Word recently made it around that the Allerton and McBryde National Tropical Botanical Gardens in the Lawai Valley of Kauai began charging fees for entrance to the multi-acred landscapes, after this past winters devastating rains damaged the garden's infrastructure, and fundraising was necessary. We thought we'd use this time to recommend that you make a visit to these stunning displays of Mother Nature (and cultivated by human hand, sustained by Hawaiian mana). They are absolute wonders, and will certainly be an afternoon well-spent for anyone with an interest in architecture, design, horticulture, landscaping or art. Trickling streams, waterfalls, cobble-stoned walls and walkways, sculptures and more are just a few of the added bonuses that remain backdrops to the flora and fauna.
The Allerton Estate in Lawai was the mid-1800's summer cottage of Queen Emma and the former home of Robert and John Allerton. The Queen was known to make personal additions to the landscaping herself, including a row of deep purple bougainvillea that still line one cliff wall.
Most don't know that the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai is the only tropical garden in the United States to be chartered by Congress.
Both gardens meld classic and modern agricultural techniques with tropical foliage preservation and the restoration of native Hawaiian species. It also happens to be home to the largest collection of native plants throughout the island chain--with 268 species--many rare and endangered.
Check out www.ntbg.org for more information or call (808) 826-1053 for reservations, which at current time, are required. Call first!