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I could never imagine now San Miguel de Allende without its majestic botanical garden: El Charco del Ingenio. Upon first visiting it about twelve years ago it first struck me as a surrealistic, almost hostile landscape. The medley of both contorted and symmetrical forms, bold colors and textures one should avoid touching couldn’t be more different from my home in New England. Indeed El Charco prides itself on concentrating solely on the native flora of Mexico’s Occidental Sierra Madre. It sports an impressive collection of cacti, agaves and other succulents, some of which are rare and can be seen solely in the conservatory.