From Monsters to Monstera

I have a really nice rock wall at the road side of my property. I have some nice trees, some nice plants, but I also had a climbing vine that I’ve been wrestling with for some time now. It climbs everything, chocking plants out. Although, it has pretty bright yellow flowers, I decided to do away with it which has not been easy! For a few weeks now I’ve been clipping, cutting, lopping, pulling. But, after most of it was gone I had a large bare space and needed something to fill the area. We decided on a plant with large leaves-Monstera- that didn’t require a lot of work. so, we call the local nursery and were told a 4″ pot was $4.00. We figured we needed at least 10-15 plants. Still deciding, Keith checks out Craig’s list. Now, as everyone knows, you can find anything on Craig’s List. And, we did! There was a man on the other side of the island about 110 miles away that was selling a truck load for $50.00. Whoo-hoo!! We did not, however, need a truck load so we called and asked how much a trunk load of a small car would be. He replied, “cheap”.  Keith was having to go to Kona on business anyway, so on the way back he stopped by and picked up a trunk load for…FREE! Now that’s what I call cheap. We knew it would take some stabilization of sand, etc. so we put them into a few buckets of water to keep them moist while we checked out the sand/gravel companies.

A huge leaf "air plant" that doesn't require anything but water.
A huge leaf “air plant” that doesn’t require anything but water.

We discovered Sanford’s Sand which is outside of the little town of Pahoa. It wasn’t far and only $20.00 for a ton of sandy gravel. Now we needed a truck. We called a neighbor who graciously loaned us his little one ton pickup and away we went. We drove places I’ve never seen in my 38 years on the Big Island. We drove through magnificent groves of  ‘Ohi’a trees, giant lava rocks covered with a soft greenish gray moss. Up and up we drove through a graveyard of old dead machinery…trucks, loaders, bulldozers. We arrived at the scale and were greeted by a sweetheart named Lee but is called Grandma by everyone. We are weighed and away we go to the quarry where we are greeted by the biggest piece of machinery I’ve ever seen. One scoop with this machine and we had a ton of gravel/sand.

The wheels alone are about 8 ft high!
The wheels alone are about 8 ft high!
I didn't realize sand could come in so many sizes.
I didn’t realize sand could come in so many sizes.



So, we are off to the house with our load of sand (as it turned out we needed two loads, but who’s counting?). With a lot of shovel work, mostly by Keith we planted all our beautiful Monstera into all the puka (holes), between the rocks and build little sand mountains to poke them into. I’m now happy with the front yard and can’t wait for next year when all the leaves will be sturdy plants, spreading and filling in the entire area.


starting the planting
starting the planting
Done for now.
Done for now.






2 thoughts on “From Monsters to Monstera

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