Photos of Jardin Etnobotanico de Oaxaca
A botanical garden in Oaxaca, Mexico, illustrates the relationship between plants and culture, with a wide mix of plants, textures, and colors.
To read more about the story behind the Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca in Mexico, read Jeff Spurrier's story, Oaxaca's Ethnobotanical Garden.
Francisco Toledo’s water sculpture, La Sangre de Mitla, is made from slabs of Montezuma cypress.
Traveling to Oaxaca
Oaxaca City, Mexico, is a 45-minute plane ride southeast from Mexico City or six hours on a toll road by car.
TO SEE: Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca (jardinoaxaca.org.mx) is open year-round, with two-hour guided tours in English on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and one-hour tours in Spanish daily.
Also worth a visit: Textile Museum of Oaxaca (museotextildeoaxaca.org.mx), Institute of Graphic Arts of Oaxaca (institutodeartesgraficasdeoaxaca.blogspot.com), and Oaxaca Museum of Contemporary Art (museomaco.com), a great place to see works by some of Oaxaca’s best-known artists.
The zigzag step-fret inspiration continues throughout the garden, ecological requirements of plants determined a few monochromatic rock beds, and repetitive plantings of agave are included to emphasize its cultural and biogeographic significance.
TO STAY:?It’s easy to find hotels close to the city center of Oaxaca, but if gardens are high on your list, Hacienda Los Laureles (from $210 a night; mexicoboutiquehotels.com/loslaureles) is the place to stay. A boutique hotel on the grounds of a 19th-century hacienda, its garden supplies the kitchen with coffee, loquat, mango, oranges, guava, and pomegranate. It’s located in San Felipe de Agua, which is a 10-minute taxi ride from the center of Oaxaca.?
A fig, planted by Alejandro de Ávila B. near the library (the particular species was a source of paper in pre-Columbian times).
TO EAT: Los Danzantes (losdanzantes.com) serves boutique mezcals and nouvelle Oaxacan cuisine in a wonderfully minimalist courtyard; down the street, La Olla (laolla.com.mx) offers more traditional Oaxacan, continental, and vegetarian fare. To sample local moles and chocolate, visit Chocolate La Soledad (212 Mina), near the 20 de Noviembre market, or one of the many other cacao purveyors on Mina.
Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca’s pathways are laid with soil of a naturally green hue, and turns are punctuated with sculpture and plants.
TO DO: The Mercado de Artesanias (crafts market) is a short walk from the Járdin and is a good resource for handmade textiles, clothes, and ceramics.
A pool reflects plantings of beaucarnea and dioon.
Agave and beaucarnea surround the edge of a bathing pool.
Twin fences of organ pipe cactus frame Alejandro de Ávila B., the founding director of Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca.
The distinctive walkways parallel a canal flanked by Agave macroacantha on the left and fouquieria on the right.
Fat-leaf agave, a favorite of Francisco Toledo’s, grows only on the ruins of Guiengola, near Tehuantepec.
Trees like these Parkinsonia aculeata create a graceful and colorful canopy.
A bed of hechtia grows in front of the Santo Domingo monastery.