At the bottom of Lawai Valley, a right turn leads to McBryde Garden and a left turn to here ... the entry to Allerton Garden. Photo: Derek Paiva
The garden's founders and original owners Robert Allerton and John Wyatt Gregg were fascinated with garden design, landscape architecture and art.
Allerton and Gregg labored alongside a revolving cadre of gardeners for nearly a half-century to realize their vision for the garden.
Allerton Garden is, at heart, a natural canvas of that shared vision—eclectic in design and replete with Hawaiian, Pacific Island and Asian plants the pair collected on their world travels.
Photo: Derek Paiva
Allerton is a garden of many smaller gardens.
Foliage in Allerton's other smaller gardens is accented with serpentine fountains, reflecting pools, waterfalls and assorted sculptures, creating a multitude of oases within an oasis.
Water features can even be found along a few Allerton Garden pathways.
Lawai Stream runs alongside and through both Allerton and McBryde Gardens.
The movie stars of Allerton Garden. A 60-year-old stand of giant Moreton Bay fig trees featured in 1992's filmed-on-Kauai "Jurassic Park." The trees' massive, above ground roots served as an ideal hiding place for the film's human stars running from Tyrannosaurus Rex.
McBryde Garden is located on Lawai Valley's "mauka," or mountain end. Allerton is located on the valley's "makai," or ocean end. Photo: Derek Paiva
Though beautiful, McBryde Garden's mission is more than ornamental.
It is also the national headquarters for all five of the NTBG's gardens.
McBryde is home to more than 6,000 species of plants and trees gathered from throughout the tropics.
You'll find all of McBryde Garden's plant and tree species on a self-guided tour of its 252 acres ...
... and McBryde's large plant nursery and horticulture research center.
In McBryde Garden's 40-year existence, its research staff has discovered dozens of new native Hawaiian species and species once believed extinct. Photo: Derek Paiva
Limahuli Garden & Preserve is located on Kauai's north shore, a quarter mile from where all roads end and the majestic Napali Coast begins.
The pleasant smile of Mele Khalsa greets visitors before their self-guided tour of Limahuli.
Limahuli Garden & Preserve's focus is the native culture and native ecosystem of Limahuli Valley, and working to restore both.
A walk through the garden reveals restored, irrigated taro terraces, or lo'i kalo.
A "canoe garden," comprised of essential plants Polynesian voyagers packed delicately in their canoes for the long journey to Hawaii, includes sweet potato, coconut palm and these banana trees.
Limahuli Stream, one of Hawaii's last remaining pristine streams—virtually untouched by man from mountain to ocean.
Follow the self-guided walk to its end and you'll be greeted with this view of Mount Makana. Does Makana look familiar? Its profile stood in for the mysterious island of Bali Hai in the movie musical "South Pacific," which was filmed all along Kauai's north shore.
A view of Limahuli Garden's lo'i kalo from the top of the walking trail.
Limahuli Garden is only 17 acres. But the Limahuli Preserve stretches another 983 acres into the valley's deepest recesses. The preserve is where much of NTBG's real restoration is being done, repopulating the Limahuli Valley with the kind of native forest that once comprised its entirety.