Desertscapes of Guanajuato, Mexico

1 CharcoHeartCharco del Ingenio Botanical Garden, located in the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, contains many surprises, including a heart-shaped cactus paddle that might be the ideal valentine to send to someone who’s giving you a hard time.

We spent a morning there last week, exploring and photographing the desertscapes and plants: the life-size inspiration for our garden club’s trough gardens.

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I hope they are inspiration to anyone considering ripping out lawn and installing a xeriscape of water-conserving desert plants and rocks.

One of the highlights of the Charco del Ingenio (pool of inventiveness) is its glass Conservatory of Mexican plants. A sign at the entrance instructs visitors to speak in very quiet voices.

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These desertscapes invited a closer look:

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These plants grow all over San Miguel, in window boxes and in walled and rooftop gardens. One of the most impressive rock gardens is in the community where we stayed, a few blocks from Parque Juarez:

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These succulents grow in colorful pots on the patio of our host:

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We spent our last day at Mineral de Pozos, a formerly abandoned silver mining town that is being renovated as a tourist destination, with museums, hotels and shops:

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We enjoyed lunch in Pozos at the restaurant at Posada de las Minas hotel and spa, among these surroundings:

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Coming soon: posts on streetscapes and rooftops of San Miguel and the amazing Los Locos parade.

About writedesigner

Graphic designer, writer, and gardener Ellen Shapiro is based in Irvington, New York. A frequent contributor to design blogs and magazines including Print, Imprint,, Communication Arts, and Etapes, she writes about trends, issues and personalities in design, illustration, photography, and visual culture around the world.
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