The Hawaiian island of Kauai bears some of the most lush and vibrant surroundings in the world, which is the main reason I visit as often as possible. While the island’s south shore is home to the popular and gorgeous McBride and Allerton Botanical Gardens, I wanted to share a secret about some lesser known gardens. Ones which I prefer because nobody else is there and I can make believe that they are my own secret gardens…
On the same piece of land as the McBride and Allerton Gardens is a separate garden with no entry fee, complete with vegetable garden, lush Hawaiian tropical plants and flowers, and a serene blooming lotus pond. Let me show it to you…
The Lotus Pond
When you park at the Allerton Gardens in Lawai, walk back toward the main road you came from (Lawai Road) and you can’t miss the lotus pond and palm tree row on your left. It is a beautiful spot where you can can relax to the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and watch the tall lotus flowers blow in the wind.
The Secret Gardens
The National Tropical Botanical Gardens (NTBG) non-profit organization took on an ambitious project on Kauai’s south shore to remove all foreign invasive plants which had crowded out native plants and threatened the Hawaiian sea turtle’s nesting areas. Through the study of fossils and historical records, the NTBG have replicated the tropical landscape that existed here a millennium ago.
The gardens at the Visitor Center aren’t something you’ll have to search for. It’s as simple as navigating to the Allerton Gardens. Once you’ve parked, make your way to the Visitor Center and just start strolling around. You’ll pretty quickly find yourself in the midst of some shady, lush tropics that look something like this: