The gardens of Mexico are some of the most extraordinary in the world, and the people of Mexico have cultivated a deeply spiritual connection and reverence for their land. Through generations of toil and inventiveness, they found ways to tame the soil, using bold combinations of plants. As Alfonso Alfaro writes in his introduction, the “culture was synonymous with plant life, and plant life was transformed into art.”
That heritage is still alive today in Mexico, and Paraíso Mexicano beautifully renders and celebrates this legacy in the country’s exceptional gardens and landscapes. There are more than 280 photographs of radiant flora, emerald gardens that seem to levitate over manmade lagoons, modern creations of concrete and sand, and public squares, centuries in the making, that will dazzle with their brilliant and elegant composition. Many of the spaces produce fruits, vegetables, spices, and medicinal herbs alongside vibrant floral strokes of crimson bougainvillea, blue agave, wild lupine, and dahliasthe national flower of Mexico. Even structures play an aesthetic role, as world-renowned architect Luis Barragán demonstrates in one of his gardens by planting a pepper tree so its shadow would fall singly against the face of a luminous yellow wall.
Marie-Pierre Colle has filled the book with gardens from the tranquil seacoast to the hurried metropolis, from the hidden patios of colonial homes to public landscapes. The builders and keepers, farmers, laborers, and artists such as Octavio Paz, Diego Rivera, and Mexican film legend María Felixher garden has never before been open to the public-help illuminate thismystical world that so symbolizes the rich and complex culture of Mexico. With breathtaking photography, Paraíso Mexicano is a sensational and provocative collection that captures these fleeting glimpses of paradise.