Working with flowers – HAWAII

Be less curious about people, and more curious about ideas.-Marie Curie

Heliconia orthotricha + zingiber ottensii

Discover my adventure in Hawaii these past three months!
I’ve been curious about nature since a kid, and when you are used to research and explore, you get to learn fun and interesting facts…
Whenever you travel to the tropics, it is to keep in mind that the plants and forests may not be native from the place, but brought by ancient civilisations or during the last centuries.
Some species of plants or animals might be invasive, which means that they are not native to this ecosystem, and might cause harm to it.
Think: Fire ants / mongooses in Hawai’i.
I signed up to work as marketing manager and developing a business on the digital level.
Well, and I ended up cutting flowers, putting arrangements together and taking care of flowers and plants.
I am of the opinion that, when you are working marketing something, you have to get to know the product first hand.
Only that way you can learn and sell better what you have.
Thanks to this I could get an insight of botanical knowledge. Learn more about plants, how they grow and interact in their environments, and remember how important they are.
The Hawaiian Islands are full of amazing flora and fauna, and being here was a great opportunity to give it a closer look.
Every island is different, and so their plants.
Besides from volcanoes, the Big Island of Hawai’i is just green, lush, and full of the most incredible plants. Specially the east side of the Island *Hilo* where the rain is heavier and the flowers brighter.
PGH is an environmental conservation-focused company.
They count with one of the largest living collections of gingers and Heliconias. (I am holding both in the picture)
They have endangered species from different parts of the world: Southeast-Asia, Central South America and Hawai’i itself.
Gingers:  are not only to eat. It is a huge family of medicinal and ornamental plants.
These Globbas There is even a so called ‘Shampoo GingerZingiber Zerumbet  which you can squeeze and get a shampoo-like, fragrant fluid to wash your head or skin. It was brought by ancient Polynesians to Hawaii in canoes.

Zingiber zerumbet, ‘Shampoo Ginger’

Heliconias: found in the tropical rainforests, these plants evolved together with Hummingbirds (Colibríes for spanish speakers), exchanging nectar and pollen. The tropicals also make a home for frogs, insects and bats.

Heliconia orthotricha

I learnt to distinguish from healthy and unhealthy plants, and to recognise some invasive species which grow in the Island.
It is interesting how plants also develop mechanisms to adapt to the elements and protect themselves. Heliconias produce a white waxy powder which seems to be helpful for insect and sun defense.

Heliconia penduloides ‘Perfect Darling’

Tropicals are beautiful. Colourful. Strong.
The project of putting them together  and designing brand bouquets was both challenging and beautiful.  There many shapes and colours to mix!
 So I got my hands on to prepare these floral arrangements. Crafting tropical bouquets  involves different steps. I was proud of being part of the team, I could experience the process first hand.
The philosophy of Plant Group Hawaii is based on a principle: “We are the farmer and florist”, which literally means growing and maintaining the plants, and then picking carefully the best and freshest blooms to put together.
Field work means wearing long clothes, a hat and using bug spray to avoid insects and fire ants from touching you. You have to be ready to dodge mosquitos, plants and have your eyes open to spot the flowers.
 After the harvest, the collected blooms have to be washed and put in fresh water to last longer!
And this came out! Click to find out more…
The results are lush, beautiful bouquets which turn your home into an oasis.
If a botanical garden would send flower bouquets, they would look like this! These exotic blooms are rare and special, most likely to be seen in the Polynesia. If you can’t travel to Hawai’i to see them, they can be shipped to you!
And until here my adventure with tropical plants! You can check below some of the pretty plants we work with, or follow Plant Group Hawai’i or Queen’s Tropicals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *