My husband and I and my two teenage daughters visited Princeville Botanical Gardens at the end of July 2013. Our guide, Holly showed us around the eight acres of lush and lovely terraced, well manicured gardens. I was amazed how many different tropical plants, flowers and trees we saw. Many fruits were ripe, we got to sample mango, apple banana, passion fruit, and lychee. We saw bee hives and tasted raw honey. In addition to all the specific plants talked about, Holly was able to identify others that caught my eye.
We eventually walked down to the lowest point on the property, into a grassy shaded park, there we found a tree that was the source of the Rudraksha bead necklace, worn by those on the path to enlightenment. The beads or seeds are inside a fruit that looked like blue marbles when they lay on the ground. With it's bright red leaves—it had colors I would expect to see in a book by Dr. Seuss.
We walked up and out of that small park to a level spot with shaded chairs, There we rested, drank water and heard an informative talk by Holly about how chocolate is made. We sampled chocolate from four different world locations and were asked to compare them, before finally sampling chocolate made right there at the gardens—from the pods of cacao trees growing near the blue marble tree!
Next we walked down to another area near a healthy stream, then crossed over a foot suspension bridge. I finally got to see a real Venus Fly Trap that I had heard about all my life.
Towards the end of the tour, the owner, Bill stopped by to chat. He keeps acquiring more and more diverse plants and recently purchased another acre of land near the stream. I want to come back in a few years to see this new addition. And, if I come later in the year the avocados and oranges might be ripe? But, I'm ready to return right now to this beautiful silent refuge, it was too much to absorb in just one tour.
My husband and I and our 16-year-old loved it, but our 18-year-old doesn't have patience for anything that lasts three hours. But, there was a family on our tour with a two-year-old who managed quite well. At the end of the tour we were able to buy a T-shirt and jars of raw honey. It is a heavenly place and was the highlight of my Kauai vacation!