Botanical garden and hybrid orchid are among legacies of Mary Foster
Do you know about Mary Mikahala Robinson Foster and her many gifts to Hawaii and the world? One of her main legacies is Foster Botanical Garden. Come visit the garden for free, learn about plants you love and find out about this amazing Hawaiian woman on Saturday at the spring plant sale, sponsored by the Friends of Honolulu Botanical Gardens (FOHBG). Sign-ups for classes are offered on a first-come, firstserved basis. Come to the garden on Saturday to sign up! The plant sale begins at 9 a.m. with early entry for FOHBG members at 8:30 a.m. If you become a member, you will help support all five city gardens and get free admission to Foster garden every time you visit. (The other four gardens are free to everyone.) We will also be celebrating our new director of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens, Joshlyn “Josh” Sand. She worked her way up from Hoomaluhia plant propagator to horticulturist to director of our five city gardens. I was touring the garden’s orchid glasshouse recently and asked orchid specialist horticulturist Scot Mitamura about the Mary Foster Vanda.
There it was in bloom! It is an old-fashioned primary hybrid between Vanda merillii and V. sanderiana. Both parents are from Southeast Asia, with merillii not seen often in cultivation here. Sanderiana is more common and highly favored by folks from the Philippines as it is their national flower called “waling waling.” The Mary Foster flowers are slightly fragrant.
Dr. Harold Lyon created this pretty orchid in honor of Foster. Lyon was the first director of Foster garden after Foster gave it to the people of Hawaii in 1931. Foster Botanical Garden is famous for big old trees, flowering trees, plants with economic uses, native Hawaiian plants and orchids! There are orchids in greenhouses and, as nature intended, up in trees and even on rocks. That’s horticulture, baby!
Heidi Bornhorst is a sustainable landscape consultant specializing in native, xeric and edible gardens. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Plant Sale classes
>> Growing Native Hawaiian Plants: Heidi Bornhorst will explain how to successfully select, grow and maintain native Hawaiian plants. >> Mangoes & Fruit Trees: Makaha Mangoes owner Mark Suiso will discuss the wide variety of mangoes grown here, the environments they prefer and growing options. Kalani Matsumura of the Urban Garden Center will cover some of the services and classes provided by the center.
>> Bromeliads & Tillandsias: Sharon Petersen, owner of Sharon’s Plants, will discuss the care and culture of bromeliads and tillandsias. >> Success at Growing Orchids: Mitamura will discuss the keys to understanding the needs of orchids and how to address them.