‘Everything’s Coming Up Xeriscape’ For Kapahulu Couple

Alana Folen
Wednesday - April 07, 2010
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Ray and Cyndie Fernandez

The Board of Water Supply recently named East Oahu’s Cyndie and Ray Fernandez winners of its 2009 Extreme Xeriscape Garden Makeover contest.

The Kapahulu family was selected from hundreds of applicants for the $20,000 makeover using xeriscaping, a concept that conserves water through efficient landscaping.

“We’re new homeowners, and having a garden takes a lot of resources,” said Cyndie Fernandez, a DOE secretary.“My husband was going to build our garden, but he was saved of that task,” she added with a laugh.

The water-saving garden was installed in December by Steve’s Gardening Service, a key contest sponsor, using the family’s favorite xeriscape-friendly plants and flowers. The garden has shown impressive growth since then.

“I think my garden is beautiful to look at, and I tell others it’s a total transformation from brown-and-bare to green-and-colorful,” she said. The prize also comes with a year’s worth of maintenance service.

Ray and Cyndie Fernandez (top photo) put their green thumbs to the test in their Xeriscape garden. Photos from Kurt Tsue, Board of Water Supply.

“We wanted to show people that many plants native to Hawaii can be grown in a xeriscape garden, and that they don’t require a lot of water,” said BWS spokesman Kurt Tsue. The garden also takes advantage of natural climate conditions, he said, and makes efficient use of irrigation.

Plumeria, puakenikeni, ohia, lehua, bird of paradise and ti leaf are just some of the many plants installed in the garden.

“I love plants and flowers but really didn’t know much about them or how to grow and care for them,“Fernandez admitted.“Now I’m going to be a gardener.“In fact, she has planted keiki apple banana and sprouted her favorite sunrise (red) papaya on the side of her house.

For more information on xeriscaping, visit http://www.board-ofwatersupply.com or call 748-5041.


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