This post is primarily for the benefit of potential buyers from the mainland but it could also be of interest to buyers from other parts of the island or from the neighbor islands. Even people like myself that have lived in various homes on the island for years may find it somewhat educational.
See, we recently purchased a new construction home here in central Kailua-Kona. The lot had been scraped and was a blank canvas ready for someone make it a landscaping masterpiece. Having somewhat of a flair for landscape design I set to work on the site plan for plants and materials as well as the design and layout of the irrigation system which was quickly approved by our HOA’s design committee.
We had discussed at length how much we wanted to do ourselves and what we should hire someone else to do. Ultimately we told ourselves we were not afraid of a little hard work and we set out to dig trenches for irrigation lines and holes that would receive plants. In our heads and on paper it all sounded great. Then I grabbed a shovel and tried to stick it into the ground. It was around this time that it began making sense why our neighbor had been digging holes in his yard with a jackhammer!
I don’t want to make it sound like our house is built on a solid sheet of lava because it isn’t. In fact we have very rich and well drained soil that is perfect for tropical plants. But it is rocky… very rocky. It is not unusual to dig a hole for a plant and pull out multiple rocks sized from large pebbles to softball and even basketball sized stones. A shovel is pretty much useless and a pickaxe and digging stick are pretty much a requirement (or a jackhammer if you prefer).
Well call us crazy but we forged on even with our newly acquired knowledge of what we were up against. To date we have laid close to 300 feet of irrigation lines and have planted multiple plants including 4 medium-sized Foxtail Palms, several Sealing Wax Palms and close to 25 Areca Palms… oh and a Coffee Tree . We’ve also got much of the landscape rock and landscape lighting in place and it is looking fabulous!
I admit that I did end up spending several hours of Memorial Day afternoon in the ER at Kona Community Hospital with severely strained and spasming back muscles. This is what happens when one overdoes it!
So the moral of this little story? I guess it would be that landscaping in Kona can be a DIY project… But should it be? Maybe I should just stick to selling real estate in Kona! . Truth is though, I can hardly wait for my back to get better so I can get back out there and finish up. And if I had it to do all over again I would probably do the exact same thing.