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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, June 20, 2003

Gardens large, small win awards

By Heidi Bornhorst

Scenic Hawai'i is a nonprofit group with a mission of perpetuating the scenic, natural and park-style beauty of the Islands. (I have the honor of serving on its board). There is a new landscape award program named in honor of the late Betty Crocker, who helped found Scenic Hawaii. The program produces the Scenic Hawaii Landscape Awards.

Local landscapes were recognized in three categories: home gardens, commercial landscapes and community landscapes.

There are many great landscapes and dedicated gardeners who contribute to the green beauty of our Islands.

The award program deliberately started small, yet entries came in from all over Hawai'i.

The top landscape awards of excellence went to Na 'Aina Kai, a botanical garden on Kaua'i, for the professional category; the Mark Gwinner garden in Kaimuki, for the home-garden category; and the Waimanalo Community Garden, for the community gardens category.

Professional category winners were the Waikoloa Beach Marriot, the Hawai'i Convention Center and the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

What's in bloom

We saw a big, yellow-headed tree in bloom while driving along the freeway. The tree is on Bingham Street. We checked it out and found that it is a narra tree, Pterocarpus indica, in the Fabaceae or bean family.

This is a great street, park and garden tree. It is underused compared to monkeypods, weedy fiddlewoods and other trees that we have seen in recent years. As an arborist, I envision using narra more all over the Islands, as it is a striking tree.

The narra has leaves that are lush and green, and the tree is full-headed in the summer. In spring, it blooms with masses of tiny, yellow, pea-shaped blossoms that are slightly fragrant.