Ideas to Inspire Your Own Great Outdoors

From rainy Ha‘ikū, to sultry Lahaina, to Kula’s cloud-covered slopes, Maui offers a wealth of opportunities for creating an outdoor space perfect for you.

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From Dust to Lush

balinese pool
At one end of a traditional Balinese pool, statues of Rama and Sita occupy the replica of a Balinese temple. A shower tree shelters them both, raining flowers onto the surface of the pool all summer long.
backyard deck
A wooden deck overhangs the koi pond, creating a cool retreat from Launiupoko’s constant sun.

Former Arizonans Dominic and Ann Pistillo weren’t intimidated by the arid climate of Launiupoko, on Maui’s west side. The acre they purchased there in 2004 was “bone dry,” says Dominic, “but we understand this climate.”

That once-barren lot is now home to a lush bamboo grove, colorful succulents, a palm garden, and a shower tree that shelters a Balinese pool. It’s also a functioning farm and the couple’s commercial nursery, Maui Mist Gardens. The Pistillos follow a plant-based, whole-food diet; in addition to a thriving vegetable garden, the yard is full of fruit trees — citrus, papaya, mango, lychee, pitahaya (dragon fruit) — as well as coffee and cacao groves. Dominic says, “We try not to eat anything with a barcode.”

Relying on the land is hard work, but the Pistillos love their lifestyle. Ann says, “We live outside, and we’re passionate about growing things. We are gardeners at heart.”

Biggest Challenge: “Finding plants that work here was hard,” says Ann. “It’s not [rainy] Hāna, and it’s not Arizona.” Dominic adds, “Bugs don’t die here. Being an organic gardener is tough.”

maui backyard
An ironwood deck leads from the house to a gas-fired, copper-domed pizza oven that’s also Dominic’s handiwork.

Favorite Part: “The palm garden,” says Ann. “I love the variety.” “The vegetable garden,” Dominic counters. “Tending, harvesting, nurturing — I love it.”

Tips: “Finding the right variety is everything,” says Dominic. “Once you do, [the plants] will take off.” Ann adds, “Mulch, mulch, mulch. You’ve got to build the soil. Also be wary of chemicals, and don’t overwater.”

RESOURCES

Bellissimo Stoneworks & Design
10 Hakoi Pl., Kīhei
808-214-4880 | dheiner@hotmail.com

Huber Pools
1367 S. Kīhei Rd., Kīhei
808-879-0822 | HuberPools.com

South Maui Gardens
35 Auhana Rd., Kīhei
808-419-6562 | SouthMauiGardens.com

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