28 April 2017

Costa Rica V: What do you Want to Take Away

Our Suite at Hotel President, San Jose, CR

Back in San Jose, Hotel Presidente awaits us…a clean room, warm bed, and a substantial breakfast. Then a taxi to the plane, then a flight to another flight…..these thing spring to mind as our vacation winds down.

While there is plenty of time left in this paradise-like setting, I can’t help but look forward to our next international trip, even to our summer bike trip, and more immediately—springtime gardening in Maryland.

The gardens here give me inspiration for our little tree orchard and my yard!

 One surprising thing I’ve learned here is that the import plants regulations re largely ignored. In this beachfront resort—according to their gardener, Anthony, who has been here from day one—all the gorgeous plants and trees that he has cultivated here are non-native to the region. He bought and planted “practically everything”. There’re lipstick/wax palms (natives of Japan) and Bromeliads from parts further south.

Panoramic : Porch of our 10'x10' caneba in Puerto Viejo de Talamance, Limon, CR (Banana Azul)

In town we dined at a restaurant with impressive garden, hosting many Mediterranean herbs, stateside perennials, and even tea roses… the icing on the cake for me was 4 newly planted Morning Glory vines!

I imagine that when we return to paradise in a year or two, the Morning Glories will have grown up to cover the entire village—draping over people and palms alike.

On the bus stop that welcomes tourists from San Jose, there is also a trio of well-tended marigolds and phlox.

Bueno suerte in keeping the invasive species in check.

Our Take-Aways

On a lazy afternoon we walk into town—as usual—grab a restaurant lunch and some happy hour supplies and make our way back to the Black Beach. On a blanket, with books and beer I say to my beloved, “this is our fourth time here…each time we return to the US more relaxed and refreshed, but what is it that you’d like to take away from this journey? What do you want to keep and make a part of your everyday life?”

He replied "Pura Vida!"

For me, it was Anthony’s tenacity and care of the gardens that touched me. We spoke at length one day about how he ended up at our lodgings. He was an expatriated Texan who loved plants and he volunteered to be the gardener at an unfinished beach resort nine years ago. With love and an open mind he has cultivated almost every tree and flower at the place. And today he has a nursery as his side business.

I will take away the passion for growing and the joy of being surrounded by lush, verdant beauty. I hope that my toiling in our (now twice as big) gardens will seem less like work and more like love this season.