After living in Southern California for over 25 years, I decided to make a big move and relocate to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2009. This is really a big island, it's about 100 miles across, about the same size as San Diego county, but there's only 170,000 people here. (vs. 4 million SD) I've been busy getting set up on my new island paradise and wow, what an amazing journey this has been. I love my new home and garden. The house was brand new in 2009 and the one acre site was raw. It first had to be hand cleared, but now it's an amazing jungle.
Gardening on rock (literally) was a completely new experience for me, but I'm a fast learner. The plants grow in mounded cinder on top of the fissured rock with a thick mulch topping. Drainage is perfect, but luckily it rains almost a half inch every night. What a difference from the coastal deserts of Southern California. Water was one of the reasons we relocated, and what a difference good quality water makes. The weather is pretty good too. I was expecting more rain, but I live near the water, and they consider the property to be in the sunny dry area of the wet side. That means I get only 90" a year, but after 8" a year in Southern California it seems like a lot. Wet areas here can get over 200" a year. It's all about elevation, the higher you go, the cooler and rainier it gets. I'm at 200', less than a mile from the ocean and luckily out of the tsunami zone. Average temp is 83 F. every day with night temps around 70 F. , the coldest so far was about 63 F., burr. As far as lava, I'm in lava zone 3, which is considered unlikely to encounter any fresh lava, but when you live on the world's most active volcano you can never really rule it out. Vog, a mixture of volcanic fumes and fog is a concern on the other side of the island, because that's the direction the trade winds blow. I rarely get any where I live, in fact the air where I live is considered the best, and cleanest on the planet.