Day eight of the Hawaiian adventure. What was my most favorite moment? I would have said dawn on Haleakala but I didn’t see it. That’s a story for another time. I would have said breakfast at Grandma’s because it was yummy, but that’s a story for another time. I have to say my favorite moment, picking only one, was the Kula Botanical Gardens.
Right off the bat I want to shut up the critics. I concur. Compared to other gardens around the country Kula is nothing to write home about. It’s a tiny place established in 1969. It doesn’t have spectacular exhibits or fancy bells and whistles. It’s a simple plot of land (eight acres to be exact) carefully cultivated to showcase all of Hawaii’s botanical wealth. It does what it promises. Yes, it is tiny but the next time you want to bypass it, consider this: it is a family owned and operated garden. The love for this place is palpable. The price of admission is the main source of funds keeping the place alive. Everything is on a volunteer basis. The weeding. The fertilizing. The watering. The nurturing and care. There is love and pride in this little botanical garden and I appreciated that immensely.
The day Kisa and I decided to drop in to Kula it was cloudy with a touch of rain (the reason I can’t talk about the Haleakala sunrise, there simply wasn’t one). I was nervous about Kisa’s level of interest walking around looking at plants in borderline dreary weather. At the same time I didn’t want to buzz through the eight acres. I wanted to make each and every exhibit last to feel it’s worth. As we followed the hand-drawn map we were taken across bridges, through arbors, over gurgling water, overlooking a pond of nene. It was a maze of wonder.
The best part was when we encountered the tiki garden. I wish I had been reading The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland. I would have stopped to draw the tiki statues in honor of Emily Carr. As it was, Kisa and I had fun posing with our new friends.