When kumu hula ‘Iwalani Walsh Tseu walks around her garden on a sprawling property in Ewa Beach, she feels blessed. The garden, which she named Pu‘uhonua o Honouliuli, was envisioned as a gathering place for cancer survivors as well as a gift for her daughters and grandchildren.
When life hands you shards, make a decorative multilevel planter. Diane Moses, community relations specialist at the Board of Water Supply, likes to save pieces from broken terracotta pots and ceramic plates as the materials for building eye-catching planters.
Angel Ramos, 86, has never not been growing plants, whether as a hobby or for survival. Raised in Ilocos Norte in the Philippines, he and his six siblings helped tend his impoverished family's crops. He learned to grow things from seed. "We had to farm because there were no jobs," said Ramos.
Bob Eddinger and Dr. Rodney Powell love spending just as much time in their garden as they do indoors, so they've created dozens of outdoor "rooms," as they call them, to enjoy the views from the hillside behind their home atop Tantalus.
If you're visiting Manoa Valley Theatre, just look across the street and you'll see Mike Suehiro's Christmas display for his grandchildren. "It's not the holidays without kids," Suehiro explained. "Grandkids can really change your life."
"It's fun to live in a fantasy land, which is sometimes better than the real world," said Karen Prentiss, who has filled a section of her Waikele garden with fairies, wizards, unicorns and other mythical figures.
Tom and Rosamond Miller enjoy spending most of their time at home in their enclosed lanai, a veritable greenhouse filled with potted plants and an eclectic collection of knickknacks. It's a place full of memories.
As it turns out, politics had nothing to do with it. Every couple of years as Election Day draws near, the hedges of elephants that appear to lumber up the driveway of the Upcountry home of Katie and Emiliano Achaval become political topiary.
You could say that Errol and Nancy Rubin aren't afraid of heights, given that their garden is basically a straight climb up more than 125 steps. Their multilevel home in Enchanted Lake, Kailua, is right up against a large hillside.
As the son of a family that worked the land, Sam Kakazu Jr. learned the art of repurposing long before it was trendy. "As farmers it's difficult to make money, so one man's trash is another man's treasure," he said.
Meg Lin is not afraid to pick up power tools and get her hands dirty. She's built raised-bed garden plots at her Manoa Valley home, created a three-step composting system, made a rain catchment system to save water, set up a worm composting bin for food scraps, and more.
From the moment you step into the garden in front of the Slater home in Pacific Heights, you're drawn in. Perhaps it's the colorful orchids growing on top of the rock wall on the left, or the broad staghorn fern slung from a tree, or the way the concrete pavers skip along a green lawn leading up to a white gate.