United States of America, Hawaii, Honolulu County, Honolulu
Leahi Garden (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Located on the flank of the Diamond Head Crater, Leahi Garden dates back to the 1930's when the property's original owner designed and supervised the construction of one of the first homes in that area. The large two story home with floor to ceiling sliding glass paned doors surrounded by sweeping lawns is emblematic of the 1930's homes of affluent families in Honolulu. A fishing heiau (early Hawaiian place of worship) is near the base of the property, and caves above the property were used by early Hawaiians. The early Hawaiian history of the property and the deep aloha 'aina (Hawaiian concept of respect and love of the land) the current owners have for their garden make this a particularly unique garden.
Employing organic gardening techniques, the current owners have enhanced the original Hawaiian plantings with fruit trees and vegetable and herb gardens, as well as using a vermicomposting system and raising chickens. The vermicast is used as a fertilizer and the waste liquid is used as a natural insecticide. To limit water consumption the current owners called on the assistance of a landscape designer and a landscape architect resulting in the addition of drought resistant tiplant, fruit trees, and laua'e fern, and reduction of the lawn area by 50 percent.
Persons associated with the garden include: Mr. and Mrs. P.K. McLean (former owners, 1937-ca. 1948); Catholic Diocese of Honolulu (former owner, 1948-ca. 1988); Noram Inc. (former owner, 1988-ca. 1999); Ms. Oona Twigg Smith and Ramon Perez de Ayala (former owners, 1999-ca. 2006); Loriann Gordon (landscape architect, ca. 1999); Geoff Lewis (architect, ca. 1999); John T. Koga (sculptor); Lois Nottage (landscape designer, 2006); and Steve Mechler (landscape architect, 2008).