Some 20 years ago I had the chance of a lifetime to meet Roberto Burle Marx in Louisville, Kentucky. Late in his six-decade career (he died in 1994), he was there to discuss designing a botanic garden that never would come to fruition. I was a student of horticulture and had no real idea who he was or the magnitude of his importance to landscape architecture. He was gracious and solicitous of my studies and interests—and even invited me to visit him in Brazil. Too bad I never took advantage of that invitation.
The check and balance between objects resonates throughout a stunning São Paulo garden
Most plants try to disperse their seeds far and wide. That way, if a flood or fire kills the parent plant, at least the progeny will be spared. Moreover, any plant can be a competitor for nutrients, so the further flung the children, the better. Geocarpic plants are exceptions to this rule. These rare angiosperms prefer to keep their young close to home—actually, they don't even leave the nest before settling into the ground. By depositing their seeds in the ground, geocarpic plants are their own so-called seed sowers.