For the first episode of the latest season of Great Gardens—now in editorial partnership with House & Garden magazine—London-based director Toby Amies guides us through the gargantuan outdoor sculptures of Mexican haven Las Pozas (“The Pools”), the subtropical garden established by twentieth-century British poet Edward James. Here, Amies talks about filming in the surreal spot:
"Ever since I saw a photo of one of Edward James’s enormous esoteric concrete sculptures, soaring out of the Mexican jungle, I had wanted to explore Las Pozas. I have always loved what I call 'automonuments,' enormous works of art made without reference to anything other than what was going on inside of the heads and hearts of the artists who felt that they absolutely needed to create, no matter what anyone else thought.
“Las Pozas is a fascinating folly; English eccentricity in three dimensions, a surrealist tourist destination, and now the centre of a ripple of wonderful esoteric architecture that has spread into the neighbouring town of Xilitla. Filming in it was a challenge, as it remains unfinished. It is still in a state of flux, as the structures and nature struggle to coexist.
“Hopefully in this film we have communicated some of the wonder of being in the space without losing the mystery and magic that oozes from every leaf and pillar. Edward James was a poet and Las Pozas is his finest poem."