Mexico City is a tropical city at 7000 feet in a lake valley surrounded by huge volcanoes. It’s verdant and the natural world is always sprouting and pushing it’s way into everyday life. When I think of Frida Kahlo and her gardens there is no separating her life filled with love, anguish, and intellectuals and the wider wild environment of Mexico City. Her garden at Casa Azul is personal and typical in the just the right way, hidden behind a wall in the courtyard of her house the magic of a garden like this is in the details.
Frida Kahlo’s work speaks to us still because it is so personal. It invites us into our own stories of identity, loss, and love. And for me it speaks so strongly relationship with places and the non-human companions that live in that space with us. The cohabitation of plants and animals that make up our daily lives even in a city of 20 million.
I love that the New York Botanical Garden created a show for this summer based on Frida’s garden. Recognizing the color, smell, and the visceral parts of her proccess engaging with the world. In Mexico City there are gardens everywhere and it feels teeming with life. Succulents and cactus alongside jacaranda trees, big brightly colored steps, terracotta pots.