Come celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lili'uokalani Gardens

Discover Japanese gardening with the Aloha spirit!

Gardening workshop and private garden tour in Hilo, Hawaii

September 14-16, 2017


Join NAJGA and Friends of the Lili`uokalani Gardens for a three-day gardening workshop and tour of private and public gardens in the beautiful bay city of Hilo, Hawaii.  Learn to prune black pines and ironwood, and renew large, aging azalea; help create a stone arrangement at one garden entry; participate in assembly of a lantern; learn what plants work in tropical climates; attend lectures on Japanese gardens as wellness sites and the history of Lili'uokalani Gardens; get pointers on shooting landscapes from professional photographers; and dine with a view of an active volcano!


Thursday is an optional (extra fee) daylong bus tour of significant local gardens and historical attractions in the Hilo area.  The bus departs from and returns to Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.  Stops include:
  1. The Pacific Tsunami Museum for a docent-led presentation on the impact of tsunamis on Lili`uokalani Gardens and the Hilo area
  2. Lunch at Nani Mau Gardens, which showcases twenty-two acres of gorgeous tropical flowers and plants, including an orchid garden and rare palms
  3. Mountain Meadows Nursery and Carlsmith Beach Park
  4. Tsunami Memorial, a centennial floral design by Hitomi Gilliam AIFD at the County Building, and the garden at Hilo Daijingu.

Friday offers three garden building and pruning projects in Lili`uokalani Gardens. 
  1. Takuhiro Yamada from Kyoto and local specialist David Tamura will teach you how to create a stone arrangement at the south gate entry to the gardens.
  2. Rob Frost and Fred Nonaka will demonstrate small tree pruning and azalea restoration.
  3. Mike Sasaki of Sasaki Monuments will assemble a replacement stone lantern.

Next, enjoy a Golden Hour Tour of Lili’uokalani Gardens with professional photographers who offer insights on garden photography. In the evening join Friends of Lili’uokalani Gardens and NAJGA for an optional banquet to meet fellow Japanese garden enthusiasts and NAJGA members.

Saturday morning is devoted to health and wellness in gardens, and kicks off with an optional early morning Walk for Alzheimer's, followed by a full morning of lectures, featuring Dr. Craig Kadooka, of the Walk with a Doc program, and Jade Iokepa of Blue Zones Project.  Dr. Kendall Brown will speak about his latest book and local historians will present the fascinating 100-year history of Lili`uokalani Gardens. 

In the afternoon vans will depart for a tour of Volcano-area residential gardens, including Bide-a-Wee, the former estate of Charles C. and Laura Kennedy (patron of Lili'uokalani Gardens), known for its extensive collection of hydrangeas, camellias, and azaleas. Also on the Volcano Village tour are Kimalia, a vireya rhododendron collection, and (tentative) a tea farm.


Dinner Saturday night will be at Volcano House, where you’ll enjoy a view of the Kilauea caldera and Halemaumau Crater as your backdrop.  Volcano House cuisine features flavors unique to the Pacific region and dishes made with ingredients from local farms and ranches. After sundown, we’ll adjourn to Jaggar Museum in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for a spectacular view of an active volcano. 


Event participants are encouraged to stay at the oceanfront Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel with views of historic banyan trees or the ocean and Mauna Kea in the backgrounds.  A restaurant specializing in fresh, local cuisine serves a daily breakfast buffet and dinner, while the lobby lounge is where guests get lunch to-go or sip on tropical cocktails over appetizers. The resort sits on HIlo Bay on the Big Island, across from a golf course, next to Lili-uokalani Gardens and connected to Coconut Island, a peaceful island park, by footbridge.  Hilo International Airport is three miles away.