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Shades of Green - Backyard Pictures

Updated on March 27, 2015

The Grass Isn't the Only Thing Greener

Growing up in the U.S. Midwest, the arrival of Spring meant new growth with lots of green buds and plantings. Now living in Hawaii for over three decades, I am fortunate to see greenery all year round. Our seasonal changes are very slight here, but of course, I'm not complaining. ;)

There are many shades of green in our backyard though green isn't the only color. I had never laid claim to a green thumb prior to moving here long ago and delightedly I don't need one here. Basically the rule of planting here in Hawaii is dig a hole, plant green side up, brown side down. ;)

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Bird of Paradise

Backyard Bird of Paradise
Backyard Bird of Paradise

Of the tropical plantings in our backyard, the Bird of Paradise is truly one of my favorites. It's distinctive style makes it easy to identify amongst the local greenery. It does resemble a colorful bird in flight, doesn't it?

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

White Bird of Paradise Plant - Strelitzia - 6" Pot
White Bird of Paradise Plant - Strelitzia - 6" Pot

Bird of Paradise also is available in white.



Many of the residents here in the islands have plantings of aloe. When you've had a little too much sun it's convenient to go into the backyard, slice off a piece of aloe and use the fleshy pulp inside to rub onto your skin. It's very soothing and helps the skin heal much faster.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Backyard Plumeria Tree

New Backyard Green Shoots
New Backyard Green Shoots

Plumerias are the official lei flower here in the islands. We "share" this old plumeria tree with a neighbor. In fact, my husband actually cut out portions of our expensive redwood fencing on the property line to accommodate the tree trunk.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Picking Papaya in the Backyard
Picking Papaya in the Backyard

Fresh Backyard Papaya

Green papaya is the essential ingredient of a local favorite food served here, Chicken Dinola (Filipino Chicken Papaya Soup). The green papaya serves as a form of meat tenderizer for the chicken. This soup is nutritous and really delicious.

The papaya may be picked green or if you prefer wait till it ripens and slice it in half, remove the seeds and squeeze a little lemon juice on the fruit for breakfast. It's a great way to start the day!

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Hawaiian Ti Leaf

Green Backyard Ti Leaves
Green Backyard Ti Leaves

Our cottage is surrounded by Hawaiian ti leaf plants. They are a symbol of good luck here in the islands, so we appreciate not only their simple beauty but the meaning behind them.

We cook with the ti leaf on those occasions when we make yummy, juicy roast kalua pork (see inset pic). The leaves are also used to make ti leaf leis.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Green Succulents
Green Succulents

Green Grey Succulents

At the corner end of our brick paver backyard lanai I have several very large pots of succulents. They started out very tiny and have grown and grown and grown. I love the shades of green in these plantings.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Pause for a Poll - Wondering How Does Your Backyard Grow........

Green Tropical Plants
Green Tropical Plants

Do you have a green thumb?

See results

Coconut Fronds

Green Coconut Fronds
Green Coconut Fronds

We have 3 coconut trees growing in our backyard in various stages. In a few years I'll transfer my classic cotton rope hammock from where it's hanging on our lanai to its rightful position beneath the coconut trees. For now it's really nice just sitting under the coconut trees and listening to the green fronds as they sway in the tradewinds.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Sprouted Coconut Palm Tree Plant
Sprouted Coconut Palm Tree Plant

From the Big Island of Hawaii. You'll need two to hang the hammock. :)


Weaving Coconut Fronds

I would love to hear your thoughts. I'll check back later...... Right now I think I'll make a cup of green tea and sit outside. ;)

Aloha! Thank you for visiting my page!

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks for the great beauty.

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 

      5 years ago

      I like the big images presented here especially the Bird of Paradise one.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 

      5 years ago

      @sybil watson: E kala mai! Forgot the "u" on a hui hou!

    • profile image

      sybil watson 

      5 years ago

      I was so tempted to write something very similar for the Imminent challenge - I'm so glad i didn't since you did a lovely job. Although I'm on the Big Island, our yards are very similar - my pride and joy is my mango tree and mango season is on its way. A hui ho, neighbor!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I love your comment about planting things - dig a hole, plant green side up, brown side down. It made me chuckle. I wish I could live in Hawaii. I was also quite interested in the frond weaving. We get woven grass mats for beds in the summer to keep cool - they are so useful! Congratulations to you -

    • Diane Cass profile image

      Diane Cass 

      5 years ago from New York

      Aloha! Your article reminds me of our one visit to Hawaii back in 1992. We had left snowy Vermont at Christmas time for the warm, green of Hawaii. It was marvelous. We brought back some Ti leaf roots and they have grown and flourished under my husband's green thumb. We now have 4 large plants we keep in our sunroom. We've always meant to use them in cooking, but didn't have a recipe. I'm going to check yours out as soon as I'm done commenting here.

    • mrdata profile image


      5 years ago

      Congrats for your LOTD! Your garden is awesome... I love tropical flowers and specially Bird of Paradise and Plumeria tree. Best wishes to you and thanks!:)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      A Paradise flower in your backyard! Wow!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Bird of Paradise is one of my favs too. Used to have a huge one in my backyard in Huntington Beach

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Oh I envy your backyard. The desert is more brown than green and I miss lush foliage. Your photos are beautiful!


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