Here Comes The Blooms

Big IslandLand Diversions

PHOTO: HAWAII’S BIG ISLAND VISITOR BUREAU (BIVB)

There’s little else that says “Hawai‘i” better than a flower LEI— this GARLAND OF FLOWERS that is given upon greeting guests is a fragrant symbol of aloha.

Lei can be as simple as a chain- like string of perfumed plumeria, or as intricate as a multi-braided haku lei, composed of flowers, berries and leaves. Either way, it’s an honor to receive one.

In Hawai‘i, MAY DAY IS LEI DAY, when many kama‘āina (locals) wear lei. Lei displays and even competitions are a part of May Day celebrations. During other days of the year, one can find lei at LEI STANDS, FLORISTS and FARMERS’ MARKETS, and even at island grocery stores.

Many hotels and resorts offer LEI-MAKING CLASSES, sometimes for free. Ask your concierge if there’s a class nearby.

Another way to see Hawai‘i’s gorgeous blooms is to stop by AKATSUKA ORCHID GARDENS in Volcano, where over 500 orchids are on display. Browse the 13,000-square- foot showroom full of orchids and tropical plants, take a tour of the Akatsuka greenhouse or shop the gift store for flora-inspired trinkets. Be sure to try your hand at navigating the ORCHID MAZE, too! Call or visit akatsukaorchid.com for updated hours. Akatsuka Orchid Gardens is located on Highway 11 between the 22- and 23-mile markers on the way to Volcanoes National Park.

AKATSUKA ORCHID GARDENS 808-967-8234