Adventures in good design, good eats, and everything else.

The garden that you planted

Between Isenberg and Coolidge Streets, behind a regularly piled mound of trash, lies somewhat of a hidden botanical oddity. The meager entrances to the Mo‘ili‘ili Community Garden are well camouflaged–half covered in foliage and more than likely still obstructed by discarded bed frames and furniture.

Photos taken at Mo‘ili‘ili Community Garden

A narrow path that bisects the garden links the two parallel streets. It’s lined with a series of thin rubber paddings which have since transformed into an eerie carpet of moss. Each step is accompanied with a slight sinking feeling.


It’s midday when I discover and walk through it. Small plots of land in various states of upkeep are separated by makeshift fences made of roofing, cardboard, wooden crates, and even cribs. Strangely, I’m reminded of the abandoned theme parks and zoos of Japan.


On every plot corner are overturned pill bottles, glass jars, deflated tennis balls. Are they for keeping the birds away? Are they markers of territory?


There are some areas that are flourishing with tomatoes, carrots, and eggplants. A series of planters were kept perfectly manicured by an anonymous green-thumb. Others stalls were used as outdoor storage. Many were barren.


I found everything in this veiled spot to be a bizarre metaphor for Mo‘ili‘ili as a community and all the changes and divisions that it’s gone through.

Related posts:
  1. The Garden Club Flower Show
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