This morning I visited the botanical garden located high on a hill overlooking San Miguel. When I got there at 8:30 am, it was a bit cool, but by 10:30 it was hot. Am glad I got there early!
The area, 170 acres in size, is planted with both native and introduced plants, the great majority are cacti and succulents. There are natural areas, organized gardens, a children’s area, gathering areas, a conservatory, propagation area, dog park, gift shop, and cafe. Running through the area is a dammed waterway forming a large lake. At one time, water from the lake was piped to a local textile mill; the water supplied the power to run the looms.
Blooms were just beginning to open when I arrived this morning, and by the time I left, many more buds had opened on the cacti. These blooms have a tissue-like fragility which dramatically contrasts with the spikes, spines, and woody thorns and hard, leathery surfaces of the plants, many in rugged, contorted forms. It is a dry, harsh landscape. At first it looked rather boring, but as I wandered along the many trails, I discovered a lot of variety to the colors, forms, and textures. Among the large and massive, tree-like cacti were tiny and intricate succulents with delicate flowers.
Here are my photos.
Tomorrow I pack and Tuesday I return home. Stay tuned for more travels ahead. I haven’t decided where or when just yet….