Around the House

the road to the house
the road to the house
I did promise pictures in the comments on my last post, so here are a few which might give you some idea of the area around the house.
Clicking on the photograph to enlarge.

This, somewhat overgrown in the rainy season, is what you see as you enter the gates.
The cactus, called ‘tuna’ here, was the first thing which met our eyes when we first visited the finca…but then it stood alone on a bare slope above the house, solitary guardian of the property.
Things have changed somewhat since then.

A view from the front door
A view from the front door
This hasn’t though. From the porch we look across a neighbour’s land and the two large trees centre right are ‘higeron’….a parasite which starts from a seed being lodged in the bark of a tree and goes on to strangle and kill it, building itself into a massive tree around the dead body of its host.
In season these are full of parrots…small green ones…tearing the tiny fruit from the branches and making a din like a school outing on the helter skelter.

all mARCH 13 037 Moving to the left from the preceding photograph there is a ‘madera negra’ tree….here seen bare in its summer guise and harbouring a frequent morning caller….an iguana sunning itself in the top branches to give it the energy to start its day.
The tree is useful in supplying living posts for fences and buildings….push a small branch in the ground and it will root and sprout in no time at all which can give a bizarre air to small structures whose supports bear green leaves and flowers in season.

Fruit and veg corner
Fruit and veg corner
Onthe corner of the balcony a sprouting broccoli plant that stubbornly refuses to sprout anything but leaves sulks alongside the blue flowers of the climber and the tomato plant, with succulents and odds and ends planted out in milk cartons until they can take outdoor conditions. They don’t need to tell us to recycle…nothing gets thrown out here.

Any idea what these are?
Any idea what these are?
Though some pretty strange stuff comes in….these whoppers are grown from a seed given us by Don Melo who buys plantains from us….I’ve seen beans in my time but these take the biscuit…
They remind me of runner beans in appearance…but even when young the pod is very tough so no slicing and putting them down in salt, only the pink beans can be used. Having no broad beans here – they flower but do not set seed – I used them in a paella and the taste differed from that of a runner bean seed…more mealy but very nice indeed.

rainbow at sunrise
rainbow at sunrise
This is the only time I have seen a rainbow here, over the hills to the left. The early sun has risen over the top of the mountain behind us to light up the bare top of Grifo Alto, but it will be some minutes yet before the valley comes to life.
This is my view every morning – minus the rainbow – guaranteed to start the day on a note as high as the hills themselves.

44 thoughts on “Around the House”

    1. You must be spoiling it…the one in the corner took four years to flower…there’s one on the approach road that is clinging to fence posts and flowers at waist high….but my husband is busy planting up the seeds…one day it will be like Sleeping Beauty’s castle, but with blue climbers rather than roses.

  1. How terrible for you having to live with that view every morning! How dreadful to face the sun day after day. How sad that an abundance of food grows on your porch. How you must suffer!

    It makes my little railway line look insipid now.

  2. How marvellous. It’s how I always imagine Costa Rica – although I thought one would have had to be miles out in remote countryside a million miles from anywhere.
    I was fascinated by the beans; their magniificent custom made pods, with each seed apparently packed in tissue, as if you had got it from Fortnum and Mason ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lovely pictures – and I can imagine how seeing that view every morning would set you up for the day. Do post more photos when you can.

    1. That’s the nice thing about Costa Rica…you can be a couple of kilometres out of town and be right in the country….

      Those beans fascinated me too….do you think F and M would fly them in to London?

  3. What a gorgeous place and this so brings memories back of living in Rhodesia long before it became Zimbabwe! We had a tree that had huge sausage like fruit, and heaven forbid if you should happen to be underneath when one fell. If lit landed on your head you would be out for the count. I don’t think the large seeds inside were edible though and I have never seen beans like that. We are still eating a good crop of broad beans that grew here in Franc e this year ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a good wekk and both of you take care. Diane

    1. There’s a tree here called a Guapinol which has sausage like fruits which weigh a ton…if you can crack the pod it has seeds and a sort of green sherbet powder inside…much loved by bats, though how they crack the pods is beyond me.

      Old world beans don’t seem happy here….my runners set only fitfully despite spraying, so I’m adapting to what’s on offer…including a bean like a whopping asparagus pea…frills on all four sides, which needs to be caught very young but is then delicious.

  4. How beautiful Helen. I very much enjoyed the little tour. In the view from the front door, is that a jacaranda tree in the upper right? The fern like leaves look like a jacaranda. Your area looks stunning and I can certainly see why you’d want to live there. I miss the sun and the warmth.
    Those beans look a bit scary actually. A bit like a large pill prescribed by a GP!

    1. I’m glad you liked it…I’m not good with the camera unfortunately.

      The fern like leaves aren’t jacaranda…but now you mention it I must buy some saplings….but something with an insignificant flower giving way to bright scarlet pods with glossy black seeds. It grows like the devil and gives us shade at the front of the house.
      I do enjoy being warm…it has made a big difference to life!

      Yes…horse pill size, aren’t they!

  5. If I ever wondered how you managed to keep your unanimity in a world full of frequent idiocy and frustration, that view supplies the answer.

  6. It all looks so excitingly foreign and different. It must seem rather exciting having things growing around you that you can’t name. I think the beans are amazing! As for parrots and iguanas and living, sprouting fences and building…exotic is the word; it’s all wonderfully exotic.

  7. You really have landed in Paradise, Helen. Such unspoilt, verdant beauty, and who doesn’t want wild parrots and iguanas on their doorstep. Magical.

  8. I really enjoyed this tour of your surroundings and can quite see why you love it so much there. The huge pink beans are fun and the iguana up the tree seems so exotic, but my favourite is the view from your front door. Glorious!

  9. Is this paradise, by any chance?
    Canโ€™t see you wanting to do much gardening except possibly to hack a few things back occasionally.

    No wonder you love where you live, itโ€™s wonderful. Iโ€™ve never lived in the tropics, cannot imagine what life would be like; does one ever become used to the splendour, or is your life a permanent holiday?

    Iโ€™d love to see more.

    1. You can do one of two things…

      Hack back occasionally or make a real effort with levels and plantings. I am thinking of doing the latter once I know a bit more about plants and this microclimate.

      No life is not a permanent holiday….but it is much more relaxed.

  10. I love all of your pictures! It must be hard to live in such beauty! (Although I wouldn’t mind trying it!) I live in the city, nothing but tall buildings and highways! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  11. What a beautiful area of the world! Being from Canada, it is a little hard to imagine life in a place where you never have to worry about snow and ice.

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