The Garden Patio

That’s young Francisco installing a clay-tile roof on a new portal in a part of what we had long called the Prison Patio. We called it that because it was mostly barren with an ugly cement floor giving it the look of a penitentiary exercise yard.

It has been rechristened the Garden Patio because the new roofed section will house the yard gear that has lived for years beneath another portal just inside the front gate of the Hacienda. It was the first thing you saw on entering from the street, and it was butt ugly.

Below is a ground shot taken during Francisco’s construction, which was finished yesterday. That’s a water tank to the right. A far-larger (9,000 liters) cistern is underground. This patio is at the rear of our property. The top photo was taken from the upstairs terraza.

One of the sweetest things about living in Latin America is roofs of clay tile, something brought over, one assumes, by the Spanish long ago. In my opinion, you can’t have too many clay-tile roofs. It provides a visual world you rarely get above the Rio Bravo.

You can almost hear castanets.

The Prison Patio is now the Garden Patio, and the large portal by the main street is free to be enclosed completely to form a storefront, which is what we will do one day.

Perhaps next year. My child bride might sell pastries — or cold cuts and chorizo.

10 thoughts on “The Garden Patio”

  1. Nicely done! There’s an imitation clay roof tile on some of the houses in our subdivision but it doesn’t age well. Some homeowners have removed theirs and replaced it with composite which greatly increases the curb appeal, if you ask me. Nothing like the real deal, though. I need a Francisco to do some polishing up on my screened patio.


    1. Carole: There are a number of tiles available here that are made from other, more modern materials, and they try to duplicate the look. They’re not bad, but I always want the real deal, and the real deal is easy to find. These cost about 20 cents each.


  2. I agree, I cannot get enough of those tile roofs in Mexico! I suspect they are very heavy though so even if we could buy them up here, the roof underlay structure would probably not support them.

    Very nice job on the patio mi amigo, we could all use a Francisco! And a pastry shop by the curb? I must visit!


    1. Croft: I’m not sure about the weight, but it’s customary to first put some hefty beams parallel to the drainage direction. Our new portal has four beams. Then crosswise to and atop the beams, some wood boards. The tiles sit on the boards, and it’s mostly gravity that keeps them in place. Except in special circumstances, they are just sitting there, one atop the other, not secured by anything by the hand of the Goddess.

      They are very fragile.


  3. A “Prison” into “Garden” patio is certainly a conquest. Even more than a blank slate construction. So many choices, but yet so many obstacles, been there. And an artist’s eye can have the most intricate times.

    A “storefront”, nice. I have heard about the pastries and curious as to what cold cuts you may have.


    1. Andean: We have no cold cuts. My wife wants to open a business out there one day, likely after I’m pushing up the daisies. She excels at pastries, but they are quite perishable. A sausage and cold-cut outlet came to her mind. There is not anything of that sort in the entire neighborhood. She is a sharp businesswoman.


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