Back from Hawaii (sadly). I took tomorrow off (and gardened, actually), but I’m back to work tomorrow. sadface. I’ll share a bunch of Hawaii pics in the coming weeks, I’m sure, but here’s the first batch! (And here are the rest of the almost 500 pics, if you’re inclined to browse!)

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These were taken at the Waimea Valley gardens on Oahu. I definitely recommend it as a must-see for gardeners in Hawaii. It’s I think about a mile long hike to the top, but it’s all paved and gently sloping. We did it in flip flops, no problemo, and there are benches along the way to stop if you want. The gardens are GORGEOUS! It’s so fun to see all of the neat tropical plants, plus the ones you treat as houseplants growing like crazy outside. One of the things I was most amused about in Hawaii was the HUGE AND LOVELY pothos growing everywhere as ground cover! Humble pothos! I SO wanted to steal a sprig and start a plant with it, but I didn’t want to have to go through declaring it to the agricultural dept and stuff. Oh well. Also big giant swiss cheese plant everywhere and bougainvillea used like we use azaleas here. Now I want one of both of those!

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Anyway – at the end of this trail there is a waterfall and a small pond. I really wish we’d brought our suits and gone swimming. My friend (Jessica) asked if we wanted to and we said nah (we were driving around after and didn’t really want to do it wet), but I now wish we’d done it. Oh well. They have a lifeguard there and little changing rooms and everything! Next time I’ll do it 🙂

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The gardens themselves are arranged in specific ways at the beginning – there is a whole area for peperomia, one area that goes over the history of the hibiscus, etc. A lot of native and rare plants – cool to see ones that are “last known” or “may prove to be a new species” etc. Once you go farther on the trail, there are just pretty plants with little side gardens you can veer off into (also wild Hawaiian chickens, which are fun). There are also some native Hawaiian artifacts along the way – some stone monuments etc. I think you can actually go to an educational program if you pick the right day/time.

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The food there is also great, incidentally. There is a beach nearby, so a lot of beachgoers go to Waimea’s little outdoor lunch counter to eat lunch. I had a really great salad, Jessica had a taro burger (like a Hawaiian veggie burger) and will had a burger (they were out of kalua pork, boo). They also have smoothies and booze, if you’re interested. We got an acai smoothie on the way out that was really good.

More later! Also – darnit, I wish I’d remembered about the cool color isolation feature on my camera that day! But props to my hubby for running back to the car to get me the spare camera battery after my camera died in the hibiscus section! ❤

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