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Emerald Eden

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

Merwin's greenhouse, where his palms get their start behind screening material that protects the seedlings from Hawaii's intense weather. He moves the seedlings to the forest at an early age, to minimize transplant shock. That means the young palms need meticulous care. Since Merwin's property has no irrigation system, as much as possible he plants during rainy periods, digs oversized holes for the young plants, and fills the holes with compost and organic fertilizers. He then waters the newly planted palms by hand.

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

A beautiful red heliconia.

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

W.S. Merwin

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

A big leaf palm (Marojejya darianii)

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

The front of this building is Merwin's tool shed, while the back houses the dojo, his Zen meditation room.

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

Bismark palm (Bismarckia nobilis)

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

Parakeetflower (Heliconia psittacorum) in the foreground and wild plantain, or lobster claw (Heliconia caribaea), in the background.

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

The west-facing porch is built into a steep slope, so the tops of the palms here are some 30 feet off the ground.

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

A white elephant or hurricane palm (Kerriodoxa elegans)

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

A green pepper vine climbs up a tree trunk.

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

Cisterns collect rainwater that runsoff the house's roof. 

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

The Mediterranean fan palm (Chamaerops humilis), seen here, is very common in California, but has a different look in the shady rainforest.

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

EMERALD EDEN

Some 40 years ago the renowned poet W.S. Merwin relocated to Maui, and made a home on a piece of abused land. Since then he has planted thousands of palm trees there, creating his own kind of Hawaiian paradise. 

 

Merwin, in his greenhouse, came to Maui in the 1970s to study Zen Buddhism. A friend told him of some available land on the coast. When he went to investigate, he says, "I heard plovers sailing overhead in pairs. I was hearing the same clear, rising notes that they called to each other on their long migration flights at night over the sea. That sound was the first thing about the place that caught me, like the note of a bell." It was the beginning of what was to become a grand project. He has since planted some 850 different palm species on the property.

Photo: Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel