KANEOHE, Oahu -- Ninety-three-year-old Hiram Fong attributes part
of his longevity to working in his garden.
Also known as Sen. Fong, the first Asian-American to serve in
the U.S. Senate, he is owner of Senator Fong's Plantation and
Gardens, a 725-acre oasis of greenery.
The gardens are filled with colorful flowers along with a
beautiful view of Kaneohe Bay. In addition, there are rainforest,
fruit, pine and sandalwood trees.
Fong started planting trees and tropical flowers on a piece of
land overlooking Kaneohe Bay in 1950 and soon bought more and more
land for the task.
Today, the man who served in the Senate from 1959 to 1977 still
comes to work every day, greeting visitors and planting.
The plantation, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offers narrated
tours at $10 for adults and $6 for children.
Tours run at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and at 1 p.m., 2 p.m.
and 3 p.m.
The plantation is divided into five areas, all named after
presidents who held office during Fong's Senate tenure.
There are Eisenhower Plateau (plants and flowers), Kennedy
Valley (heleconia and ginger plants, and rainforest, palm and
lychee trees), Johnson Plateau (exotic fruit trees), Nixon Valley
(sandalwood trees and pineapple) and Ford Plateau (pine trees).
The plantation is on the windward, or eastern, side of Oahu.
It's about a 45-minute drive from the hotels of Waikiki.
For details, call Senator Fong's Plantation and Gardens at (808)