From: brian lee <lbmkjm at yahoo.com>
on 2014.08.29 at 16:23:19(23070)|
Aloha ("In the presence of the breath of life").
I knew Roberto Burle Marx for many years and I have to compose my thoughts before I can condense his legend to a few words. The week he died, he told me that he had a good life and that he wished he had many more years to share with all his friends. He ended by saying, "You were a good friend that I had." Beyond all that he accomplished in life; his friendship was the most valuable to me. I will never forget the passion with which he lived.
He was driven to collect taxa of all sorts of Brasilian plants as a legacy for his country. I remember how observant he was looking at every plant that looked different. He surrounded himself with specialist botanists to better understand the Brasilian flora. I met Dr. Simon Mayo at the Sitio before he left for Bahia to study Philodendron subgenus Meconostigma. I have been in love with the subgenus ever since. Dr. Helen Kennedy was another frequent guest who described new species of Marantaceae from Roberto's collection. Dr. Gustavo Martinelli described some new bromeliads as well. My dear friend, Margaret Mee, was a botanical illustrator and Amazon explorer, who was an amazing personality in Roberto's inner circle. The list goes on and on.
I highly recommend a visit to Roberto's Sitio if you ever get the chance. Words cannot adequately describe it. I was last there in 1994, when Roberto was still alive. I am sure the spirit of Burle Marx is still a strong presence, but, it is a shame you all cannot experience the vortex that was the living man.