Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A visit to the Mexican jungle

No, I didn’t go myself—I wish I could. Instead I did the next best thing: I watched a travelogue of somebody else’s trip.

A few weeks ago, fellow bloggers Mark and Gaz at Alternative Eden posted a list of their favorite garden DVDs. It’s an impressive list with lots of DVDs that sounded interesting to me. Unfortunately, most of them are only available in the U.K. That’s a real shame, considering what a large market the U.S. and Canada are.

One of these titles was particularly intriguing: Around the World in 80 Gardens, by British TV gardening personality Monty Don. I ordered the DVD set from Amazon UK, and it finally arrived.

Monty Don’s visit to the surreal gardens of Las Pozas near Xilitla, Mexico
Monty Don’s visit to the surreal gardens of Las Pozas near Xilitla, Mexico

If you watched the introduction to Around the World in 80 Gardens above, you heard Monty talk about his own reassessment of what a garden is and whether it even needs plants. The gardens at Las Pozas are certainly full of vegetation—in fact, a staff of 50 is busy keeping the jungle at bay—but plants aren’t the focus of the garden. That’s a concept that is pretty unfamiliar to most of us who fill our gardens with plants, but it’s an intriguing one, not so far removed from Japanese Zen gardens which often consist of little but sand and rocks.

I can’t wait to watch more episodes of this one-of-a-kind project. Click here to see a list of episodes available on YouTube.

If you speak Spanish and are interested in learning more about Edward James and Las Pozas, this is a great video. Fondo Xilitla, the official website for Las Pozas, has a wealth of information as well (in English and Spanish).

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this! Looks great, and wish it were more readily available in the US (in US-format DVDs).
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  2. Glad you are enjoying it (so far).

    Monty Don is returning to the BBC Gardeners World series in the Spring - do you guys get that one over there?

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