Monday, April 19, 2010
McBryde Garden, pocketed into a lush stream valley on Kauai's sunny south shore, is often overshadowed by its neighbor, Allerton Garden, the beachfront oasis that has been a set piece for many Hollywood movies as well as TV's Fantasy Island.
McBryde, free to wander this sprawling dreamland of native plants and trees, a spice garden and clusters of exotics, all spread along a stream that is spanned by a bamboo bridge and punctuated by cascades, pools, and a gazebo. No one will have trouble finding a spot to sit and be mesmerized by nature.
The subtext of this sylvan beauty is McBryde's aim of scientific research. Rare and endangered plants are cultivated and preserved. (Several years ago, National Geographic Magazine did a spread on one plant that was was literally saved from extinction by a botanist who hung from a cliff on Kauai's north shore to grasp the last of thee species.) McBryde hosts volunteer days for visitors who are interested in helping out.