First Day in Costa Rica

Hi Garden Friends,

Many of you know I lead garden tours: about 8 to 10 a year (certainly keeps me hopping!). Here’s a little blog about the latest one.


Day 1

After a long flight, but without complications, my group arrived in San José, Costa Rica yesterday afternoon, March 20, 2014.

Our guide, Andrea, gave a little surprise: a city tour on foot. This wasn’t on the original program, but the airline changed their flight times and so we got to the City in early afternoon rather then late at night. On the tours, we saw the National Theatre, the post office, the legislature building, the National Park (a very nice city park!) and the National Museum, among others. And we got to feel the pulse of the city as we walked along the main street, which is reserved for pedestrians… and street hawkers!

Anyone who knows me will tell you I am always looking for plants and animals, and even in the city we saw some amazing stuff.


I enclose two pictures: one of Tabebuia rosea, a native tree with pink trumpet flowers that are planted throughout the city. It blooms throughout much of the dry season and was very visible when we did the city tour.



For the bird lovers among you, I saw grackles (how exciting :-)! ), domestic pigeons (by the hundreds), Inca doves and at least two different tyrant flycatchers (which I photographed, but will only try to identify later, with a good bird book to help me). The most remarkable bird, however, was the very noisy Finsch’s parakeet, small green parrot with a red mark on its head. These parrots are becoming increasingly common in San Jose: they are the only ones in the country to have really adapted to urban environments. We’ll see other parrots, I’m sure, but not in the city.

My goal is to post you some words and pictures every day… when I have access to the Internet, that is.

See you tomorrow then with details and photos of our adventures.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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