McBryde Garden and Allterton Garden. Two of five gardens comprising the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) network, the gardens are a dream for botanists. Thousands of species of plants make up the largest collection of native Hawaiian species with many threatened or endangered. The gardens are open to the public, but children under age 8 are not welcome at Allterton Garden (Hint to Allterton staff: put that in your brochure instead of showing pictures of kids crawling on the cool trees with amazing, giant roots!)
Since we couldn't get into Allterton Garden to see the cool trees where dinosaurs laid their eggs in the Jurassic Park movie, we went to McBryde Garden instead. From the website: "McBryde Garden is nestled in the picturesque and historical Lāwa`i Valley. The site of the first garden of the NTBG, the Lāwa`i Valley was chosen for its diversity of climate, soils, and topography. The area affords a kaleidoscope of distinct micro-environments which are cool, hot, wet, dry, lake, cliff or meadow."
A tram escorts guests 10-15 minutes into the garden, where you can walk along a small, gentle stream for 90 minutes before the driver returns to take you back to the Visitor's Center. Alex loved it. He climbed along the rocks, threw stones into the stream, ran through the open meadow and declared it a "great hike." Serene loved it because she could follow her brother without getting into too much trouble. Other than enjoying the delight of the children, I was bored to death. Maybe February isn't the blooming season or I just don't have the passion for plants to appreciate the diversity of flora, but I've seen far better blooms at every other Garden I've ever visited -- ever! I expected more about of a Hawaiian tropical garden. Shouldn't that be like the Garden of Eden, after all?
|Trees we didn't get to see at Allterton Garden.|