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Garden Visit: A French Aesthete in Todos Santos, Mexico

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Garden Visit: A French Aesthete in Todos Santos, Mexico

February 22, 2020

A few years ago when LA-based photographer Laure Joliet’s father, Vincent Joliet, succumbed to the charms of surfing town Todos Santos on the Baja California coast of Mexico, he purchased land at the end of a dusty road—and learned to understand the landscape by taking care of the plants on the property. Let’s visit his garden:

N.B.: See the interiors of Joliet’s modernist concrete house on Remodelista.

Photography by Laure Joliet.

Because the property is in a flood plain, Joliet and LA-based architect Hervé Daridan decided to position the house on the highest point on the lot. From its perch, the house floats like an island surrounded by luxurious vegetation.
Above: Because the property is in a flood plain, Joliet and LA-based architect Hervé Daridan decided to position the house on the highest point on the lot. From its perch, the house floats like an island surrounded by luxurious vegetation.

After the house was built, Vincent knew exactly where to put the pool. Then he began to get to know the landscape, first by taking care of the plants in the immediate vicinity of the house. Next he created pathways and gradually increased the radius of the tended landscape; today the garden merges gracefully with its wilder surroundings.

&#8\2\20;Because wind is a factor, the main space has been wrapped with windows to allow views without the wind,&#8\2\2\1; says Laure. &#8\2\20;You can control the breeze, for cooling, by opening and closing the different doors and windows.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: “Because wind is a factor, the main space has been wrapped with windows to allow views without the wind,” says Laure. “You can control the breeze, for cooling, by opening and closing the different doors and windows.”
The design of the patio, shaded by fabric panels on a simple pergola, marries traditional Mexican craft with contemporary design.
Above: The design of the patio, shaded by fabric panels on a simple pergola, marries traditional Mexican craft with contemporary design.
Vines are trained to climb the pergola, creating a leafy backdrop for a hammock.
Above: Vines are trained to climb the pergola, creating a leafy backdrop for a hammock.
&#8\2\20;Nature is so rich around the house, all around is green,&#8\2\2\1; says Joliet.
Above: “Nature is so rich around the house, all around is green,” says Joliet.
A simple shade sail protects sunbathers from mid-day rays.
Above: A simple shade sail protects sunbathers from mid-day rays.
&#8\2\20;The light turns around the house all day long, it&#8\2\17;s very pleasant,&#8\2\2\1; says Joliet. The swimming pool, like the house, is raised a few few above the ground to protect it in the flood season.
Above: “The light turns around the house all day long, it’s very pleasant,” says Joliet. The swimming pool, like the house, is raised a few few above the ground to protect it in the flood season.
Braheas, hardy fan palms, are native to Mexico. Drought tolerant, they also are common in desert gardens in Southern California.
Above: Braheas, hardy fan palms, are native to Mexico. Drought tolerant, they also are common in desert gardens in Southern California.
A fast-growing flowering vine sends out new shoots.
Above: A fast-growing flowering vine sends out new shoots.
Surrounded by vegetation, the pools disappears into the landscape.
Above: Surrounded by vegetation, the pools disappears into the landscape.
&#8\2\20;We are five-minute walk from the middle of town but you wold never know it,&#8\2\2\1; says Joliet. &#8\2\20;It feels wild and private …. and still just a \20-minute walk to the beach.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: “We are five-minute walk from the middle of town but you wold never know it,” says Joliet. “It feels wild and private …. and still just a 20-minute walk to the beach.”
Meet the neighbors.
Above: Meet the neighbors.

For more of our favorite landscapes in Mexico, see:

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