Gorgeous Gardens – #4 Twenty-Three Years in the Making


Written By: Carolyn M Runyon

Lush tropical gardens are the dream of many gardeners, but only those who are fortunate enough to live in warm, wet, tropical climates have the opportunity to create them. Glenn Sahara is one of those fortunate ones, and he has created an astonishingly beautiful, exotically colorful garden – one full of dense foliage and exceptional blooms. Sahara lives in the perfect climate for such a garden – the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii, where there is an average rainfall of 140 inches annually.

Sahara moved to Hawaii from Berkeley, California, and his garden has been 23 years in the making.

The ground is made up of volcanic rock and required special preparation in order to grow plants.

Sahara did all the design and actual landscaping himself.

Most of the plants were purchased from nurseries within the state of Hawaii; however, Sahara notes that his best sources have been from the private gardens of fellow plant collectors.

The design of the garden developed on its own.

Sahara admired the many beautiful gardens he saw in Hawaii but found that often they were monochromatic with lots of green tones.

Sahara created a little rain forest with flowering plants, dangling epiphytes (a plant that uses its roots to anchor itself to another plant, tree, or rock), and exotic fragrances wafting in the tradewinds.

The one-story home is located in a subdivision, but there is no home within sight.

There are a few pieces of statuary that Sahara brought back from trips or that were gifts from friends.

When asked whether he is pleased with his garden, Sahara replies that he is but that he feels that an interesting garden is one that is ever changing.