Waimea, has some of the deepest, richest, oldest soils on Hawai’i Island.

The town has a history of verdant agriculture and old fashioned ‘Waimea style’ floral border, and this is precisely what Helen Burlingame wanted for her garden., Lamaiki, The style is reminiscent of an English perennial flower border with banked heights from the lawn to low perennial borders reaching the tallest heights at the property’s edge.

This year-round blossoming border, in the English style, will be a lush full composition of hardy, shrubby foliage and blossoming backbone (foundational) plants: locally available plants which have the cadence of English perennials, as well as more experimental newly introduced perennials.

The undulating color scheme, which gently changes from left to right, is held together by a string of common elements;

  • A silver border of lambs ears, allysium, variegated liriope, mondo grass, mother of thyme, and a selection of lavenders
  • The repetition of lavenders and purples throughout
  • The sprinkling of and a sense of a white froth atop and throughout the border
  • Well-placed large garden stones rhythmically placed throughout the border
  • A strong simple background of clustered sugi pines and clumping bamboos
  • Low-voltage night lighting luminaries

People often ask how I connected to Paul Mitchell, who became a beloved patron and a friend. I received a call one day from innovative Oahu based architect Carey Smoot asking me out to lunch in Hilo with Paul Mitchell and himself. I was honored to hear that three different people recommended me for the Paul Mitchell landscape design work, after Paul rejected several top landscape architect’s designs for his estate. He had put out the word that he was looking for a great designer who knew about edible landscaping! It was a blessing to work with Paul and Carey.

While I was designing Paul’s Lanikai estate, I was also working on site at Paul’s Diamond Head residence installing a new landscape. The design was done on the spot with edibles and colorful plants. 

Residential Edible Landscaping Master Plan

This local edible landscape features the owner’s favorite tropical and semi-tropical fruits, most suitable to her climate and volcanic shallow soils.

This simple story really inspired me! 

​A couple I know bought a home on Bainbridge Island. The yard had fruit trees, and they planted more. They planted a very fine garden, and began to bring fresh vegetables and fresh homemade pies to their neighbor. They got to know and like each other, and the neighbors loved their garden. Together, they tore down the fence, enlarged the garden, and planted more fruit and nut trees.  

They began to share fresh vegetables and pies with the two neighbors at the back border. The same thing happened! They tore down their fences and enlarged the garden and planted more food trees. They now enjoy a huge common garden, and often share meals and good times. That’s to me the best life of all!

This is a model of three very small yards that, while not tearing down the fences, connected with lots of food and sharing around them.

Art and Soul for the Earth
 Big Island of Hawai'i