Edward James's Gardens—Las Posas | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Edward James's Gardens—Las Posas

The main reason Norteamericanos visit Xilitla, an orange- and coffee-growing town in the Sierra Gorda, is to view the fantastic gardens built by Scottish artist, Edward James. And I have to say, they're well worth the six-hour drive east from San Miguel de Allende.


Las pozas is indeed a fantasy, an outpouring of the creative mind of a person with resources to express himself without constraint.

James renders his visions in stone and concrete; the jungle responds with rioting vegetation.


Seven snakes represent the seven deadly sins; evil lurking in the undergrowth.


Bromeliads smother old trees; concrete fantasies mimic plants, thrusting upward toward the light.


A great flower blooms in a jungle clearing.


Rows of curved arches resemble remains of some long-decayed monster.


Mute creatures lurk in dark pathways.


A gothic structure futilely tries to impose some kind of order.


A cataract, maybe 100 meters high, falls in the dim light.


The gardens are large; they range over 60 mountainside acres. I spent an entire day shooting images, but I didn't have time to see it all. Some Xilitla residents regularly visit. One told me that after four years, she still makes new discoveries.

Las Pozas has been described as surrealistic, and I suppose it is. I would call it primal. Here, art amplifies nature. Like Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Las Pozas reeks fecundity. Primitive, lustful things live in this ancient jungle.

For more images of Las Pozas, check out my Flickr photoset here.