Around Cora’s Garden: Pakalana

Pakalana is related to the milkweed plant, and it is also called Chinese Violet. It’s a woody vine with heart-shaped leaves. The flowers bloom in clusters of yellow-green flowers with a beautiful fragrance. Bees and ants love these blossoms. They bloom from April to September.

What I read about pakalana, it’s not the most beautiful vine, but the blooms and scent make up for that.

I added three pakalana plants to the old cucumber trellis this winter. Cucumbers have stopped growing well in this area, and it has been sitting empty. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they like their new home.

Only one of the plants of blooming. I hope the other two will come in later.

Pakalana is my favorite Lei. It is usually worn in several stands. And I’m trying to see if I can make on strand from what I’m getting this season. Mom said to pick the open blossoms, sprinkle them with water, and put them in the refrigerator till I have enough for a lei.

What I’ve gathered

Around Cora’s Garden: Phalaenopsis

After the morning watering

Mom’s collection of Phalaenopsis is made up of mostly plants from the distressed plant rack. They are doing great since their move back to the backyard, some many buds on each of the plants. Mom gave the orchids a freshening up, trimmed the bad stuff, and added new potting media. Plus the move must be making them happy.

Around Cora’s Garden

I guess I’m in a writing slump, haven’t posted in a month. I thought I’d share some blooms from Cora’s garden. The weather has already warmed up. It feels like summer in the afternoons. I think it will bring us some beautiful flowers.

Anthuriums

Mom has tried a new potting technique with her anthuriums, recycling coffee filters and stuffing them in the pots. Not quite sure what it does, but it seems to be working as there are many blooms this year; several of them are pretty beautiful.

Geranium seeds from NJ

When I moved back to HI, I brought geranium seeds from my beloved plant. I finally got around to planting it. Only one of the seeds took, and it is enjoying the move. I got some blooms on it. The dark pink tipping around the petals isn’t as pronounced as in NJ. It could be the sun, although it does live under the greenhouse. They are still so beautiful and delicate and remind me of cherry blossoms.

The Art of Sharing

Ever wonder about the high cost of food and how people deal with it. In Hawaii, it’s more significant as food and goods not available on the islands come in from the mainland. I try and buy locally and just enough for a week or two to eliminate food waste in our house. In my three years back on the island, I notice this is one of the most significant ways we deal with the high cost is sharing our food.

Just this week, I get a call from my cousin “M” and if we wanted a soursop. Of course, it’s a yes. It’s Mom’s favorite. Right before she hangs up, I ask if she wants kale.

Soursop chilling in the refrigerator

“Sure!” she replies.

And the cycle repeats itself many times over in many Hawaii households. To me, this is the art of sharing. 

What’s a soursap?

I realized I may have never described what a soursop was like. This is because I haven’t tried it. Green gnarly fruit kind of scare me since being introduce to durian (Southeast Asia’s beloved fruit). On first meeting, soursop looks like a relative of durian–big, green, and knobby. But it doesn’t smell.

The inside is creamy white with large black seeds with no bad smell. My cousin recommends to put it in the freezer for a refreshing snack.

Another sharing moment

Guava trees are fruiting now. Trees brought to the house by the birds that my mom feed every morning. Fruit are slightly larger than a golf ball. First three guava wen to the bird (not intentional), got the next three. Beautifully pink inside.

Cora’s Garden: The Beloved Honohono

Mom’s honohono has bloomed. Just one spike this year.

The Honohono orchid is very beloved amongst the orchid growers in Hawaii. The sweet scent and cascading flowers something to look forward to in the spring. Here’s an article to give you more information about these orchids.

Cora’s orchids are having a very active blooming season this year. Though the orchids plants themselves need more care. Once the blooms are gone, will tend to them with some repotting the is very needed on several of them. We moved them in the patio so we can enjoy them together.

Mom’s also wanted to show off her oxalis that has a blooms.