The gardens within the courtyards of Frida Kahlo’s La Casa Azul are a study in drama and serenity set against her stunning royal blue walls
In January I was lucky enough to spend a morning at the Frida Kahlo Museum or la Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s historic house in the quaint and beautiful Coyoacan neighbourhood of Mexico City. Kahlo was born and grew up in this house and lived in it with her husband, Diego Rivera, where she lived, painted and entertained for many years before she died there in 1958.
From the street the house and garden walls present an attractive yet simple single storey edifice that is somewhat impenetrable to the passerby. Everything is painted in royal blue with red detailing. Inside though the compound offers an inner world of interconnected rooms, courtyards, patios, balconies, and gardens with all of the walls also painted in the same wonderful and distinctive blue which makes a dramatic backdrop for the gardens and potted plants.
The gardens are filled with subtropical plants that are at the same time dramatic yet serene. The plant pallet offers few flowers but much in the way of contrasting foliage texture, colour, shape, and size. Much of the garden is shaded by trees with some patios and terraces offering more sun. Plants include palms, Agave, Yucca, Begonia, Bergenia, cacti, ferns, ivy, Crinum, elephant ears (Colocasia), philodendron, and Aspidistra (cast iron plant).
The garden also includes numerous sculptures, decorations and even a pyramid.
The interconnected rooms of the house are filled with artwork, furniture, clothing, and artifacts which tell the story of the life of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera—of both their artistic and personal lives. The spaces are comfortable, rustic, and charming filled with the diverse colours and decorations of their beloved Mexico.