Postcard from Mexico City: Bloomers trumpeting their presence

The promotional banner appears superfluous with birds of paradise pointing the way to the National Museum of Anthropology. A giant agave attracts attention in the midst of the Aztec ruins of the Templo Mayor adjacent to the zocalo. Trumpet flowers flamboyantly tout their beauty profiled against a royal blue wall in the garden of Casa Luis Barragan.

But, on the practical side as our balcony planters age, I want to remember the simple cinder blocks adapted as containers for succulents in the botanical garden in Chapultepec Park.

Postcards from Oaxaca, Mexico: Plantscapes

In the historic center of Oaxaca, the colonial buildings abut the sidewalks. There are no frontyard gardens.

Yet rows of agave and yucca in front of Santo Domingo are dramatic in this urban setting. Showy plants that blossom, such as the tulipan tree above, make you stop in your tracks.

Threatening thorny limbs ensure protection of whatever the shocking pink bloomer with yellow center is above. And the pink flowers profiled against the blue sky above the patio of La Biznaga probably make those best-in-the-world margaritas taste even better.

Postcards from Oaxaca: Bristling with cacti and stunning tulipan

Tulipan Africano. Towering trees covered with magnificent orange blossoms visible from far away and showering the sidewalks below them are the most striking plants in the midst of the urban landscape of Oaxaca City.

Yes, more Oaxaca leftovers.

These range from cacti and agave of the Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca adjacent to the monastery at Santo Domingo to a pot atop the patio of our apartment.

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