Free garden tours on Mother’s Day

Once again Na Lima Kokua, the Kaua‘i-based volunteer

organization of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, will hold an open house on Mother’s Day.

This year, free tours of the Allerton Garden will be offered, states a press release issued by Na Lima Kokua.

The Allerton Garden, known as Lawa’i-Kai, is a garden of landscape beauty and design. In the late 1930s, the Allertons began transforming their property by creating outdoor rooms, using plants for walls, floors, and ceilings. In them they artfully placed fountains, pools, and statuary. They added exotic plants from throughout the tropical world.

Tour areas include such recognizable areas as the Diana Fountain, Mermaid Fountain, and the Moreton Bay Figs (also known as the Jurassic Park trees since the movie’s filming at the garden in 1992).

Tours begin with a tram ride from the Visitors Center at 4425 Lawa’i Road, which is across from Spouting Horn. The majestic entrance road offers glimpses of the Lâwa’i Bay as it descends to the valley floor.

From there, visitors stroll through the garden rooms, down the paths lined with mini-waterfalls, and through rustling golden bamboo. Volunteers and staff will be located at various spots in the garden to answer questions about the property.

At the visitors center, Na Lima Kokua’s craft volunteers, Oshibana, will offer a variety of products with a botanical theme.

A bake sale added to the day’s activities a few years ago has become very popular with those attending the open house.

A special membership opportunity, available only to attendees this day, is being offered.

The Bill and Jean Lane Visitor Center, which contains a gift shop and exhibits, and the grounds surrounding the center with native plants, tropical ornamentals, and plantation-era plantings will be open as well.

Tram departures begin at 9:30 a.m. and transportation into the valley is on a first-come, first-served basis. The last tram into the valley is at 1 p.m. The volunteers suggest you allow at least two hours for the tour.

“I invite everyone to give themselves a treat and come to this open house. Bring your mother, bring your father, bring all your family. If you have never seen the Allerton Garden, you have a real experience in store for you,” said Al Moe, president of Na Lima Kokua, in the release.

NTBG’s Web site is www.ntbg.org www.ntbg.org.

Allerton Garden is managed by the NTBG for the Allerton Gardens Trust.

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