Thursday, March 1, 2012

A tropical plant collector's garden

Behind the large wooden doorway in an immense wall that faces the street in a small town in Mexico, on the Pacific coast, is this plant-curated courtyard surrounded by small buildings of various colors and styles. Each little building is either a bedroom, office, art studio, guest room or bath. The kitchen is a pavilion.

Building colors are a great foil
for the tropical plant colors.
The owners were away, but we got a sneak peek at their spectacular garden (never leave your keys with a gregarious & gracious brother that is proud of your achievements in designing and gardening).

The owners are collectors of plants and have spent a few years developing this courtyard garden which is really the foyer/hallway/dining room for the complex. Even though this is a seaside town, there is no view of the ocean from here, though it's only a five-mute walk away. With a garden like this and the sense of privacy the hacienda-style home provides, I'm not sure I'd miss the ocean view.

The colors of the buildings - red, blue, orange, yellow makes me want to paint each side of my house a different color. I have some of these same plants in my yard. Well, they're houseplants in my zone that I slowly kill throughout the winter and drag outside for fresh air during the summer. But they don't get to these gargantuan sizes.

I wish I had the space to design a compound of architecturally-interesting buildings, in challenging colors, and have to walk through my garden - complete with fountain and pool - every time I go from bedroom to bathroom, or office to kitchen. And I like the idea of having my 13-year-old daughter live in a separate building.


  1. I love your visits to Mexico! Thank you for sharing so many beautiful photos!

  2. Amazing! What's the red bamboo/palm looking plant?

  3. danger garden,
    I love my trips to Mexico too! It is 59 and overcast here in buffalo as I sit, working, watching my tan fade...

    I believe it's just called a red palm. A quick google search tells me it's a Sealing Wax Palm (Cyrtostachys renda). It's the only palm in the world with red stalks. See

  4. Wow! Just stumbled upon your post and your photos of the gardens of Mexico are fabulous. I have many of these plants but they are indoors in planters-love the tropicals!

  5. As I lovingly baby my staghorn fern, I am so envious of those able to grow it outside year-round!

    Gorgeous photos and so timely as I plan a tropical plant garden for the summer.

  6. The pictures of the flowers are beautiful. I truly miss living in a warm climate. Thanks for sharing.



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