The House on Heart rock Hill Gardens

Spent a week with our friends E&J in Sayulita Mexico a couple weeks back. They've named the home Casa Regalo (gift house). I call it the Hill House because, as beautifully as they have designed it, its most distinguishing characteristic is the very steep, corkscrew driveway. And then there's that rock at the end of the drive - shaped like a heart. (Or it's because the climb up the driveway taxes your heart.)

The driveway is the scariest ride I've ever been on. Thrilling, dangerous and gravity defying. They were told that in San Fransisco, driveways can be a maximum grade of 11 degrees (don't know if that's true). Theirs is 38 degrees.

They have been working on the steep slope of the garden for a few years and have yet to do the long-range plan of adding hardscape stairs, a garden gate, and more. But to look at it, it's beautiful already and doesn't seem to be missing much. Whatever they end up with, it'll be well thought out and beautiful, if judging from what they've accomplished with the rest of the house. But, it being paradise, if it never gets done, it still doesn't suck.

E & my wife are both flight attendants. J & I are both art directors/designers (though he's retired). We've known each other for the same 25+ years each of us has bee together as couples. How is it they've found their Shangri-La and we haven't? Where did I go wrong? Is Buffalo my Shangri-La?
The front entrance.
The front door. That bougainvillaea will climb on up into the palapa
(thatch-type roof on the third floor) if gone unchecked for a half hour.
Potted plants are all over the deck of the house. That round thing on the wall
is a copper shield-shaped piece with small holes pounded through,
with a light underneath. It looks great at night.
The wall of windows opens to the deck
(and the view of the Pacific Ocean sunsets) completely.
Simple copper leaf in the guest bathroom covers a light bulb.
I'm going to make some of these --
I 'm ordering the copper to do it this weekend.
Right now there are roughed-in stairs used originally by the contractors
that built the house. Eventually they'll have stairs built in roughly
the same place, made out of the same stone as the walls around the property.

There are great garden photo vignettes at every turn. this is the
lower portion of the Casita, the portion they rent out.
The Casita (rent-able) part of the house's patio.
Palms grow like weeds. Ground covers the same.
They do have to stay on top of watering. The dry season is long and hot.
Lower garden area has a view over the ocean village of Sayulita.

The well-chosen plants under their house number.
J will kill me for having a shot with the hose in it.
We couldn't keep our daughter out of the pool when we were there last year.
This year, being February, it was a bit too cool for pool. We did go in the ocean though.

The view of Sayulita.


  1. What an amazing home. I don't know about that driveway though. Yikes. Obviously, ice is not an issue there. I think you're doing pretty good with friends who have a place like that. Ha. Thank you for sharing the plantings. Inspiration is always appreciated.

  2. Beautiful pictures. It's cool to be in places like these. Thank you for posting, very relaxing!



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