The Time to Plant

As we are now into the rainy season, it is the time to plant.  It is the time when frequent rains and more subdued sunshine nurture plants so they have a chance to become established  before the next dry season which starts in December.

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We decided that it was too much work for us to do alone, so we hired a landscaper to help. He came over and assessed our landscaping needs.  Then, he met Eddie at the nursery in Quapil, which is next door to our little town Hatillo, and helped Eddie chose the plants and trees.  It took his crew several days to do all the planting and they still have a little bit more to do.  We are very pleased with the results!

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Meanwhile, Eddie worked on making my clothesline. His next big project is to make metal storage cabinets for the carport to store all of his tools and stuff.

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We celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary at La Parcela in Dominicalito.  Adrian, the fantastic chef, cooked an awesome meal for us.

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Ellen had grilled Red Snapper

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Another spectacular sunset!

 

Making Outside Improvements – Part 2

Yesterday the final touches to the driveway were completed. It ended up being a bigger project and took more time than we anticipated…and more $$$ as well. We are very pleased with the end result! We have plenty of room to park and turn around. In addition, we are well prepared for the heavy rains.

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Front entrance walkway

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This gutter empties into a large tube that carries the water down the hill.

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Another drain that goes down the hill

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Newly planted landscaping on the terrace

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Pathway around the rear of the house

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A nice collection of plants and cuttings ready to be planted.  These were given to us by our good friends Chris and Rich from their gardens.

Last week we took Olivia and Rusty to the veterinarian in Quepos to be spayed and neutered. In Spanish there is no distinction…it is just called castration. So poor Olivia and Rusty were castrated. Olivia was very traumatized mostly because of the cone. She came home with all sorts of medications.  Rusty, on the other hand, took it all in stride. He was not bothered with it at all and the only evidence of his surgery was silver-like “paint” on his much smaller scrotum. We know that Olivia is looking forward to having the cone removed in a few days.

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Olivia and Rusty on the drive home from the vet office.

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Olivia and Rusty enjoying the sunset that evening.

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At the peak of the sunset. If you look very closely at the far right of the coastline, the little peninsula is Manuel Antonio National Park.

Making Outside Improvements

Now that we have the inside of the house under control, it is time to work on the outside. Installing drainage and improving the driveway are first on the list. The rain can cause major erosion if it is not properly controlled especially since our property is so steeply sloped. Since the rains have started, we have experienced flooding in the carport and a mud pit in the driveway. Talk about a mess!

The two photos below were taken just after the driveway was graded and our move into the house.  It looks good there, but the rains quickly changed the conditions for the worse.

On May 25, the crew arrived to begin the work.  We wanted to concrete the lower part of our driveway and make it larger for more parking and ease of turning around. The backhoe dug into the hillside to create the additional space.

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The backhoe operator was impressive and fun to watch!.  It was amazing how he managed get the backhoe to climb up the embankment.  At one point, I thought he was going to tip over. That guy was fearless!

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After the backhoe had finished with the hillside

While the backhoe guy was digging into the hillside, other workers were moving a good amount of the dirt to the side of the house to build up the grade and create a proper slope away from the foundation.  It took several days for them to do this.  Then, they started making the concrete  gutters to help with the drainage.

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The guys are installing the main gutter along the driveway

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The completed gutter along the back of the house

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Stone being delivered for making concrete on site (Concrete mixer trucks can’t make it up our mountain road).

Once they finished with the gutters, some of the guys started concreting the lower part of the driveway and some other guys started working on the pathway that will go around the sides of the house.

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Working on the front entrance and pathway

The rest of the driveway will be lastre (a mixture of gravel, sand and dirt). For the pathway, we will spread small river rocks around concrete stepping stones. It should all be finished sometime this week weather permitting.  Lately, the skies have opened up and we have had some heavy rains. The May rain total at our house was 28 inches!

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Eddie is planting Vetiver grass on the terrace of the hillside to stabilize the soil

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Eddie is installing gutter guards to keep the leaves from clogging the gutters

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Of course Rusty needs to be recognized for his many talents.  He is always there to help out!