San Miguel de Allende
Guanajuato, México



main page







El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden Newsletter

September, 2006 - Volume 1, No. 7

OUR MISSION: To protect and preserve our natural heritage while developing a Botanical Garden dedicated to Mexican flora and providing an oasis of peace and tranquility. Please tell your friends and prospective members/supporters how to access the newsletter and help broaden the base of support for the Botanical Garden.

September 14: Visit a nearby rancho for an excellent example of xeriscaping

We have the special privilege of visiting Bob Haas’ ranch near Atotonilco (about a 15 minute ride).  Bob will lead the tour and explain which plants are best for xeriscaping.  As a special bonus, it will be posible to visit his wife’s folk art museum after the tour for anyone who wishes to do so. The tour starts at 10:00a.m. so please allow yourself time to drive there. 

Directions:  take road to Dolores Hidalgo approx. 13km. Go past the PEMEX station, turn left onto the road to Santuario Atotonilco. You will pass the hotel Viejo Atotonilco and a balneario (1.7km). Turn right onto gravel road (look for a small sign saying Rancho Jaguar). Go straight for 2.5 km.  On the left you will see an unusal house called Rancho Cascabel. Turn left and Rancho Jaguar is the second entrance. Ring bell if no one at entrance.

Please reserve a space by contacting Naomi at nzerriffi@yahoo.com.  Cost is 70 pesos for members and 100 for non-members.  We want to thank Fen Taylor for her wonderful walk through the garden in August identifying trees. 

Did You Know ...

In 1994 a labyrinth, 12 meters in diameter,  was constructed in Parque Landeta by Grez Hinson (San Francisco) and Martha Salas (Chihuahua), friends and benefactors of El Charco who wanted to leave this gift for the visitors to the park.  As you can see from the photo, it’s quite overgrown but still visible, and is being cleared a bit this month.  There is a plant, called “anisillo” that releases a delicious lemon scent as you step on it during your walk through the labyrinth. 


So here’s the challenge….let’s see how many people can find it.  Until the end of October, you can send me an email telling me you found it – or not (if there are a lot of people having a hard time, I’ll publish a little clue next month). 


The guided tours of the garden includes the conservatory, wetland and canyon. These tours are 2 hours long and begin at 9 am every Tuesday. Your guide is Mario Mendoza, the knowledgeable Vice-Director of the garden. The tour is conducted in English but Mario can also explain in Spanish. The cost is 80 pesos for non-members and 50 pesos for members. It is a very informative and interesting tour and we encourage members and their visitors to take advantage of it and learn more about the garden and its programs. Plus you are able to visit the nursery which is not open to the public. Please reserve a space by calling MARIO at 0444151010338 or e-mail charco@unisono.net.mx. We suggest that if you do not drive, that you take a taxi at a cost of 30-40 pesos as it is an uphill walk.


Work is continuing on the wetlands (see last month’s newsletter for more information about this project). The plants to be used are being chosen, and the current plan is to sell calla lilies (alcatraz) to help fund the costs of operating the wetlands. Work is scheduled to be completed the end of October and we recommend you visit during this stage to see how such a wetlands is constructed.



September 7th, sunset, at the four Winds Plaza, Botanical Garden. 30 pesos donation goes to the garden. It is recommended to come a little early to admire the sunset and rising of the moon and to bring any musical instrument you want.


September and October are the best months to see wildflowers at El Charco so why not enjoy a walk and don’t forget to look down frequently – a lot of these beauties are quite tiny.



Sept 8 at 8p.m. and Sept 10th at 10a.m. -an indigenous ritual sweat lodge that benefits circulation, relaxes muscles, stimulates respiration and helps with weight loss. It is open to males and females. Bring bathing suits and towels. It takes place in the ruins of an old hacienda inside the botanical garden on the other side of the presa. Cost 200 pesos. Please call for more details and reserve a space 154-4715 or 154-8838 or Cell 01-443-103-3019.

VOLUNTEERING – You can make a difference

please contact Naomi at nzerriffi@yahoo.com or 152 1829.

E-mail any comments or questions to the Editor, Jaci Winters at charcodelingenio@gmail.com