While we were in Maui, I really wanted to visit a botanical garden. I LOVE gardens, collections of plants, especially when they involve tropical species that we don’t have in the Northwest. When I’m in Vancouver I like to visit the Bloedel Convservatory (another post from a few years ago here), and in Portland we have just a hint of these vibes at the bird room within the Portland Zoo. Maui has a couple options for botanical gardens- there’s the Garden of Eden on the way to Hana, and the more arid and lesser-known (or so it seems) Kula Botanical Gardens. Fun fact: there’s a photo on the Garden of Eden page of a kid covered in parrots, and we totally stopped on the side of the road where it was taken! A guy had a bunch of crazy big parrots who were so well-trained that he could fling them around by their beaks and they would pose perfectly with kids. The parrot guy said something about my hair and how Lady Gaga stopped to see his parrots. OMG I love birds.
We decided to make a trip to the Kula Gardens and it was pretty awesome. Driving up to the gardens took us into the more arid mountain region of the island, there were huge fields full of cacti and a couple lavender farms. The garden itself isn’t huge, but it has a lot of cool stuff and a very chill vibe. I think their property extends past the public grounds so it felt expansive. Animal facts: they have a really cool little chameleon dude, a super old raggedy cat, and a bird aviary with pretty doves and super adorable lovebirds (there were babies too!). The gardens had some of the biggest monstera and staghorn ferns that I have ever seen, plus all the exotic staples like birds of paradise, orchids, protea, etc. The gardens gave me my first glimpse at painted eucalyptus trees, they are pretty amazing. The colors are crazy! They stand out a lot more when the bark is wet, and I got to see some huge ones growing in the rainforest on our drive to Hana. These trees!!
Anyway, I love gardens. I was so glad we made the trip to visit Kula, and I regret not buying a souvenir poster from their funny gift shop- they had a very 70′s vibe, close-ups of flowers with “KULA GARDENS” printed above them in a super retro font. At least I have some of my own photos. These were all shot on medium format film.