I first visited Costa Rica with a friend in the mid nineties. We stayed at the famous Grano de Oro hotel in San Jose. The hotel is long on details and one of those details are the lavish flower arrangements festooned aroundthe lobby. That was the first time I saw a heliconia. It didn't look real. I had to touch it.
Mardy Darian was in rough shape. Suffering from dysentery in a Madagascar jail was the last thing he expected on his most recent trip to Madagascar. After all, he had been several times before and had quietly been building what would eventually become the largest collection of exotic palms in Southern California.