Princeville Botanical Gardens began as a personal hobby of Bill and Lucinda Robertson in 2001, only to expand in scope and surpass all expectations when they moved to Kauai full time in 2004.
Hidden away in the jungle valleys of Princeville on Kauai’s North Shore, dramatic topography, natural landscaping, and tender cultivation have culminated into a sacred garden paradise.
Previously cattle land, centuries of introduced plants had strangled out the native flora throughout the Anini Stream valley. After fighting back the jungle, the Robertsons continue to protect the land from constantly encroaching invasive species. Supplementing the tired soil with organic fertilizers and homemade compost, organic and sustainable practices are a priority in the gardens. With the help of passionate gardeners, enthusiastic friends and neighbors, and painstaking physical labor, the land has slowly been transformed.
Though still young, Princeville Botanical Gardens is home to some of the healthiest specimens on Kauai, with a diverse collection comparable to the other beautiful gardens of the Garden Island. Besides native and “canoe” plants, the gardens are home to potent medicinals, rare and endangered flowers, and useful economic plants from around the world.
In August of 2010, the Robertsons decided to share their garden with the public and opened it for small guided tours. Princeville Botanical Gardens offers a unique opportunity to see a family-grown-and-operated botanical garden, complete with exotic flowers, delicious fruit trees, and organic homegrown chocolate.
Princeville Botanical Gardens is proud to make and share their own organic chocolate, as well as delicious honey from on-site beehives. You can taste these treats and explore the rest of the gardens on a private guided tour offered three days a week. For a taste of the gardens before you visit, check out Lucy’s beautiful collection of photos with her own story of the garden’s development. Also, if you’re a real garden enthusiast, follow us on Facebook to see the owners notes or for up to date pictures of blooms, follow us on Instagram.
Meet Our Crew
Bill & Lucinda are the owners and creators of Princeville Botanical Gardens. They’ve dedicated years to transforming a piece of land into one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Hawaii. Bill has a background in commercial real estate and is the “idea man” behind the gardens. Lucinda is an artist who brought her elegant design eye to the hardscaping and landscaping of the gardens. Jason transformed the botanical gardens from a private family project to a botanical garden that offers guided tours to the public.
Michael Wise, our Master Gardener and plant whisperer, has created a truly magical world here for all to enjoy. His love of the Plant Kingdom reaches far, as you will see in the outstanding collection here in the gardens from the rare, endangered and exotic plants to his most beloved succulents.
Michael’s intention has always been to bring people back to nature, to wonder and awe at the immense intelligence, beauty and healing the plant world holds for each and everyone of us.
Most of Mary Lou’s life has been spent outdoors, being a lover of many sports, camping, and hiking. She is also akin to animals and plants, being a gardener and florist. She owned her own flower shop with her two daughters for 15 years in Santa Cruz, CA, until she moved to Kaua’i in 2001. Along with continuing to enjoy her skills here, she became a hula dancer and lei maker, winning lei awards for many years in competition. She also added being an artist to her busy schedule. She has been tour guide at Princeville Botanical Gardens for three years, feeling fortunate to be sharing her love of plants and flowers with others.
Brad is an organic gardener, herbalist, and permaculture designer. His interest is in ethnobotanist, biodiversity, and earth repair.
Alegra is thrilled to have the opportunity to work and learn with the Princeville Botanical Gardens. Alegra is currently a teacher at the Hanalei School.
She is very grateful to weave together the stories and knowledge she has learned from Kumu and cultural practitioners at her school with what she has learned about the plants in our garden. She brings to her tours a love for teaching and experiential learning and looks forward to meeting you in the garden. Aloha.
Donna joined us in 2018 and says it’s a natural next step in her lifelong love of flower gardening. She started planting flowers when she was 10 and has enjoyed creating a garden wherever she’s lived; California, Kauai, Alaska and Oregon. Donna lived on Kauai from 1971 to 1981, during which time she married, had a daughter and started Kauai’s first gymnastics school. After retiring from a career as a financial advisor and portfolio manager for Smith Barney, Donna moved back to the place she loves in 2014. She has 3 children and 2 grandchildren who all live in Eugene, Oregon.
“I knew from the minute I stepped into the gardens that I would love showing people this wonderful space. And I do!” – Donna
Sara Hollingsworth is a California grown tree hugger and plant enthusiast. She is the most recent addition to our tour staff, coming to us from a year of working at the Limahuli National Botanical Gardens.
Raised on a palm nursery, she learned how to communicate with nature through gardening. With roots now deeply grown into Kauai soil, she seeks to spread her love of the island’s natural beauty and culture with others. When she is not playing in the dirt, you can find her playing in the ocean.