The Blue-gray Tanager (eBird link) is a common bird here that is found only in Central and South America. I love it when one comes to my garden as he did here back in May here in one of my Nance Trees. See some of the many photos I’ve made of this bird all over Costa Rica in my Blue-gray Tanager Gallery.
Between my casita and the driveway going to the top of our hill and the big house there is mainly a row of privacy palms, though right at the gate is a little spreading Nance Tree which is now flowering and those flowers will turn to Nance Berries. Different kinds of birds eat them in the different stages, some even now as flowers which are already turning into baby berries. The birds are coming! 🙂
Humans do eat the berries with a taste that’s only “so-so” for me and some people tell me that they make good marmalade or jelly, but doesn’t anything with enough sugar added? 🙂 Yet harvesting enough would be tricky with the competition of birds and some small animals like squirrels and iguanas! 🙂 The joy of living in a garden!
And below are three more shots including one of the small tree . . .
To maintain a vista from my terrace I have to top or prune off the top of both my Yellow Bells Tree and my Nance Tree about once a year.
I asked the gardener to write down the official name in Spanish which is “Arbole de vainillo” (Costa Rica only name – click for español description and other Spanish names by country). I just discovered that the Latin name Tecoma stans (click for English description) also has multiple English names listed in this order on Wikipedia: Yellow Trumpetbush, Yellow Bells (which I have been calling it because of the yellow bell-shaped flowers), Yellow Elder, and Ginger-Thomas. It is the official flower of the United States Virgin Islands and the floral emblem of The Bahamas, both using different names!
And is very popular all over Costa Rica as a garden tree bringing 2-4 months of yellow flowers every year. You can see more photos of my trees blooming in my photo gallery named: My Home Gardens.
“In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.”
Coming in October: A visit to Rincón de la Vieja National Park & Hacienda Guachipelin, a volcano park lodge, this one in the north of Guanacaste, above Liberia (a new area for me) and another hotel that promises a great birding experience. I continue to try new places while occasionally repeating favorites like a redo of Arenal Observatory (another volcano birding lodge) coming in November. In Costa Rica – the adventures never end!
Step into my main garden from the driveway or back door of house. Surrounded by the trees and other flowers of neighbors. You know you are in a tropical place!
Out my backdoor you are greeted by a pottery bird garden-art by Anthony. Anthony Jeroski will soon be moving into the house across the driveway since Don & Lynda just moved back to the states. Anthony & I have plans for a garden-art bird nest made of wood & wire that will feature a glass egg made by my Nashville friend Kevin Hunter. I think you will like it Kevin!
Here a garden is really your whole yard and terrace and that is true for me. With watering during the dry season, my “front yard” jungle has grown, especially the Cecropia or Guarumo tree, many palms & flowers on a slope.
One is a Nance Tree which by July will have little yellow fruits I can eat!
Bougainvillea is blooming on my terrace and down below on the slope. There was not one here when I came and I consider it the quintessential tropical flower I got used to in Florida and The Gambia. I have two now!
Once de Abril Plantaor 11th of April Plant is what my gardener calls it. It is becoming very tall and full shrub, adding to my privacy screen and it blooms year around with seasonal yellow berries that birds eat quickly. It is one of my favorite plants and was a surprise gift from my gardener. The 11th of April is Juan Santamaria Day, our only war hero. He was the drummer boy who stopped the American Walker from taking over Costa Rica as his personal slave state. DO YOU SEE THE BEE ON THE FLOWER? Click image for larger view.
The largest of my 4 Heliconia plants.
The brightest of my Heliconia plants.
The smallest of my Heliconia plants.
And the most prolific of the 4 Heliconia plants. It greets you at the driveway next to the Plumbago.
Red Ginger is all over my garden & prolific.
Lantanas are my border and called multiple things here. Grow fast! I have to cut them back regularly or they become shrubs! That is something like a Florida White Butterfly here today.
A type of Petunia that blooms abundantly every morning, then by mid-afternoon the blooms have all dropped to the ground. More the next morning! Year-around.
Flame Vine in English or Triquitraque in Spanish which literally means “firecracker” in Spanish
Flame Vine or Triquitraque
Plumbago is beautiful and my most prolific bloomer. My background plant. But it grows so fast I have to cut it back every few months, losing some color. But it blooms year-around and especially on the new growth after trimming.
“Crown of Thorns” is what Lynda called it. I bought at Don & Lynda’s Moving Sale.
Aloe Vera – I’m always ready for burn! 🙂
Sorry I made so many photos this morning! And that is not all of my garden! 🙂 I love it!
And this is very near the end of the dry season, meaning we have had no rain since November. I water most everything every two days. It is work but worth it! I even have green grass which is rare here this time of year. And it has been especially hot this summer or dry season. So my garden has been a lot of work! That is what it takes to have a piece of paradise! As Rudyard Kipling says . . .
“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.”