|Looking at the water feature from the porch of Roberto Burle Marx' home|
|Posto 1, Copacabana, Rio|
|Plant nursery at Burle Marx Sitio|
|Plants growing in the nursey|
Our group of five including my husband and three friends (one American and two Cariocans/natives of Rio) joined a group of four, another Cariocan, two American women and one French man. In Portuguese, English and French we learned about Burle Marx’ life and his passion for native plants, botanical design and art. Burle Marx was also a talented artist, architect and art collector. These aspects of the man are well represented at the Sitio.
|Grasses and roots|
One of his greatest talents was the ability to create real landscape paintings (I mean made of dirt, plants, water, stone, etc., i.e., not a painting on a canvas but in the ground). He did this by massing single species of plants of varying colors, textures, heights and shapes across an area, often interspersing the plantings with a constructed focal point – a stone column, a piece of sculpture, a staircase, a cobblestone path.
|Burle Marx' porch|
|Burle Marx' would-be Atelier|
Unfortunately he died of cancer at the age of 84 just as the building was completed. The Sitio is an inspiration to anyone who likes seeing gardens integrated with beautiful buildings. The sheer exuberance of the place, its plants and the diversity of colors fills your heart and your mind.
We left the Sitio and stopped for lunch at a nearby hilltop restaurant where the view across a coastal preserve was as much a feast as the delicious moqueca (traditional Brazilian fish stew). We ended the afternoon with a drive home along the coastline, past pretty white beaches and high surf rolling in from the Atlantic Ocean. Jeff and I didn’t go to circuit training last night. We walked along the Copacabana beach and enjoyed Burle Marx’ gift to the people of Rio. It was a wonderful day.