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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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Hawaii!!! omg.

Hawaii!!! omg.

I got most everything I needed to done on the checklist. Plenty of gardening to do when I get back though still. My mom got a tone of stuff at the Sotterley sale, and I ended up with 2 white coneflowers and some mini irises. I am DEFINITELY going to do the plant exchange next year! They had SO much stuff. I talked to a volunteer, and basically as long as you bring something, you can take whatever you want! They really had a ton of stuff and a lot of people in line. I wonder what they do with leftovers – maybe split them up between volunteers? Who knows.

I said I was going to bring some stuff next year and he told me I should just go ahead and jump in line this year! Aw how nice. I totally would have, but knowing that I’m going on vacation, I didn’t want a ton of stuff I had to plant today. I saw a ton of stuff I could have taken, though – daylilies, periwinkle, tons of herbs and stuff – fun! Now I’m really looking forward to it for next year. I was actually going to maybe bring a couple sages and a baby aster and do the exchange, but I ended up giving them to my mom before we went 🙂 – which is fine anyway, since she’s driving me and hubby to the airport on Mother’s Day!

So anyway – now I’m off to Hawaii! That pic is actually a pic that my friend who I’ll be staying with sent me to “tease” me! I’ll have my computer (we’re taking it on the plane to watch movies etc) so you might see a tweet or two! And I’ll have surely have fun stuff to share when I get back.

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I leave for Hawaii soon! SO excited about it. As of today, I have never been farther west than Philly! A lot of my flowers here are just starting to bloom, and thankfully I have my mom and dad to take care of my plants and cats while I’m gone. It’ll be interesting to see how much grass pokes through the heavy mulch in the new garden while we’re gone and how many of those awful locust trees and arrowhead vines start to pop up everywhere. boooo. (Sorry for the boring no pics post. It’s still raining. I will make up for it with jealous-worthy Hawaii pics in a couple weeks. I think I’m actually going to take the computer to Hawaii so we can watch movies and stuff on the plane, so I can REALLY make all you twitterers jealous!!)

Blooming today:

  • spiderwort – sweet kate and another variety
  • carnations are finally bursting into bloom – pink ones are first
  • new creeping phlox
  • other dianthus – a creeping one and a new one I need to remember the name of
  • sweet potato vine and lobelia
  • million bells are just starting
  • marigolds and new guinea impatiens

Things I should do before Hawaii:

  • plant royal burgundy bush beans – probably one in a large pot and one in the garden.
  • hang container that has sweet potato vines and lobelia in it
  • plant candytuft, liriope, stonecrop, red coneflower, bee balm, and whatever else I buy on Saturday for the new garden
  • plant as many of the new seedlings as possible (opal basil, poppy, cilantro, cosmos, zinnia) – the rest will go to my parents’ house for the week to make sure they don’t dry out without being watered all the time.
  • possibly mulch the back bed
  • possibly divide the giant frigging daylily on the corner of the front bed that I’ve divided TWICE A YEAR for the past 2 years since I got the division from my mom. The thing is a mutant! Not sure the variety – I think this is a pic of that one up close. I know this is a pic of it later in the season. (I can’t believe how much bigger the dianthus are that are in this pic! I’ll have to try to remember to take a comparison one on Saturday.
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