This week, Linda Sim from Renshaw Travel is bringing a group from B.C. to look around the private gardens of San Miguel de Allende.

It is almost perfect timing, as many cities in central Mexico are ablaze with the purple blooms of the jacarandas right now. These pictures were taken in my neighborhood, and never cease to amaze me with their beauty. Jacaranda mimosifolia is native to Bolivia and Argentina and now widely planted as a street tree in warmer temperate climates around the world. It is a member of the Bignoniaceae family. At maturity, it reaches a height of about 15 metres (50 feet). Around here they are in bloom for over a month or more despite the very dry spring conditions. Some people refer to them as messy trees, as the flowers drop forming an almost reflective carpet of purple on the ground. A magical sight in early morning or late evening light. Jacarandas are not hardy for Lower Mainland gardens, I am afraid. However, there is a tree with larger but similar flowers, which blooms a little later for you in early May. It is Paulownia tomentosa.

JacarandasJacarandas