A Cornucopia of Álamos Gardens

26 … Learning what, how, when and why all these plants and trees grow.

big purple flower , alamos, sonora, mexico garden.  photo by Anders Tomlinson.

As close as one looks there is always more to see

Gardening and passion are one in the same for many that embark on horticultural adventures in Álamos. There are right ways, wrong ways, and the ways of trial and error. There are friends, neighbors, hired help, books and the internet to help one plant, raise and blossom. It is about design, texture, color, creating and life itself.
It is better to have planted and lost than never planted at all.

Judith Jacoby gardens, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

There are gardens and there are gardens and there was the Jacoby gardens.

I took this photo of Judith Jacoby’s gardens in 1983 with Gaspar Vega standing amongst an explosion of spring blooms. This property was once a tequila factory warehouse owned by the Urrea family. The many Jacoby gardens start in court yards surrounding the house and spread out into large open areas. These are formal gardens set in a landscape that changes dramatically with the seasons. I will return to further explore her gardens in future posts. Gardens, in general, provide Alamos, hopefully, controlled splashes of color.

Garden walkway, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Gardens come in many colors, sizes, budgets, time commitments and intents.

The flora of Alamos is the many splendors of Sinaloan tropical forest and Sonoran desert living together in unexpected harmony. Many properties have gardeners watering, pruning, consulting, planting, cutting, raking, commiserating, trimming and… year round. Flowers and vegetables are >planted in November for winter blooms and crops that last until May or June’s heat… Mangos, papayas, bananas, palms, amapas, orchidias and other trees provide food and shelter for native and migrating birds. Cascades of colors come from flowering vines: blue veracruzana, orange trumpet, red, magenta and orange bougainvilla and… And the smells and scents that envelope one’s senses… Formal, informal… it all contributes to this symphony and riot that is the passing seasons in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

bee in yellow flower, alamos sonora mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

It is the dance of all dances for all living creatures

Moments like these create color and energy for other species to share. Long live the bees. Long live the bees. One would imagine Álamos, Sonora, Mexico can be a great place for bees to live. Long live the bees.

yellow orchid blooming in an alamos sonora mexico garden.  photo by anders tomlinson.

How could this not be beauty in any beholder’s eyes?

The magnificent orchid. It is in a league of its own. All we can do is celebrate its existence. All we can hope for is the orchid blooms long into the future. If there were no orchids there is a good chance there would be no homo sapiens. Treasure the small moment, savor the small achievements. We are all related. We live on Planet Earth.

grasshopper clutching a flower in an alamos, sonora, mexico garden.  photo by anders tomlinson

An uninvited grasshopper holds onto dear life.

Insects can be a garden’s best friend or worst enemy depending on the garden and the insect. What can a gardener do? Available options depend on the gardener’s resources, experience and culture. Survival is the ultimate garden.

Sunflower on Guadaloupe Hill, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Unfolding miracles are there to be seen in the exquisite detail of living matter

Sunflowers attract attention with scale and color. This is nature’s design of rewarding genetic success with continuation and propagation.

Behold a Cornucopia of Color, Shapes, Textures and Scents.
Alamos has six seasons a year and a diversity of native and imported flora. Gardening is both a passion and industry. It can become all consuming. It can be an mental oasis, freedom from the outside world’s cares and concerns. And it is something to share with those who visit, be it bug, bird, mammal or human.


A Way of Life
Gardens are places where we create new worlds, places of spirit or substance, or both… and more. Here we paint, design, experiment, learn, smell, admire, eat… Álamos, Sonora, Mexico is such a place, the valley itself is a garden where desert and dry tropical forest coexist.

Photos, editing and produced by Anders Tomlinson. Music is “Jardin de Colores”, written and performed by Samuel Delatorre Dorame, from his 2013 CD “Memorias de Alamos, Sonora.”

©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

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