Who knew that amid the mayhem of big city life you’d find a serene, almost pre-historic garden? This place is an absolute treasure and worth finding. I have never seen so many unique plants and trees in one place before and some of the pix don’t do the size and scale any justice.
Foster Botanical Garden, measuring 13.5 acres, is one of five public botanical gardens on Oahu. It is located at 50 North Vineyard Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, near Chinatown at the intersection of Nu'uanu Avenue and Vineyard Boulevard. Foster is in a highly urban area with strip malls, schools, and both Buddhist and Methodist religious facilities nearby.
The Garden is the oldest botanical garden in Hawaii and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As the oldest of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens, Foster Garden displays a mature and impressive collection of tropical plants. Some of the magnificent trees in this almost 14-acre garden were planted in the 1850s by Dr. William Hillebrand. They marked the beginning of a heritage that became The Honolulu Botanical Gardens.
Our morning started out as per usual with commuting into town from the West side. We've grown quite accustomed to this drive, and we were happy when we exited before what appeared to be bad traffic. There always seem to be small miracles everywhere we turn. Finding the gardens was super easy thanks to my phone navigator (I really need to name her) and what was amazing was how quickly we were able to get back onto the freeway to go home. We found Princess parking right away and sat in wonderment of the cotton floating around us, for just a brief second, we thought we were back in Nevada looking at snow!
Once inside we paid a reduced rate to get in thanks to being Kamaʻāina (local to Hawaii) and we started on our adventure. The grounds are extremely well maintained, and the concrete path shoots off in all different directions, so not to break tradition, we went opposite of where the crowds were going. As we started down the path, we were admiring all the plants and listening to the birds singing and out of nowhere this beast of a tree appeared.
I know this picture does it absolutely no justice, the base or trunk of this tree had to have been at least 20 feet around. I was instantly transported back to prehistoric times and started to wonder if a Brontosaurus was going to wander through looking for foliage to eat…or humans…either way… it was unreal! This tree is a Giant Hibiscus relative and was planted in 1930---making it 92 years young!
After we realized that we were not going to become lunch for giant dinosaurs, we meandered our way through the rest of the grounds. It seemed as though around every corner was a new delight. We came across art sculptures, one that was completely unique and built out of surfboards. It had a tail that connected to a gazebo wrapped with bottles. From certain angles it looked like a wave.
Towards the end we went into a sunroom that housed very distinct flowers and plants. We spent a good 20 minutes in there before we realized how incredibly hot it was. As we walked out, we both realized we were drenched in sweat, and marking the end of our adventure, we decided-- why not replenish our bodies with Taco Bell! And away we went. As I mentioned before, getting out of there and back on the freeway was flawless and we were on the West side in no time chowing down on food.
Foster Gardens is a gem of a find and I highly recommend anyone visiting Oahu to take a trip there. It was both stunningly beautiful and wildly surprising at the same time……Stay tuned for more shenanigans next week!