Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Foster Botanical Garden

Click on photos to enlarge!

Saturday is a happy word. Sunday is rich burnished mahogany. . .

On Sunday, my favorite husband and I found ourselves at the 13.5 acre Foster Botanical Garden adjacent to downtown Honolulu. This eldest of Honolulu's five public botanical gardens is notably the site of ancient "Kou," the Hawaiian village that predates our Honolulu Town. In 1853, Queen Kalama granted a royal lease for this land to German physician and botanist, William Hillebrand. The doctor and his wife lived in the house that they built here, and they planted the splendid tall trees which hold court above today's "main terrace," notably the incredibly TALL Royal Palm in the top photo. My picture fails by far to convey the height of this amazing specimen. It is one of several individuals on the property designated "Exceptional Trees" by ordinance. The Hillebrands remained in the islands for some twenty years. Upon returning to Germany, the doctor published the well regarded Flora of the Hawaiian Islands (1888). Next, sea captain Thomas Foster and his wife Mary developed the property further. Their gardens were bequeathed to the City upon Mary's death in 1930, and they opened to the public on November 30, 1931. The first legendary director of the public gardens, Dr. Harold Lyon, personally introduced 10,000 new species of plants and trees to our Hawaii. It was his own orchid menagerie that formed the core of today's collection. This grand symphony of tropical greenery (including some rare and endangered examples) took over 140 years to create. It is entered on the National Register of Historic Places. You can learn more about Foster Botanical Garden at: www.honolulu.gov/parks/hbg

YES we can!

"There is only one purpose for the accumulation of great wealth and that is to do great good." Andrew Carnegie

This resembles the Seed Lei that Hawiians create. A lei of pearls, what we'd call a pearl necklace, is in Hawaiian, a Lei Momi.

"Luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity."
Coco Chanel

Pink Orchid

This fellow sat patiently for his portrait!

Tropical light shining through a living and dead lantern.

Happy Nuts!

This is a Cannon Ball tree, Couroupita guianensis, native to Guiana. Signs warn visitors to STAND BACK. The "cannon balls" (cousins to the Brazil Nut) are heavy!

Tranquility Shared. . .
A L O H A! Cloudia