You’d have to see my jungle/house/barn- my land- to understand my delightful delve into the garden art.
It’s an art form I made up, I think. It isn’t gardening, I have a brown thumb, almost anything I plant goes belly up. But jungle plants and weeds and green living things that thrive and flourish on their own take to my jungle/house/barn and land like it was the mother breast on which they were suckled..
Guys at NTBG have told me my Elephant Ears are probably the largest on Kauai. One guy, sitting in my ‘jungle’ room, said he felt as though he were in a Honduran rain forest. Years ago I took some pictures and my husband said it looked like a house buried in the jungle. He should see it now. Outside wants inside and about fourteen vacuum cleaners have bit the dust since he saw it last. Brooms, rakes, and garden shears-.big garden shears-keep the rooms, galleries, and hallways open for passage. My kitchen is a green house. My bathroom, open air. And the room nsxt to my bedroom, which started life as an aviary, is now home to a Banyan hung thick with Spanish Moss. Every room in my house is open to air and flourishing skylights.
I love the African Tuiip- flame of the forest, fountain tree delight- that many on Kauai consider a pest. It does proliferate and very soon a dense grove of these lovely creatures blind the eye if you’re driving past one. The road to Lihue, this year, is thick with them. When my land is strewn with these brilliant orange blossoms I’m smitten. Captivated, raptured, enchanted, bewitched and seduced. Walking through them, watching them lift and fall in a glorious technicolor dance as I pass is heaven on earth. I haul them in. I grab a swinging Turk’s Head and sip the nectar. On my small slice of paradise on paradise isle I am very rich in leaves and blossoms falling from the sky-or at least from trees that touch the sky. They cover the ground like Mowgli’s security blanket and drift into the house like welcome guests. When they don’t drift I gather them in shopping bags, haul them in, too, and toss them about. They reign under the eaves along the hundred-foot long covered-walk and subtly infiltrate the red-tiled passage.
On rainy days I love to wander through my jungle finding treasures. Rotting branches with wild impatiens thriving in their bellies come home to roost. Bits of mold and mildewed bark that peeled from trees grace a cage of wild song birds who fly in and out. Arced along the drippy edge fragrant Sanseveria and Night blooming Jasmine liven up the air. A ring necked dove splashes in a bird bath. A mossy green St. Francis-at least sixty years old- stands watch while a shy Kwan Yin with her back turned-her jaw was broken in a fall years ago-bestows her blessing on mere mortals who dare trespass the road.
I call this garden art and it’s there to cheer the heart and please the eye. I share it with you.