Week 1

8:00  start time

  1. 1. Introductions  Use Introduction PPT  
    See also: PDF presentation version (400KB) 
    – 14 pages

    • Welcome – Carlos Hernandez, EARTH La Flor Director – What is EARTH? (Dr. Hernandez Presentation available on request)
    • Oscar Vasquez, CR Ministry of Agriculture, Guanacaste Province Director
    • Introduce instructors & other EARTH La Flor staff
    • Introduction and background of instructors
    • Distribute printed copy of staff page from Internet
    • Student Introductions:  How will you use the training?    What do you want to learn?  What do you need to learn? English skills?  Computer availability?
  2. 2. Pretest – use lined paper to record answers –
    same test to be used again last day of class. 

10 AM break

  1. 3. Introduce overall course objectives and day by day objectives
  2. 4. Basic Botany lecture (PPT)
    See also: 
    PDF version of presentation (3MB) – 38 pages

12:00 noon  Lunch

  1. 5. Show plant identification and tools for plant sampling  PDF version of presentation : hand pruners, binoculars, hand lens, (pruning pole), (microscopes), notepad, pencil, reference books & pamphlets
    • Botany Manual for CR Masters of Gardens –
    • Distribute Plant ID Note sheet (178KB pdf)– review technical terms and use of sheet
    • Words to know – Botany dictionary – under construction
    • Major Costa Rica plant families & characteristics– under construction
    • Reference List – Plant ID book list (121KB pdf) under construction

Afternoon:  Go over course exercises

  1. 6. Class Assignment 1– bring in 10 plants useful for Guanacaste landscapes; include some edibles, ethno-botanicals, weeds – emphasize natives.  Make a reference plant collection (herbarium) from specimens
    • Tools & materials for preservation: newspaper, cardboard, plant press racks, twine, white mounting paper, glue, id tags
  2. 7. Class Assignment 2 – Bring in 10 insects for mounting and identification – bring in during week 4 (Pest Management)
  3. 8. Class Assignment 3 – Review landscape garden project goals, examine sites and critique areas, make assignments for group projects
    • One group from each class – each group 4-5 persons per day = ~ 10 per garden.
    • The final plan is important; installation depends on delivery of irrigation supplies (Durman)
    • Palms and tropical plants will be provided from nursery donations; natives from La Flor Nursery
    • Presentation on last Friday of course during graduation
  4. 8.  Look at plants on campus; begin collecting plant samples from the La Flor landscape; practice making pressed plant specimens.
  5. 9. Review class, and bid farewell to class instructor for the week!   

Gardeners of Costa Rica /  Jardineros de Costa Rica  [Community Audience] 

Class will be the same as the Master of Gardens class, except – Instead of Oscar Vasquez,  welcome from Marina Jiménez  from local CR Ministry of Agriculture

Equipment and Supplies needed  

  • Herbarium collection samples from EARTH (Guacimo) Natural Resources department
  • Plant Press racks from EARTH (Guacimo) Natural Resources department
  • Live samples  (leaves, potted plants, flowers and fruits) to ID plant parts of typical CR plants
  • Books & field guides to native and ornamental Plants of Costa Rica (obtained from Guacimo Library on permanent loan) –  see Reference List

Optional equipment:

  • Dissecting microscopes with light source
  • Hand magnifiers (10X) – order   from FL IPM ($6 each?). One for each student
  • Hand Pruners, pruning pole   

Reference Links

General Botany websites

Botanical Nomenclature

Costa Rica Botany

Costa Rica plant identification books  

How to prepare a Plant specimen