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Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Hidden Gardens of Villa Aquina

Acapulco gardens

My husband and I just returned from Acapulco where he competed in a waterski tournament. The event was hosted by Gordon and Gabriela Rathbun, and we had the chance to spend quite a bit of time at their beautiful home Villa Aquina in the La Cima subdivision, which is high on a hill overlooking Acapulco Bay.

Acapulco gardens
Like many of the grand residences in La Cima, gardens are designed around and into the homes. You can tell upon arrival that plants figure significantly into the overall design, but until you’re inside, you have no idea just how much.
Acapulco gardens
Built-in planters full of crotons line an open-air front hallway, but this simple, discreet entry in no way reveals the stunning hidden gardens that will be discovered inside. Many varieties that we use as houseplants in the U.S. grow happily outdoors in Mexico. Crotons abound in home landscapes and public spaces.

Acapulco gardens
The first “wow” moment at Villa Aquina happens when you want through the entry and see the gorgeous, shady garden, full of water features, foliage plants, and two kinds of pineapples that are served upstairs for breakfast when they ripen to sweetness.
Acapulco gardens

A stairwell leads to a second story.
Acapulco gardens
And at the top, a built-in planter of bougainvillea welcomes your arrival.

Acapulco gardens
And then, the second “wow”: an incredible outdoor living room with views of the bay, an infinity-edge pool with a built-in bar, sofas, chaise lounges and lots of plants.

Acapulco gardens
Agaves, Areca palms and other tropicals are nestled into every crevice.

Acapulco gardens

From the upper level, you also have a view to the shady garden.

Acapulco gardens

The bay view is a show stealer until nighttime, when it fades to black and dim lighting illuminates the deck. It’s then you experience how much of a garden the rooftop is. It’s so full of plants that you forget you aren’t at ground level. Sadly, I don’t have a good photo of that scenario, but here’s Todd and I one evening on the roof. 🙂

Acapulco gardens