Oahu-based public artist Gaye Chan once told me and Marko that we were part of her lost tribe. If by that she means we are into Free Stores, foraging free food, and eating weeds, then yes, we are! (more…)
Sorry so silent! I’ve been busy arranging flowers in Honolulu, Beacon (where another Urban Plant Researcher recently wed!) and the German countryside, sometimes into bouquets and more often into lei.
Mahalo to the Hui Hana Lei Ladies who taught me to make haku lei in my last month in Hawaii. If you’re on Oahu, please visit their annual lei-making class this Thursday. I just posted about my experience making lei with the lei ladies, and more about their class, here on my other blog, Local Color.
Towering tropical trees, from ulu (breadfruit) to rainbow shower, amaze me every time I visit the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus here in Honolulu. “It’s like a botanical garden,” I was just saying yesterday. Today, the local newspaper announced that the campus has just received international accreditation as an arboretum: one of only 135 in the world!
A large green organism reached through a bathroom window in Kauai today, startling Urban Plant Research contributor Marko Förstel. The scientist, who is visiting Kauai for an academic conference, quickly snapped a picture to share with us. Further inspection revealed that the green being was a banana tree. Thank you, Marko, for sharing this cheeky Kauai resident. Bathroom visitors, beware!
Amazing how much you can learn about mango trees at the Kaka‘ako Farmers Market here in Honolulu. While vegetable shopping this morning, I stopped to chat with Jen Homcy about Foundwood, her woodworking company that creates cutting boards out of reclaimed local hardwood. She took the time to share some knowledge about the wood she uses, including how the curl gets in the curly mango.
All over Honolulu, the Dr. Seuss-esque towers of agave flowers have been catching my eye. The spiky, seafoam-green plants are popular for home gardens here. A little research on Wikipedia suggests that this is the Mexican species Agave attenuata, which, thanks to the shape of its inflorescence, is also called foxtail, lion’s tail or swan’s neck. It is a different species that is used for tequila, the blue agave, also know as, what else, Agave tequilana.