WKNA Chairwoman Helena Coonley and March's Neighborhood Pride Award recipient Dennis Wasano.

WKNA Chairwoman Helena Coonley and March’s Neighborhood Pride Award recipient Dennis Wasano. Photo by Sid Jackson

A project eight years in the making has landed Dennis Wasano a coveted neighborhood award — and a yard covered with thousands of blue-green flowers.

Dennis’ carefully cultivated blue jade vines caught the attention of the Wailua-Kapa‘a Neighborhood Association, which rewarded the Kapahi resident with the Neighborhood Pride Award for the month of March.

Ten years ago, Dennis retired from a successful career as a chef at JJ’s and Gaylord’s. Having grown up on a farm in Kapa‘a Homesteads, after his retirement, he wanted to do more of what he had always been around; growing flowers and food.

Lawa Brown is following his grandpa's footsteps.

Lawa Brown is following his grandpa’s footsteps. Photo by Sid Jackson

After seeing a wild blue jade plant in Keapana Valley, it took him six years to find his first Blue Jade seedling. Two years ago, he had his first flowers.

Today, on his Annie Road property, he grows the spectacular blue jade, with two vines completely covering his 15-by-20-foot trellis. There are approximately 150 trailing vines within the trellis, all heavily laden with thousands of these blue-green flowers.

The blue jade grows 5 feet a week, so it takes lots of maintenance to keep it under control. Now he’s passing on his passion to his 7-year-old grandson, Lawa Brown.

Lawa and his grandpa make all kinds of fun things with the jade plant and flowers.

But there’s more to come: Dennis has now started a red jade plant in the rear of his house, along with his dragon fruit, mango, beans, cucumbers and bananas.

Dennis Wasano's blue jade vines.

Dennis Wasano’s blue jade vines. Photo by Sid Jackson

Dennis will receive the award at the Wailua-Kapa‘a Neighborhood Association’s monthly meeting March 28, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Kapa‘a Library.

The public is invited to this free community information and involvement meeting.

Nominations for beautiful front yards within the 96746 zip code can be submitted to WKNA Chairwoman Helena Cooney at Helena1824@AOL.com or by calling 822-1885. The resident must do his or her own work to qualify for the award.