a lot of pruning on citrus plants. I still haven’t decided if I’ll keep it in a large pot or if I’ll try to put it into the ground eventually.

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The four small beds I have by the driveway were cleared out. I thought I’d empty out the sweet potato bed because it didn’t look like anything was happening, and look what I found! So I replanted a few of the tiny ones.

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All that is left in the other three small beds is one pineapple that is slowly growing, the chives, and cilantro. You can see that I’ve put scrap pieces of lattice behind the back two beds. When I plant things like eggplant or bitter melon, they can grow up and over the lattice.

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You may remember where I wrote about my “pig dirt” in other posts. Here it is as I was hauling buckets of it into other areas of my plot. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to see how high this pile is because of the angle of the camera.

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I finally got down far enough that it wasn’t feasible to keep shoveling it up and into buckets. So I decided to put a border of lava stones around the outside. I thought I would make a large round bed for planting. Here is my meager beginning of that process. You can see the veggies still growing in the small beds.

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A friend commented that I wasn’t creating a round bed, but a square bed with rounded corners. It doesn’t matter what you call it, but with a little work, it’s starting to take shape. I still need to put more stones on the larger side to delineate the path where I’ll put black cinder.

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Here is a close up of the small crescent bed on the left. You can see where I’ve put small stones to divide it into patches. I’ve put in three kinds of basil and Greek oregano. Everything is starting to sprout.

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It feels like everything in my yard is without color, that it’s all just a shade of gray and an occasional touch of light green, but this is that “in between time” before things start to look lush again.

I have a few patches in all my beds that haven’t been planted yet. The seed packets are on my table, ready for sowing. This next week is Spring Break, so maybe I’ll be able to get around to a few gardening activities.

Have you started your compost pile yet?

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