Visually lush, richly informative, Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn serves up a veritable treatise on our most illustrious gardens and cultivated environs.
Each episode sets forth a different garden theme – informed by broader concepts of aesthetic, historical or environmental importance, from masterful archetypes of the Italian Renaissance and 17th Century France, in Formal Gardens, to the world’s first great story of urban renewal, “The Greening of Paris,” in Public Gardens & Trees.
Ep1: Roses & Rose Gardens.
Audrey Hepburn leads an enchanting adventure with the rose. From the French ideal of a rose garden at La Roseraie de l’Hays les Roses, south of Paris, to the unsurpassed collection and allure of old roses during high rose tide at Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire, England, the rose affirms its rightful place as the ultimate flower of legend, romance and beauty. Guest Appearance: The late Sir Graham Stuart Thomas, the premiere rosarian of the 20th century, and author of world renown.
Ep2: Formal Gardens.
Audrey Hepburn eloquently pursues the rich evolution of formal garden design through centuries: from the Renaissance gardens of Italy (Villa Gamberaia, Villa Lante), the grand 17th century gardens of France (Chateau de Courances, Versailles) through to the fusion of the formal and natural styles in 20th century gardens of England (Hidcote Manor, Tintinhull House). UNESCO World Heritage Sites Featured: Hadrian’s Villa in Rome, The Alhambra in Granada. Guest Appearance: Penelope Hobhouse, distinguished British garden authority, designer and writer.
Ep3: Tulips & Spring Bulbs.
Audrey unfurls the remarkable story of the queen of spring flowers, the “exquisitely simple” tulip – its influence intertwined through centuries with the history and art of her native Holland. Fine and rare tulip specimens share the stage with fritillaria, hyacinth, muscari and narcissus – planted en masse, in mixed plantings, and naturalistically in spring meadows or woodland settings. Gardens Featured: Het Loo Palace, Hortus Bulborum, and Keukenhof, in Holland; Chenies Manor and Garsington Manor, in England.
Ep4: Flower Gardens.
Audrey Hepburn leads an artful exploration through the exquisite perennial flower borders at Tintinhull House in Somerset, England, and Claude Monet’s profuse, impressionistic paths of color in his gardens at Giverny. These beautiful flower gardens are each unique, exemplary interpretations of the more naturalistic, mixed planting style that first emerged in the early 20th century, which for many, represents the ideal to this day. Special Guest Appearance: curator of the gardens at Tintinhull House, renowned British garden authority Penelope Hobhouse.
Ep5: Country Gardens.
Audrey surveys the range of use and character of the country garden: from romantic Giardino del Ninfa, south of Rome; to the simple cottage gardens in Hidcote Bartrim Village in the Cotswold, to Ryan Gainey’s charming interpretation in Decatur, Georgia in America; or the beautiful, life-sustaining farmhouse gardens of Chilcombe House in the rolling hills and chalk downs of Dorset County, England. Guest appearance: John Brookes, British garden designer and author of “Country Gardens”, and American artist and designer, Ryan Gainey.
Ep6: Public Gardens & Trees.
From the beautifully restored gardens at George Washington’s Historic Mount Vernon, Audrey Hepburn posits a highly individualistic view of public gardens and urban environs. How the “greening of Paris” led to the fine array of parks and gardens in the city today: intimate ‘pocket parks’ (Square Rene Viviani), former grand royal gardens (Jardin de Luxembourg) and spectacular pleasure gardens (Bois de Bologne) among them. The program concludes with Audrey Hepburn’s moving tribute to trees and nature, reading from the diary of Anne Frank.
Ep7: Tropical Gardens.
Ms Hepburn surrenders heartily to the lure of the tropics – to the unrivalled diversity of plant species, their brilliance of colors, leaf shapes and forms. As enduringly captured two centuries apart in the paintings and writings of “exploratrices intrépides” Marianne North and Margaret Mee; from within the lush, personal paradise – overflowing with tree perching orchids – at Villa Pancha in the Dominican Republic. And in the world’s renowned botanical gardens: from one of Asia’s oldest, Keban Raya in Indonesia; to Hawaii’s youngest, the magnificent Ho`omaluhia on Oahu, to name a few.
Ep8: Japanese Gardens.
Audrey Hepburn sets the course through centuries of artful expression of Japan’s cultural reverence for nature, for the natural world: the ancient moss temple garden of Saiho-ji; the Karesansui-style or Dry Landscape gardens at Ryoan-Ji, Daisen-In and Ryogen-En; the borrowed landscape of stunning beauty at Shinyodo; the exquisite Hakusanso Tea Garden; the extensive pond gardens of the The Heian Shrine; the Hill & Pond garden style in the oldest Japanese garden in America; concluding with the breathtakingly beautiful stroll garden at Shinshin-An in Kyoto.
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