Despite being home to one of the world’s greatest botanists, Harri Lorenzi, Brazilians don’t generally have a habit of visiting botanic gardens. Some time ago, Harri Lorenzi transformed his own house into the Plantarum Botanic Garden, in the city of Nova Odessa, close to Campinas and not too far from São Paulo’s metropolitan area.
The place is truly fascinating and it completely lives up to it’s counterparts, such as the famous botanic garden in Rio de Janeiro. It is huge, and so I would recommend spending a full day there in order to get the most of the stunning displays of over three thousand species of plants - the palm trees are a real highlight. That said, even in one day you will find it impossible to take everything in, such is the sheer abundance.
A visit here also pays off for the gastronomy. Bravissimo Ristorante, run by American chef Andrew Busheee, is top quality, and the edible plants used in the dishes are grown right there in the garden.
My first visit to Plantarum was for research, in order to learn more about culinary plant use. Despite this being a work trip, I left utterly delighted and was really able to identify with Harri and his mission. We ended up becoming great friends and nowadays we exchange seeds, seedlings and roots. It is an honour and a pleasure to be connected with such a fantastic movement in botany.