Sunday, April 17, 2011

Old Mexico- Ensenada and Pasadena style

Our one port stop on our virgin cruise was to Ensenada.  I did not miss one bit the long drive I remember. Especially not with the drug wars. This trip would not have happened without Carnival Cruises and THE wedding. 

There are two faces to Ensenada. Old style and hip co-exist in the port town quite well in a mosaic of urban maybe-they-planned, maybe-they-didn't, quirkiness.  

The Ensenada  I feel welcomed in is the one robed in rustic charm. With dark timbered roof joists, brick and adobe floors and painting above arched windows.

"Embroidered" Architecture
Back home in Pasadena, you can experience some of this Spanish-inflused charm in the nursery of Ramon Franco, and his wife Theresa: Lincoln Avenue Nursery. Originally from the same town in Mexico, visiting their nursery is much like visiting the better public gardens in town, but with considerably more personal appeal.

Ramon Franco with his partner in life and work,Theresa

Ramon explains his enjoyment at work, " I love plants. This is a joy for me. I never get tired (of his job)."

Theresa says of the magic her husband brings their nursery, "Plants love him back."

These are just a sampling of the vignettes on the nursery's well laid out strolling paths.

Note the the tile work on the gate post. The open grill work executed in wood.  

The assymetrical pots anchor the setting with informal charm.

On the opposite corner of the property, the lushness of greenery is a shady oasis floating on a separate emotional plane from the City.

Perhaps best known for their selection of traditional plant material in the retail trade- boxwood, maples, roses and azaleas- Ramon and Theresa they have responded to their customer demand for more edibles, natives and succulents.

Ramon is a proponent of capturing water run-off. He believes a 30% reduction in water usage could be created with cisterns lined in concrete, pond liner and cover.  To monitor safety: the water's acidity and PH would need to be checked a minimum of every 2 weeks before being pumped to the surface. 

I could go on, but the scent of pinto beans plumped with just a ham hock and a touch of salt is filling the air. The first corn cobs of the season are ready to go on the barbecue. After all the rich food on the cruise, I have come home craving peasant food.

On this Palm Sunday-   Godspeed and Good Fortune through this holiest of weeks on the Christian Calendar. 

Lincoln Avenue Nursery
804 Lincoln Avenue

(626) 792-2138


  1. What a lovely nursery. I have never been there, but lived in So. Cal for over 50years. Beans and a hamhock and corn. Yummmmmm! xo

  2. Next time you are in SoCal, maybe we can meet there. It's a MUST whenever I'm in Pasadena in the daylight.


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