Glowing Orange

Triquitraque or Mexican Flame Vine was the name of my article last April when my vine was at its best. This year it seems to be peaking a lot earlier or hopefully it will be for longer! As stated then, “Triquitraque” is the Costa Rica name of this profusely blooming and glowing vine while most Americans call it “Mexican Flame Vine” and now I read online line that in Florida they are actually calling it “Florida Flame Vine.”    🙂

As planned when I planted it around three years ago, it is mostly covering the stark concrete wall behind my tropical garden giving a blaze of color when traveling up or down the hill. My landlord likes it along his driveway! The butterflies & hummingbirds do too! Here’s a couple of views from above and one from the kitchen window through its glare and reflection of my hands and the kitchen sink. When not traveling, I enjoy my gardens!  ¡Pura Vida!

Orange is the happiest color. 

Frank Sinatra

Click image to enlarge:

This sun-loving, evergreen vine is also known as the flame flower or the golden shower. It’s native to Brazil and Paraguay, where it flourishes in rocky scrub habitats and forests that are seasonally dry. It grows quickly, spreading with tendrils; a single stem can be 80 feet (24 meters) long! Its genus name Pyrostegia comes from Greek words for “fire” (pyr-) and “cover” (steg-), and when it flowers in fall and early winter, it is engulfed in spectacular, flame-colored blooms that attract hummingbirds.    ~San Diego Zoo

University of Florida Article on growing Flame Vine 

San Diego Zoo Article on Flame Vine

Report on My “Weekly Post” Survey

Basically everyone who responded to my request for comments are simply very kind and flexible people; meaning I did not get any strong opinions one way or the other and you readers are divided on your interests, so I am probably going to continue mostly the way I have been blogging, with no more pressure to have a daily post, feeling free to skip days every once-in-awhile, maybe several in a row.

I will not legalistically stick to my original theme of “Retirement in Costa Rica” though that is who I am, thus all related! Even the above flowers!   🙂    And I will always strive for better quality writing and photography! I live a “Pura Vida” life here and will continue to report on it, sometimes daily, sometimes every few days or weekly. Since it was flowers today, I’ll do a serious article tomorrow and then back into my usual groove!   🙂   And by the way, if you ever wondered, those 3 “Related” earlier posts at the bottom of each post are not my choices but something the WordPress blogging computer chooses based on subjects and key words. Interesting!f And usually very well related!

 

Triquitraque or Mexican Flame Vine

The Triquitraque is in 2nd period of blooming
just in time for my visitors coming this week!
Atenas, Costa Rica

Just sorry that most of my others are not blooming this week. But this is colorful!
Atenas, Costa Rica

More Flame Vine Pix

Close-up of an open bloom, Flamevine or TriquiTraque in Costa Rica
In my garden, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
My favorite shot so far.

At first the blooms are “capsules” or little tubes before opening up.
My TriquiTraque in Atenas, Costa Rica

TriquiTraque looks best when massed on a wall like I have in my garden.
Atenas, Costa Rica

There is not much online about this flower in the way of information. As “Flamevine” the best I could find was at the University of Florida website. When I Google triquitraque it is my blog that comes up in addition to a lot of photos by different people. So I can’t tell you much about them. I did find this page article in a botanical gardens book which is kind of scientific. And I think I have already noted that in Spanish dictionaries triquitraque means “clattering noise” or a “string of firecrackers.”

🙂
See also my Costa Rica photo gallery called Flora & Forests

Triquitraque or Flame Vine Blooming for This Year

The brilliant orange flowers of Triquitraque or Flame Vine is a great contrast to the blue Plumbago flowers.
I saturated the color so they’re not really this red, but are a deeper orange than next untouched photos.

If I remember correctly they will bloom 2 to maybe 3 months, February-April. I had hoped for year around blooms like some of my other plants, but this gives me something special for this time of year. And this year they cover more of my stark concrete wall, which is what I wanted! 🙂  ¡Me gusta!

AND PHOTOS FROM LAST YEAR: 

See also my photo gallery Flora & Forests
And read about Flamevine which Costa Ricans call Triquitraque, Spanish for “a string of firecrackers” or sometimes can mean “creaking” or “rattling” in colorful conversations.  🙂

A Walk In the Garden!

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 Planta or 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.” 
― Rudyard Kipling, Complete Verse

Zooming In On Blossoms

Plumbago

I think most of my photos have been of the total garden or yard and not each blossom. So here are some close-ups of a sort, zoomed in on with my Canon Rebel and 75-300 zoom lens. Enjoy!

Flame Vine  or Triquitraque
My large Heliconia
There are so many varieties that
I hesitate to identify the species

This large Heliconia has seeds in it that birds eat or they grow to new plants

There are 6 varieties of this small
yellow Heliconia growing in wild
and cultivated. I have two . . .
This is my other small yellow Heliconia
Then this small red Heliconia that is finally blooming again. None open yet.

The almost constantly blooming Red Ginger
here with a fully open bloom and . . .

A Red Ginger bud just opening and growing sideways
I cut all of mine back and so they are just now starting to fill with blooms again.
One of the many colors of Lantanas I have as a border.
They are coming back strong after I cut them to the ground 2 months ago.

Porter Weed for Hummingbirds
I have pink and purple.

A special Costa Rican variety of Petunia that blooms heavy each morning
and then all blooms drop off in the afternoon to none, nada! Every day!
It is kind of like the Morning Glories my landlord has growing on his fence.
They too bloom every morning only. 

The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly.    ~William Wordsworth

Triquitraque or Flamevine Finally Blooming

Finally my concrete wall made pretty! Triquitraque or Flamevine

The triquitraque or flamevine I had planted 7 months ago started out with a burst of growth and then just quit and never bloomed much. So Jean-Luc suggested I feed them since the construction site soil was not particularly rich and I thus added a fertilizer, sort of a 12-12-12 from the La Coope Farm Store. Wow! what a difference it made! They grew and got greener and are now just starting to bloom. I think there will be more, but I’m sharing what I have now and I’m pleased! It kind of makes up for the Porterweed not blooming now. Both attract hummingbirds.

From above the flamevine contrasts nicely with the blue plumbago below.
I love it when a plan comes together!   🙂
And just in time for the visit here by Reagan Frazier from Nashville.
Photographed here on his camera on my terrace overlooking Atenas.
Thanks to Reagan for snapping this photo of me at the San Jose Airport!
I promise to give a warm welcome to anyone who comes to visit. Pura Vida!

Reagan arrived yesterday afternoon and today we took it easy, walking around Atenas Central a little and eating a typical Tico lunch or “Casado.” Tomorrow we start with a Tico Breakfast with a beautiful view at Casita del Cafe and then drive to Poas Volcano and the La Paz waterfalls so he can feel like a real tourist!  🙂   Follow Reagan’s Blog for his view of the visit here!