“As much as Maui provides adrenaline highs, it too is an oasis of calming tranquility as I come to see firsthand. On the slopes of Mount Haleakala Ali’i Chang has created the sort of place that gardeners everywhere envy and non-gardeners fall in love with instantly. The 13.5 acre Ali’I Kula Lavender farm has the……From June through September the area is bathed in purple. The 55 000 lavender are not yet in bloom now, yet in this period when the fields are laid fallow proteas are being cut, and many of the other plants that make this farm beautiful are on display – Tuscan olives planted on the borders of the property, blue hydrangeas, knobby succulents, and roses. Chang is an eager guide pointing to unfamiliar plants and chatting about the birthday party he has just hosted at his home on the property. He pauses thoughtfully beside a row of lavender. “I asked myself, why do I have a passion for this? All of a sudden somebody from the archives sent me an email that said lavender came to Hawaii in 1840. There was a whole document on it. Our royal family used to travel all over. They brought back lavender from England. There was a love song written for lavender in Hawaiian.” It makes me think that perhaps our passions run deeper than we can ever know, span generations, through time and space, and when we dig a little deeper we can find connections that startle us.
The wind is blowing near the gazebo where weddings take place during the summer months. Chang stops to read an inscription, “This is called renew – renew your mind with plants, renew your body with the fresh country air, renew your spirits with the aloha around you, oh mahalo to begin again to renew.” For a brief moment I can hear the love song to lavender being sung in the wind, its notes mixing with Chang’s words – another prayer from another time that greets me here in Maui.”
1100 Waipoli Road, Kula; (808) 878-3004;
Excerpt from the Summer 2010 issue of City Style and Living Magazine. Read More Here.