Mad About Flowers
If you love flowers, you’ll love Guanacaste in the summer
The rainy season in the Guanacaste region where Siva Ashram is located comes to an end in November. The clouds start to clear up revealing more blue sky throughout the day. The grounds begin to dry under the intense heat and many of the deciduous trees start to drop their leaves.
What follows in the coming months of the dry season is a perfectly orchestrated unveiling of colors. Bare branches and twigs are enveloped in flowers that spring to life in a technicolor display that only nature can pull off.
In many places around the world, spring brings with it a blossoming of flowering trees. This spectacle often only lasts a few weeks at the most but not in Guanacaste. From December through June the trees take turns flowering, turning hillsides and plains into stunning feasts for the eyes.
The Bengal Clock Vine
Thunbergia Grandiflora is an evergreen vine that is native to China and India. The blue to mauve flowers hang gracefully from some of the trees at Siva Ashram alongside the white flower version of this vine.
An Arboreous Spectacle
When nature dresses up for its yearly gala
At Siva Ashram we are starting to witness the trees that we have planted bloom and flower. The entrance driveway to the gardens is flanked by about thirty Delonix regia trees on either side. In May, these barren trees burst into flaming red creating a stunning driveway tunnel of flowers. Our Cortez Amarillo trees flower for only three days but what a spectacular three days those are! The iridescent yellow takes your breath away and the entire coast comes alive in perfect synchronicity.
The white and pink flowers of the Roble Sabana tree are gorgeous against the blue summer sky but being a delicacy of the Howler monkeys this sight is not long-lived. The Brazilian firetree is fast-growing and hence towers above the canopy and its inverted cone shape top bursts into a perfect yellow. The highly medicinal Cortez Negro has just started to flower putting out clumps of bright pink flowers.
In mid-February, the Cassia Grandis makes itself known. Standing tall, it stunningly displays masses of salmon-pink flowers in clusters that truly capture the eye against the stark brown of the summer landscape. An important bee plant, this tree with its dark, almost black, trunk and branches creates the perfect contrasts for the flowers that seem to stay on the tree for what feels like a few weeks.
We are waiting for our endangered Cocobolo tree to burst into white flowers and for our Ceiba Speciosa to boast its pink flowers any year now. Amidst these show-stoppers are a plethora of other trees and plants in our gardens that unfold their flowers during the summer months providing a feast for bees, butterflies, birds and other creatures.
Amongst Our Flowering Trees
Blessing our land with shapes, colors and fragrance
The mysterious greenish-yellow drooping flowers of the ylang-ylang tree are known worldwide for their ambrosial scent, used in the renowned Chanel N°5 fragrance, essential oils, and aromatherapy.
This out-of-this-world flower combines bright green, yellow and deep purple colors with soft white petals. It only blooms for 12-24 hours before closing so seeing them is quite a unique experience!
Plumerias and their fragrant flowers are common in warm climates but they never cease to amaze us with their elegance and variety of colors, from white to bright yellow, sometimes pink or deep red.
Pomelo flowers are known for their powerful scent. These small, milk-like white blooms contrast with dark glossy leaves and their delightful scent can travel extremely long distances.
Bougainvilleas are known for their almost paper-like delicate texture and variety of colors. They adorn Siva Ashram’s borders with colors from bright magenta/purple to soft pink and white.
The bright yellow flowers of the native poró poró tree, known as yellow rose, bloom in the dry season after it drops its foliage, and display a unique sight against the blue Costa Rican summer sky!
When the cortez negro tree drops all of its foliage, it displays these marvelous clusters of bright pink flowers. This spectacular show lasts just 5 or 6 days so witnessing it is quite a privilege!
Flowering Tree List
An ever-growing list of our flowering trees:
African Tulip Tree | Spathodea campanulata
Bougainvillea | Bougainvillea spp
Brazilian Fire Tree | Schizolobium parahyba
Cortez amarillo | Tabebuia ochracea
Cortez negro | Handroanthus impetiginosus
Crimson Bottlebrush | Melaleuca citrina ‘Splendens’
Emperor’s Candlesticks | Cassia Alata reticulata
Frangipani | Plumeria sp
Golden Shower Tree | Cassia fistula
Guachipelín | Diphysa americana
Guayacán | Tabebuia guayacan
Hong Kong Orchid Tree | Bauhinia × blakeana
Indian Coral Tree | Erythrina variegata
Malinche | Delonix regia
Pink Shower | Cassia grandis
Poró Poró | Cochlospermum vitifolium
Red Pseudobombax | Pseudobombax ellipticum
Roble Sabana| Tabebuia rosea
Ron Ron | Astronium graveolens
Silk Floss tree | Ceiba speciosa
Variegated Hong Kong Orchid Tree | Bauhinia variegata
Yellow Elder | Tecoma Stans
Ylang Ylang | Cananga odorata
“All Hindus feel they are guests on the planet with responsibilities to nature, which when fulfilled balance its responsibilities to them.”
~ Gurudeva Subramuniyaswami