Monday, February 9, 2009

Yes, The Alamo is in a garden

You just can’t miss an opportunity to go to San Antonio for a vintage Airstream trailer rally with friends. So I went. But while in town, I also stopped in at the former Mission San Antonio de Valero, better known as The Alamo.

I had a personal reason for wanting to visit. Boning up on genealogy I recently learned that some of my antepasados married there. Although I came 285 years too late for the wedding, I enjoyed taking in the botanical garden feeling of the Alamo compound.

A succulent bed of many textures, all of them prickly. My phone's camera did its best with these images but it was an overcast day.

Cherries flowering by Sabal palms…an odd mix. They used a mulch of pecan shells in this bed:

A closeup of the pecan shell mulch. I like the stuff. It looks good and useful to me.

The sleek trunks of Texas persimmon, Diospyros texana, below. Native Texas trees had a strong showing in the plantings.

An historical acequia, also known as an irrigation ditch, makes a water feature complete with koi. That is Yucca rostrata looking like a couple of Ziggy Stardust wigs. An out of focus Erythrina is behind it.

A well photographed cactus beside the chapel. After I took this picture, I noticed other tourists aiming their cameras at it, too.

Despite the arid impression given by the gravel and succulents in the photos, the overall feel of the grounds is to me one of lushness. Ancient live oaks shade hidden patios, and varieties of palm trees punctuate the planting areas. Never mind that I was at the site of a desperate battle and military shrine--I just wanted to sit down on a bench with a good margarita and raise a glass to my ancestors.

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