Every spring, Scenic Hawaii invites the public to nominate outstanding gardens, landscapes and projects throughout Hawaii for its annual Betty Crocker Landscape awards.
The Honolulu-based nonprofit sponsors the program to honor individuals, companies, groups and individual projects that make a significant contribution to preserving or enhancing the natural beauty of the state.
One of the winners of this year’s 10th annual awards was Ira Ono, owner and director of Volcano Garden Arts in Volcano Village.
Ono purchased a parcel of neglected historic property 10 years ago, and with his passion for gardening brought it back to life in a dedicated labor of love. An original 1908 farmhouse is now home to a contemporary art gallery and a natural foods restaurant, Café Ono. There is also a guest cottage which was restored from the original groundskeeper’s house, and the former garage is now an art studio.
The Betty Crocker Landscape Awards are held annually to recognize and acknowledge gardeners and their beautiful gardens that make Hawaii a special place. The event is named in honor of Betty Crocker, one of the founders of the organization, who worked tirelessly and enthusiastically for the cause for more than 30 years.
Spokesman Mike Leidemann said nominations are sought each year in four categories:
l Private individuals: passionate backyard and neighborhood gardeners who create beautiful green spaces on their own property;
l Professional: landscape industry projects for individuals or businesses;
l Volunteers, community and nonprofit groups that undertake projects in public spaces, such as at schools or on vacant land,
l Xeriscape: gardens that feature drought-tolerant plants and conservation of water.
Scenic Hawaii is “dedicated to promoting programs that protect Hawaii’s natural beauty and preserve and enhance landscapes,” said Leidemann.
The Volcano Garden Arts site also includes an “offering house,” water features, a native Hawaiian garden, bonsai collections and a pine tree sanctuary where weddings are held. The garden is located at 19-3834 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village. Admission is free and it is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.volcanogardenarts.com. This year, Volcano Garden Arts and Café Ono also received a “Keeping it Green Hawaii” award from Recycle Hawaii.
for their efforts as an environmentally responsible business.