Planting the Seeds of Growth with National Tropical Botanical Gardens
May 24, 2023
Pilialoha, or close and sacred relationships are at the heart of Hawaiian culture. As we continue to grow our extended ʻohana at Timbers Kauaʻi at Hōkūala, those cherished relationships help us to honor those who came before us, and our sense of place and presence in the community. With that said, we are so proud to announce a new partnership with National Tropical Botanical Gardens (NTBG), who have graciously donated native plants to our collection at The Farm at Hōkūala in an effort to preserve the seeds of growth the Garden Island is known for.
Growing Through a Common Purpose
Joy Stedman, a native Hawaiian and one of our cherished team members, regularly shares our kuleana to Kauaʻi with traveling members of the press. During one of these visits, Joy enjoyed a moving day of touring our home island with a freelance writer who connected our team with David Bryant at NTBG’s own McBryde Garden here on Kauaʻi. David visited Joy at Hōkūala for lunch at Hualani’s, a grounds tour, and some plant-meets-cultural impact talk. From that relationship grew a friendship based on common goals to learn about native Hawaiian plants and endangered species and to preserve Hawaiʻi’s canoe plants.
NTBG has been dedicated to tropical plant research, conservation, and education since 1964, and our team was eager to learn more. David invited the Timbers team to visit NTBG’s location on Kauaʻi’s sunny south shore. There, the team familiarize themselves with NTBG’s mission and the three gardens on Kauaʻi, Allerton (South), McBryde (South), and Limahuli (North Shore).
“McBryde Garden visitors can explore 50 acres of diverse plant collections including Hawaiian native and ethnobotanical species, palms, Rubiaceae (coffee family,) zingiberales (heliconia family,) and erythrina (coral trees.) Appreciate the importance of sustainable farming in our Regenerative Organic Breadfruit Orchard, and take a journey back in time in the Hawaiian Life Canoe Plant Garden and along the Tree of Life Trail.” – NTBG
At Limahuli Garden & Preserve, there is a heavy focus on conserving endangered flora. In 2021, over 350 Endangered and Critically Endangered endemic plants were grown for out planting in the Limahuli Preserve.
Among the Timbers Kauaʻi staff touring the NTBG’s work was The Farm at Hōkūala’s Manager, Matias Rodriguez, who is looking forward to continuing the work of conservation, preservation, and education on our farm tours.
“A veritable botanical ark of tropical flora and home to the largest ex-situ collection of native Hawaiian flora in existence.” – NTBG on McBryde and Allerton Gardens
Native Hawaiian Plant Month
The Farm at Hōkūala was delighted to host a special group from NTBG in April to celebrate Native Hawaiian Plant Month. We were joined by our NTBG friends David Bryant (Director of Communications,) Mike DeMotta (Curator of Living Collections,) and Heather George (Director of Development,) to celebrate. Our Farm Manager Matias, Wildlife Conservationist Alan Silva, and team members from Hōkūala’s apiary joined the group to collaborate on how best to move forward with our combined effort to conserve precious wildlife and flora. In celebration of our new friendship with NTBG, we planted gifts of pōhinahina, ʻilima and kou to expand on The Farm’s collection of native plants.
These were chosen from a selection offered from the NTBG nursery that also included:
- Kokiʻo ula (red hibiscus)
- Kokiʻo keʻokeʻo (white hibiscus)
- Polyscias racemosa (an amazing and unique tree endemic to Kauaʻi)
- Koaiʻa (a smaller cousin to koa)
- Loulu (native palm)
We are thrilled to build upon our relationship with NTBG, learn from each other, and share ways to mālama Hawaiʻi to share with our guests and owners.
As Kauaʻi is the Garden Island, we delight in sharing and celebrating ways we can kōkua through planting the seeds to nurture both the ʻaina and the special relationships we have created.
However, our dedication to building community does not stop at The Farm. Next month, we will be partnering again with our friends at Sustainable Coastlines Hawai`i as well as Mālama Hulē‘ia, Waipā Foundation, Hawaiʻi Land Trust (HILT), Surfrider Foundation, National Tropical Botanical Garden, and BEHawaiʻi for a community clean up at the beloved Alakoko Fishpond.