Friends of Honolulu Botanical Gardens was organized in 1961 as the Friends
of Foster Garden. Its purpose is to support the programs of the Honolulu
Botanical Gardens and to spread knowledge and the enjoyment of plants. In
the spring of 1961 we began offering a wide range of classes with the
intent of educating the public. Included were demonstrations on
horticulture, workshops like lei making, tours featuring travel to Europe
in 1969, New Zealand in 1984, neighbor island hikes led by Lorin Gill (85
total), and over 100 hikes on Oahu.
Those (from ’64 to ’81) were the halcyon years when the
Friends produced lavish exhibitions like Living Lanais and nine
magnificent Flora Pacifica shows.
Our organization supported numerous plant collection
safaris, brought some of the world’s great authorities on botanical
gardens to help plan additions to the collections and to evaluate
Honolulu’s Botanical Gardens with other world famous botanical gardens.
Many educational study and travel grants were funded for
the gardens’ professional staff. Over the years more than 90% of the
funding for plant acquisitions was funded by the Friends. We also funded
computerization of accession records from 1987-92 through the purchase of
a state of the art computer program. In 1990 we purchased a computerized
label-making machine to replace the antique label embosser.
To help fund our programs we have held more than 46 plant
sales. The first plant sale was held in the spring of 1961. Our 50th
Spring Plant Sale took place May 29,2010.
As volunteer groups developed at three gardens, first at
Foster Garden, then at Wahiawa and Ho’omaluhia, it became obvious that we
would have to change our name. So in 1993 we formally became the Friends
of Honolulu Botanical Gardens.