On Saturday, Sarah and I visited the Waimea Botanical Gardens–a large and vibrant space in the Waimea Valley. I sent a few snapshots of our day to a close friend at the time and, over the past few days, I've realised I wanted to record them here and share them a little farther afield.

One of the things that continues to blow my mind in Hawaii–and anywhere with a tropical climate–is just how large the plants get. Things we might keep as house plants back in the UK are absolutely huge here. I don't know what plant it's from, but this leaf is a great example of the scale of things:

While the California Poppy has captured my heart more than any other, I continue to be a sucker for poppies in every form, and the gardens didn't disappoint:

Sadly we didn't make it as far through the botanical gardens as we'd like (they're quite sizeable), but we did get to enjoy their fabulous collection of hibiscus plants and trees. I'm sure other gardens must do this, but it's the first place where I've been aware of ancestor species being highlighted as distinct from the hybrids.

Both flowers pictured here are ancestor species, which amazes me, given the extreme difference between the two; without any expertise or experience in the the field of botany I'd have assumed something absurd as the Hibiscus Schizopetalus1 depicted below must be a hybrid. Apparently not.

Retiring to the Waialua Sugar Mill to do a little paperwork and enjoy some air conditioning, we finally dropped into 'Back in the Day Hawaii', a curious antiques store which seems to focus on Hawaiian and Japanese bric-à-brac. The place didn't really speak to me, but I did enjoy seeing this maneki neko convalescing the garden.

  1. Isn't that a great name!