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Robert de Gast - Behind the Doors of San Miguel de Allende

Pomegranate has been publishing exquisite photography for decades. Opening Behind the Doors of San Miguel de Allende is like opening a jewel box. The photographs are a feast of exuberant colors. De Gast has opened the doors to the private courtyards of San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico. We see brilliant examples of hacienda style, indoor-outdoor style living, tranquil fountains, and tropical gardens. The most outstanding colors are blues, reds, and yellows. They are often in surprising combinations, bold and welcoming. There are a surprising number of pictures of trees growing up through holes in roofs. Here we see the unexpected magic of interior and exterior strikingly blending. While most of the patios have classic hacienda elements (lots of terra cotta pots and central water features) there is at least one very modern garden (page 28,29.)

Before designing a patio or back yard, take a nice long look through this book. You'll end up taking notes. It's one of the most ideal gift books I've ever seen --- understated excellence --- perfect for any occasion.

Pomegranate, Rhonert Park, CA, www.pomegranate.com, 2000, 0-7649-1341-7, 96 pages, color photographs, hardback, $19.95

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