The best present of the season came my way on January 2 via Home and Garden TV Canada. I stumbled across a new program originally aired on BBC called Around the World in 80 Gardens. BBC garden guru, Monty Don, was given the task of getting under the skin of a culture through its gardens. This show extends the definition of "garden" and provides an interesting and often unexpected mix of celebrated and private gardens around the world.
The first show focused on gardens in Mexico including: The Floating Gardens, Xochimilco, Mexico City; The Ethnobotanical Gardens, Oaxaca and Las Pozas, Xilitla. Excerpts from the show are available on You Tube. Most intriguing of all for me were the gardens integrated with the living spaces designed by Luis Barragan, famous Mexican modernist architect. Noticeable aspects of these garden spaces were the forced views of nature using walls etc. and the lack of vegetation. It gave new meaning to the usual concept of garden. Barragan's work is presented on the Barragan Foundation website noted in my list of gardens.