Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Limahuli Garden

Saturday morning, we tried to get an early start. Our plan was to visit Limahuli gardens, which is on the north shore, close to the end of the road, in Haena.

Limahuli is a terrific botanical garden, set on a hillside overlooking the ocean. Its not quite as full of flowers as some of the others. The first half of the garden is organized into 3 sections. The first section is called the "Canoe Garden", and it showcases the plants that the early Polynesian settlers would have brought on their canoes when they migrated from Tahiti or thereabouts. They brought staples like taro and breadfruit, and planted them into terraces with irrigation. Here are some pictures of the canoe garden:

The second section is a plantation garden, which are the types of plants grown by the European settlers, the children of the missionaries. These gardens tended to be more decorative, full of flowers, and also tropical fruits and trees. This is the plantation garden:

The third section was the native forest, which highlighted the native species that arrived on Hawaii before any people came, a diverse set of plants and trees. Also much harder to photograph, I don't have a good picture of this section.

There was a portion of the landscape that showed what the "natural" forest is like on Hawaii today, how much of it has been overrun by invasive species that have been imported for houseplants or landscaping. In particular the scheflera, or umbrella trees, have choked out much of the native forest. These are attractive trees, but they don't allow much else to grow beneath their canopy, so they ultimately spoil the landscape.
You can see a couple of the umbrella trees in this picture, they are on the right side of the photo, and they have the long red stems sticking out of the top

After walking up the hillside of the garden, and through the native forest, there is a section which shows how native plants can be attractive in landscaping. Here's a view down the hillside towards the ocean, where they have a lawn, and some native trees and plants used in decorative fashion:

No comments:

Post a Comment