Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Artful Surroundings .. Enrich and Invigorate


Rancho La Puerta - Part III
A profusion of drought-tolerant rosemary - shrubbery and swathes of the prostrate form,
blooms endlessly during the winter months.

At times, as I explored the grounds in silent meditation,
I would stop abruptly, enveloped by the fragrance of sweet alyssum!

Rounding a bend along a walkway, or gazing out at a serene landscape,
one finds life-size bronzes by acclaimed Mexican artist, Víctor Hugo Castañeda,
which appear as eye-catching focal points
throughout the property.

Conjoined eyebrows are key to revealing a work as a depiction of the artist, Frida Kahlo.
Perhaps the sculpture pictured below is associated with Kahlo more often.

A scrambling cape honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis
weaves through the lively ironwork design 
of the entryway gate.

Stained glass casts glowing patterns,
 encountered as one approaches the reception area at check-in.

Mosaics embellish a spot where I stopped to read this quote from H. G. Bohr:
"The soul is not where it lives, But where it loves."

Among a grouping of sculptures of Frida Kahlo displayed in the main building;
this piece stands as a powerful reminder of the artist's self-portraits.
Aficionados of Kahlo's paintings will be intrigued by the collection on-view.
 (Madonna and I apparently share this fascination!)
Link to Part II - Rancho La Puerta 
Link to Julie Gallaher's .. thingsyoushoulddo
to find out more about the bloggers in my group.


  1. Hi Alice,
    Thanks for that inspirational tour! It makes me want to get out in the garden and create.

  2. Dear Alice, What a truly enchanting place this is. I was most interested to see the sculpture and artefacts which are obviously to be found throughout the grounds. Such a wonderful experience. Frida Kahlo's house was, quite recently, featured in 'World of Interiors'; clearly a most powerful and intensely visual artist.

    Thank you for your comment on my recent posting to which I have replied. I am looking into Blogcatalog.

  3. The garden art is so beautiful and I love the double-tier water feature.

  4. Such attention to detail! The chalkboard is a great idea for the garden, although I'd probably use it for to-do lists or recording blooming times and not anything nearly as romantic as what you came across.

  5. Love the garden and theme. I like that very natural looking chalkboard that can be changed to suit the thought of the day.

  6. You have such a wonderful eye, I was there too and didn't see things the way you did. Just beautiful> I can't wait to see more...Wonderful

  7. Morning to all on another grey, wet day in Northern California!

    Our social media blogger group enjoyed dry weather at the Rancho - quite lucky at this time of year.

    And on the day we departed, it poured! So thankful I could photograph each and every day, along with classes, cooking, eating!, and learning about the Fundacion.

    Cindee, I'm itching to create new mosaic features for my garden!

    GG, Wondering if we will meet next week....

    Visiting Kahlo's home is on my to-do list!

    The many water features are enchanting, and I loved the double-tier design, as well.

    I'm still looking forward to meeting you one day..;-)

    and Wendy,
    the chalkboard idea would never have occurred to me. The mosaic detailing fit perfectly.

    Thanks for stopping by. One day I have a hunch we'll run into each other again!
    Will check in to your sites to see what you're up to - can imagine partying with you, and with 'Joanie from Chicago' in the future.

    What fun we had that final evening at the Rancho! Wine, the greatest group of women ....and song!!!!

  8. Hi - I just dropped by to say hello - some lovely photos here - love the little slate - the soul is not where it lives but what it loves - so true... have a good week Miranda x

  9. Thanks for bringing these gardens "to us" via your blog.


  10. Delightful post! I love how the artist incorporated the mosaic into the stone work of the sign. I tested the waters the other day when I asked my husband how he would feel if I added a mosaic to the back of the house! He didn't totally squash the steps right?