What inspired the Kou collection? A few months ago as I was researching Queen Liliuokalani's garden Uluhaimalama, I came across an old newspaper articles that spoke of the native plants that were planted there by her family and loyal supporters in 1894.

Each plant was chosen and planted with a purpose and as they planted them, there was a chant to share the reason why. Kou was one of the plants planted and here is the line in the chant about it,

"Ko hale kou e Kalani, ka umuke kou, ko ipukai kou, ina iho la i Uluhaimalama kahi i ulu ai, he ola no ka lahui." meaning...

"A house of kou wood for you, O Heavenly One [the queen], kou bowls and dishes. Here it grows in Uluhaimalama, a living tree for the people."*

I loved the deep meaning and intention behind why they created the garden and chose each plant. I had actually wanted to make a design for each one! but quickly realized that it was too ambitious and so I started with Kou. I hope to get to the others soon! They are all so meaningful.

I am so grateful for the old Hawaiian newspapers and the stories they contain about our kupuna and our leaders. They shed such light on their level of aloha and devotion.