Welcome to a tropical paradise

High above the Pacific Ocean on the slopes of Mauna Hualalai is Fern and Larry Kanes’ Hawaiian paradise created by designer Julie Ellison. The 165- by 60-foot garden, carefully carved out of a steep, rocky 4-acre parcel, glows in the tropical sun.

Three hundred feet of winding pathways covered with macadamia nut husk mulch lead through a kaleidoscope of more than 150 types of foliage and flowers. Gardenia, plumeria, and tuberose blooms fill the air with their heady scent. Bromeliads, creeping Charlie, dracaena, dumb cane, and philodendrons–plants that are familiar to most as indoor rather than outdoor specimens–tumble down hillsides and poke out of cracks and crevices. “It’s like a Hawaiian English garden,” observed one juror. “The garden is a wonderful juxtaposition of foliage colors,” noted another.

DESIGNER: Julie Ellison, Art of Gardens, Kona/Hilo, Hawaii (808/965-6442)

Keep Reading: