Ti Leaf - Hawaiian Good Luck

Dana Anne Yee, Landscape Architect, LLC.


Project Name: Nu'uanu Family Residence
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Client: Nu'uanu Family




It was unusual to meet clients who wanted a Native Hawaiian Garden but this Nu’uanu family were just the clients with that request.  They had wanted to revitalize their landscape and they wanted a place for the family to gather in their own backyard.  With a residence located on the boundary of Oahu Country Club’s 4th hole, this Nu’uanu Family is fortunate to look out to the lush, green, golf course.  A serpentine seat wall was tested and then constructed at just the right height to see the golfers make or not make their putts. 

A trellis was built over the new seat wall.  The trellis provided shade and created a nice play of shadows on the new patio area.  A layering of Native Hawaiian Kukui Nut Trees, Hawaiian Hapu’u Tree Ferns, ‘Akia and Kupukupu Ferns provided lush foliage to help screen the neighbors who look right down on this Nu’uanu backyard.  The rustling of the Kukui Nut Tree leaves is a soothing sound that muffles the noise of the neighbors nearby.  A grove of Bananas help to provide the family with a screen for additional privacy from the Ewa neighbors.

The garden was also designed to be sustainable.  In addition to the fruit of the Banana, edible Meyers and Tangerine Citrus Trees were planted as well as an herb and a vegetable garden which are located right outside of the living room sliding glass door for ease of access.

Native Hawaiian plants include the ‘Uki uki plant which was used in the Hawaiian culture for its blue dye and the Native Alahe’e  which grew into a handsome tree.  Other Native plants include the Kupukupu Fern, a Native ‘Awikiwiki vine on the trellis, Native Naio, ‘Ohia Lehua, Mountain Naupaka, ‘A’ali’i, Ma’o, ‘Ilima, White Hibiscus, Kulu’i and Pa’u-o-hi’iaka which graced the landscape.

Many flowering plants were also planted including flowering Hanging Heliconias, stunning Camellias, fragrant Gardenias and White Gingers, and vibrant Red Gingers to add color and to provide cut flowers for their home.

This Nu’uanu family who once had little privacy from their neighbors on both the Ewa and Mauka side of them now enjoy the intimacy of their own Native and sustainable landscape in a peaceful setting as they enjoy their garden and occasionally sit to watch the golfers play.

The Nu'uanu Family Residence was recognized by Scenic Hawaii for a Betty Crocker Landscape Award of Honor in 2009. 

Hawaiian Plants newly planted at the Nu’uanu Family Garden:

           ‘A’ali’i                                     ‘Akia                                                              

Alahe’e                                  Nanu

            Kukui Nut Tree                     ‘Ohi’a                                                                

            Pa’u-o-hi’iaka                       ‘Ilima papa                            

Pohinahina                            Koki’o ke’o ke’o                                           

Kulu’i                                     ‘Uki’uki                                                          


Native White Hibiscus



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