Tour an Iconic Southwest Garden

At Quinta Mazatlan, in McAllen, Texas, visitors learn how growing native plants can attract wildlife and save water in their gardens.

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan/photographer Jaime Villarreal, McAllen, TX

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan and photographer Jaime Villarreal, McAllen, TX

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan/Javier Arevalo Fotografia

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Photo By: Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Quinta Mazatlan Aerial View

The Spanish-style adobe mansion at Quinta Mazatlan was built in 1935. Now open to the public, it's become a 20-acre nature center that helps preserve the plants, birds, and other wildlife native to the Rio Grande Valley.

Front Gate

Native plants like the blue agave at Quinta Mazatlan's front gate aren't just low maintenance. They also blend beautifully with the surrounding landscape.

Bougainvillea Blooms

Bougainvillea Lane leads visitors toward the Main House at Quinta Mazatlan. These drought-tolerant plants thrive in the region's intense heat and sun.

Front Lawn

Quinta Mazatlan looks lush and green, thanks to native plants. Natives are those that have adapted over time to their soil and climate. Most are unusually resistant to regional pests and diseases.

Quinta Mazatlan Entrance

Gardeners in semi-arid regions find inspiration at Quinta Mazatlan. The grounds showcase a variety of more than 1,000 known plant species in the Rio Grande Valley region.

Outside Courtyard

Palm trees shade the courtyard behind the mansion at Quinta Mazatlan. Planted with flowers year-round, it's a welcome oasis. 

Cacti Garden

Cacti add personality to Quinta Mazatlan's landscape. They're also ideal for water-wise backyard gardens.

Strawberry Pitaya

These strawberry pitaya cacti brighten a bed of river rocks with their bold blooms. The historic adobe house at Quinta Mazatlan is in the background.

Pencil Cactus

Also known as the dahlia cactus, for its dahlia-like tubers, this Pencil Cactus is one of 24 cacti species featured at Quinta Mazatlan.

Layers Of Plants

Flowers, trees, and shrubs of different heights provide shelter for birds and animals. Planting in tiers or layers also makes the gardens at Quinta Mazatlan look more natural.

Hummingbird Feeders

Feeders stocked with sugar water and a variety of native plants attract ruby-throated, black-chinned, rufous, and buff-bellied hummingbirds to the gardens.

Blue Sage Flower

The gardens at Quinta Mazatlan are planted with many natives that attract wildlife and tolerate dry growing conditions. The flowers of this blue sage draw hummingbirds and butterflies and bloom throughout the summer.

Squirrel at Quinta Mazatlan

Hummingbirds aren't the only wildlife attracted to the feeders at this urban sanctuary. Squirrels often angle for a drink, too.