Island Wise

Cute. Free. Sustainable garden art.
Image: Wanda A. Adams

Hanging gardens add charm to a lanai or porch, even when there’s little growing space. At the Maui Swap meet recently, I saw a little trick created by Waiohuli Farms: a coconut used as a growing receptacle.

All you do is slice a crosswise wedge from the widest part of an old coconut (brown, not green) and halfway up on either side to the stem end. Using a hammer, smash the coconut shell and (this is the only tricky part) use a screwdriver, paint scraper or strong (but not overly sharp) knife to dig out all the shell and meat. (Bonus: you can grate the coconut meat with a vegetable peeler and make into wonderful coconut candy: Spread the coconut on a foil-lined baking sheet, pour a layer of Maui brand raw sugar over it, set the oven as low as will go and leave it overnight, or up to 18 hours, periodically spooning the melted sugar over the strips. They’ll emerge crisp, golden and positively addictive! Perfect on some Roselani haupia ice cream).

Anyway, take your coconut, with much of the husk left within, pile in some good planting soil and choose a vine-like plant that likes to cascade. Use a hook or nail directly to the wall in a calm or slightly breezy location, a porch railing or plant hanger.

Sit back. Feel proud of yourself.