Toucans and a Garden!

Three houses over after flying over mine  –  in lower right. Sorry it is small.

A Pair or a Mother-Child 
One big flap of his wings and he glides like a bullet!


This was the second of two big excitements today. I sat down on the love seat to catch my breath this afternoon after spending two hours with some gardeners which I’ll tell you about in a second. But I looked out my living room window at the big Strangler Fig tree in my yard and saw a Keel-billed Toucan in it, just his big beak showing. I quietly go get the camera and of course he was gone when I returned, evidently to a tree across the road. Then he flew (above photo) to some distant neighbors where I tried to photograph him and others in some trees there. Some day I’ll get one up closer. But this is the kind of things I see from my deck. And I’m not on vacation! I live here!
I have watched the neighbor couple my age from Oregon work so hard on planting a garden and knew there had to be an easier way. Well an advertisement went up in our development last week for a landscape company saying they will design and install gardens as well as maintain them and ask for Cristian if you need an English-speaker. I emailed him this morning with photos (below) of the empty corner at the end of my driveway by the entry patio. And scanned my drawing showing the dimensions in meters of course. 
I figured I would hear back in a week or so. In less than an hour, as I was preparing lunch, he called and said he was in Roca Verde now working on another house and could come over and look at 2:30. He did with two workers. I explained what I wanted in general and he took notes and explained that I couldn’t have the palm I wanted in this space because of the septic tank and the palm’s long roots, but he promised to provide something against the stark concrete wall and make a garden that I would love with flowers year-around, as well as many butterflies and hummingbirds. I’m so excited! I’d much rather spend a little money like this than a lot on a car!
I ended up getting a Palma Roja at the end of my back sidewalk at the other back corner of the house, expanding my garden visually. I can’t remember all the flower names now that they will install including vines to hang down on the stark concrete wall. Then we went around front and I ordered two pot plants for my deck and one for the living room. The total cost is less than what I would pay for just the plants in the states, AND it includes top soil brought in, three big pots planted, and all the installation labor. And they come install it this Friday! Here’s what the space looks like now, my “before photos”: 

Seen from the driveway looking toward the entry plaza.
I mostly use the sliding glass door on deck for my entry mostly.

The entry patio leading to an entry hall with bath & bedroom to left and
kitchen, office, living/dining room and deck to right. 

Of course Friday will be the new, young plants with not as much to showoff yet. But rainy season is starting and by August I think it will be looking good and in another year great! I’m planning to stay here long term! The beach is too hot and too expensive to live at and I’m less than two hours from it anyway! Plus I really like Atenas! My new home!

2 Replies to “Toucans and a Garden!”

  1. Loved your comments.
    I go to Atenas every year for 6 weeks. Love the country and the Ticos so like to know they are following directions and keeping safe. Re the toucans: In Jan. this year, I was in La Finca having lunch when I heard the waiters rustling about. And at the windows. One came over to tell us there were two toucans in the trees outside.
    They were 6 – 8 ft away calmly sitting and preening. What a gift it was. Shows that you never know. Regards, Diane

    1. Diane,

      This is a really old post done in 2015 just 4 months after I moved here. I have since had toucans in my garden. In 2018 this Keel-billed Toucan was right beside my breakfast table as I have also had happen in several lodges in Costa Rica:

      Then last year I had a family of Fiery-billed Aracari in that same tree (more rare here):

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