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GARDEN FANATIC: Baja is better with two

“Oh, down in Mexico!”

“I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, damn, I am less nurturing than a desert.”

Catharine and I are frequent travelers of the Baja Peninsula, usually beginning at the Pacific in Tijuana, and completing in Loreto, on the shimmering Sea of Cortez. The majority of our time is spent driving in desert-like conditions.

In fact, two-thirds of Baja California may be classified as desert. Annual rainfall varies from four inches in the higher climes of the central desert region, to less than two inches in the San Felipe Desert sub-region, located on the Gulf side.


Many of the plants that grow in Baja are highly modified by the aridity. Heavily eroded landscape indicates periods of drought, interrupted by rain and savage storms called chubascos.