Exploring El Explorador

El Explorador has just got to be one of the kookiest, quirkiest gardens anywhere. Where else are you going to see a papyrus allee? Or a grove of bottle trees? Sited darn near the top of a mountain on the edge of beautiful Boquete, Panama, this sprawling hillside garden almost melts into the surrounding forests. It was built as a spiritual refuge of sorts, a place to freshen your outlook on life, and its zany exuberance just about makes that possible. It's peppered with signs (all in Spanish) bearing uplifting quotations and steeped in a playful kind of tranquility, so a feel-good sensibilty just pervades the place.

For a real uplift, try out the hilltop swing, which--thanks to its way high moorings and long ropes--brings you very, very close to the sensation of flight.

They take a very idiosyncratic approach to container gardening, so say the least.

There are loads of wonderful plant world oddities like this cow's udder (Solanum mammosum).

I always stop to smell--no, not the roses--the brugmansias.

Last, but not least, are the inspiring views over the surrounding countryside. Uplifting indeed.


Wayne Stratz said...

well for most of this I would have to travel far, but we got a bottle tree of sorts here that is within walking distance.

Steve Silk said...

Hi Wayne--Botle trees are kind of cool...I'm thinking about planting one.

Mary said...

El Explorador is one of my absolute favorite places. Every time I go there, it's a little bit different, but the spirit of the place is the same. Thanks for posting about it.