Modern Eden

Considered South America's most important modern landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx created gardens and parks for São Paulo, Rio, Brasília, and Paris. And those iconic wavy-lined sidewalks along the beaches of Rio? That's Marx, too. He was passionate about plants, having amassed some 3,500 varieties since he began collecting at age six. Upon his retirement Marx, who died in 1994, retreated to his 100-acre farm in Barra de Guaratiba, an hour from Rio. Now called the Sitio Roberto Burle Marx, the property displays his collection of rare plants, arranged by species, texture, even soil type. Many species are named after him and much of the flora forms magnificent modern gardens bearing some of Marx's trade- mark designs. There is also a painting studio as well as a restored 17th-century chapel; in his former house there's a 2,500-volume library. Visits are by appointment only. At 2019 Estrada da Barra de Guaratiba; 55-21/2410-1412.