Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens gathered with members of Moku `Aina, the East Hawaii Master Gardeners Association, and Moku Loa Sierra Club for gardening chores to prepare Shoroan, the Urasenke tea house, for a visit of the retired Grand Master Dr. Genshitso Sen and to clean around the stone lantern from Fukushima for the annual tanabata festival.
Tanabata or the Star Festival is a time of wishing for good things and peace, according to Walter Tachibana of Fukushima-Ken. Strings of colorful paper cranes are hung on bamboo branches placed beside the ishi-doro (stone lantern) from Fukushima. Traditionally the festival is held on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.
By the end of this recent work session, 17 trash bags were filled with green waste and trash from four different project areas.
The area to which the most attention was paid during the past three months was the Urasenke tea house, Shoroan. A total of 28 volunteers worked 112 hours in the tea house garden to help prepare for the visit of Dr. Genshitsu Sen, retired XV Grand Master of Urasenke, on July 22.
The next volunteer day is scheduled for Saturday, August 16, from 8 a.m. to noon. The focus of the next chore list will be preparing for the annual Queen Lili`uokalani Festival held in early September.
To volunteer, please contact K.T. Cannon-Eger at 895-8130.
Additional projects worked on so far include pruning of small trees; fertilizing azalea and camellia throughout the park; beginning removal of weeds from the edges of the ponds; replacement of a dislodged stone in the stepping stone path that goes through the water; repainting of parking lot lines; removal of invasive pest species from the roofs of several shelters and from the arched stone bridge. In all, including the tea house projects, 54 volunteers put in a total of 216 hours in the first three work days at Lili`uokalani Gardens.
Donations of nearly $550 in plants, materials and tools were received from Home Mart-Keaau Ace Hardware, Mountain Meadows Nursery, Rozett’s Nursery, and members of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens. The tools were added to the County park’s tool shed for use in Lili`uokalani Gardens.