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Archive for the ‘Gardens’ Category

Living the Dream on Hawai’i Island

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The Lava has come and gone, as it has for millions of years. Some folks are heading back to the mainland or Alaska after losing their homes to the will of Pele, goddess of lava. Many farm families shrug off the inconvenience of access roads to markets that are still blocked by lava.  They continue planting and harvesting, bringing papayas and avocados, rambutan and coconuts to the farmer’s markets. Everyone in the farming community hopes the local authorities will rebuild all major roads instead of routing dump-trucks, short-bed trucks and cars along narrow forest tracks better suited for bicycles and pedestrians. Surely, the roads will be repaired as in other disaster areas in the United States. Change is part of life; everyone copes.

People still dream of living on this mostly rural island and they are snapping up property. The Island of Hawai’i attracts newcomers and people from other parts of the state because of its relatively lower cost of living compared to Honolulu and Oahu. Puna, the southern district on Hawai’i Island affected by the 2018 lava flow, is said to be one of the fastest growing area on Big Island. The skies are clear again, the lava gone, quakes finished and the living is easy.

Some families are leaving the island, selling their dream houses and businesses.  Others changed their lifestyle and moved closer to Hilo, trading fire ants for fine arts.

One friend is headed back to Europe.  She is selling her gorgeous one acre estate with splendid house and many ornamental trees, notably a mature Bismarckia palm.

Bismarckia nobilis is a slow-growing majestic tree named for the first chancellor of the German Empire Otto von Bismarck. The is particularly poignant to me because with considerable effort, I dug the hole for my own small Bismarckia palm a few years ago. The space needed for my young palm and its bulbous root system was about 61 cm (24 inches) deep by 61 cm across which I excavated through dense lava rock from the 1955 lava flow.

Bismarkia nobilis

Alas, my Bismarckia perished in 2018 because of poisoned air during the lava inundation.  Lava didn’t smother or burn it, the noxious VOG , a by-product of the eruption, killed the palms, ornamentals and other trees.

A few photos of my friend’s piece of paradise are below and the listing is here.  I wish I had the resources to buy her house with the thriving Bismarckia nobilis in view of the lanai.

 

House and palmsBismarckia nobilis from lanaiBismarckia from bath

 

 

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No White Food

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Check our my food blog sometime NoWhiteFood

 

Written by patwa

21/10/2016 at 10:39 pm

Alien Weeds

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Patterson Clark shared his harvesting and art making processes at the Annual Meeting of the Audubon Naturalist Society last week at Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

I admire his dedication and inventiveness.  Take a look at his brilliant art made of weed pulp paper and essence of weed ink, plus a ferocious amount of creative energy.

In my own quest to help native plants, I  usually pull Lonicera japonica out of the trees or bushes it is choking and weave  the vines into baskets.

Lonicera japonica aka honeysuckle.

More information:

Urban Jungle column in Washington Post

Invasive  Plant Species in the Mid-Atlantic – National Park Service

Written by patwa

01/11/2012 at 10:53 pm

Sydney Botanic Gardens

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Met marvelous painter Charlotte Thodey at the pyramid that houses tropical plants in Sydney’s botanical  gardens

Weird chattering flying foxes shelter in the botanic garden trees, considered a nuisance by some.

Heliconias, orchids of miniscule to generous size, rubber trees, ferns, jasmine displayed in several glassed spaces.

The gardens extend to the harbour area, a vast miracle of downtown oasis in a city where real estateis premium.

Maps of Antarctica and the history of exploration of Australia’s “Down Under” — the southern polar continent was on view at  the State Library of New South Wales across from the gardens, so that’s where I spent the rest of the afternoon.

Written by patwa

07/02/2012 at 2:15 am

Posted in Art, Australia, Cartography, Gardens, Travel

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