Denyce Parnell treated members of the Arenal Garden Club to a feast of floral abundance rarely seen outside the likes of Lankester Gardens or CATIE. A devoted horticulturalist, Denyce has for the past ten years enjoyed creating eight hectares of paths, terraces and ponds, utilizing the natural flow of a stream that courses through the property en route to Lake Arenal. She has planted hundreds of unique trees and flowers, many not often seen in the viveros of Costa Rica, and she knows all of their scientific names, citing genus and specie for anyone interested.
Surprises await the casual stroller admiring the gorgeous flowers. A turn in the path suddenly reveals a beautifully sculpted dragon or the head of a giant Buddha. Another turn and you walk through the gaping mouth of the ancient spirit of the forest, a la “The Hobbit.” Through a huge set of wooden double guests discover mysterious concrete creations by an artist friend. An added (and necessary) feature is a pottery in which all manner of large decorative concrete planters, flagstones and sculptures are made on premises. The plant nursery rivals that of most commercial viveros.
Denyce, who is a pathologist devoted to research, says her garden is, a work in progress. Her next area for development? A bonsai garden.
After a two and a half hour walking tour, one-third of the garden was still unexplored. But the garden club members retreated to the breezy second floor veranda of Denyce’s home for a refreshing luncheon. The next Garden Club meeting takes place Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. at Garden Club President Victoria Torley’s home. There will be a plant exchange, so select a nice healthy plant from your “extras” to make it interesting for all.
The 4th annual Christmas Bazaar will be presented by the Ladies of the Lake on Sunday, Dec. 8 at the Salon Communal in Tilarán. The silent auction features a number of high-end prizes. Someone will win a half-day deep sea fishing trip valued at $800. Other winners will benefit from generous donors who have offered two multi-night beach stays, one at the Coco Palms Hotel in Coco Beach, and another in a private condominium. Other types of auctions will be held throughout the day. Vendors will have a huge array of crafts, homemade delicacies, art work and more, so save the date, have fun, do some early Christmas shopping and help fund the community work sponsored by the Ladies of the Lake.
-William & Jean Priest
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