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San José, Costa Rica || Monday Edition, July 24, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 145
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We have a small SUV...

We have a small SUV, a Kia Sportage. We used to have a big Nissan but it broke and no one seems to be able to fix it. So we have a Kia. Me? I wanted a pickup truck. A nice 4door with a big open bed, but we have a Sportage. Yes, the Kia has much better gas mileage, about double what we used to get, and yes, it can carry quite a bit, but Metric Man has some objections. Mostly, he wants it to be clean.

Can you imagine telling a gardener to keep a car clean?

Victoria Torley
  If we had a pickup, he wouldn’t
 notice the dirt because it
wouldn’t anywhere near the
 passenger section. Imagine what
 I could  put in a pickup. Why, I
 could go to La Garita and visit a
 dozen different viveros. I could
 come home with small trees and
 large shrubs and flats of this and
 that, but we have a Kia.

If we had a pickup, Metric Man would never notice the odor of manure. I gather my manure myself – after all we have cows in the fields around us and they make plenty of manure. Seems a shame to pay someone for it when you can gather it (properly dressed and gloved) yourself. Throw some of it on the compost heap with the cut grass and veggie scraps or put it in a bag to make compost tea, but no. Metric Man doesn’t want manure in the back of the Kia. He seems to think it smells funny.

If we had a pickup truck, transporting a small pig would be no problem. Just toss it into the back and drive away. I once put my caretaker’s Easter pig in the back of the Nissan…which didn’t work out too well.

Now and then I see a branch by the side of the road with orchids and bromeliads that need new homes covering it. Can I get a big branch into a Kia? I don’t think so. Instead, I have to salvage what I can and put it in the trunk. Then, even if I have the plants bagged, the trunk is dirty and I have to get out the vacuum. Or maybe I just toss the plants in the vacant front seat and have to vacuum that. I don’t like to vacuum, it reminds me too much of housework. I don’t like housework.

Well, anyway, we have a lovely Kia Sportage. Metric Man says the ride is smoother than the ride of a pickup. He’s got me there and the gas mileage is great. Score two for him, and he doesn’t mind if I make two trips to the vivero.

It really is a nice car.

Porcelain flower
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Victoria Torley       

Plant for the Week

Today, my car carried the Hoya carnosa, commonly called hoya, wax flower, or porcelain flower. Mine came from our local “Vivero Mi Jardin.” I love it there. And I can’t wait for it to bloom. The hoya is a vine with small bouquets of highly fragrant flowers that attract bees and butterflies. Plant on a trellis in sun or partial shade, or try it in a hanging basket on the patio. It’s also easy to propagate from woody cuttings, leaves, and corms.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor. And, for more garden tips, visit HERE!

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