Steps that end up going nowhere, infinite looping paths and massive concrete sculptures. All part of the surreal vision of paradise created by eccentric poet and artist, Sir Edward James. In the middle of the lush Mexican jungle, the garden of Las Pozas covers some 80 acres located near the village of Xilitla, a seven-hour drive north of Mexico City.
Born in Scotland and well educated in the arts, Sir James inherited a substantial family fortune at an early age. A passionate and early supporter of surrealism and drawing inspiration from his surrealist friends such as Salvador Dali, James set about creating his “Surrealist Xanadu” – a garden of fantasy and irrationality. Covering a period of almost 40 years from 1947 up until his death in 1984, 36 massive surrealist inspired structures with crazy names such as The House on Three Floors Which Will in Fact Have Five or Four or Six and The Staircase to Heaven were constructed. They sit amidst the lush green jungle with numerous natural waterfalls and pools, interlaced with garden beds full of tropical plants, including thousands of orchids. Today, the garden is open all year round, made possible by Fondo Xilitla acquiring Las Pozas in 2007 for the purposes of conservation and protection.
Although not really my thing (I’m a minimalist at heart), I can’t help but admire the absolute passion, the sheer craziness of the man behind the vision that made this garden happen.
For a bird’s eye view of this fantastical garden, watch the video on Vimeo shot by postandfly.
Photographs by Paula Soler-Moya