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July 10, 2012

recreating eden s03.

Recreating Eden is an award winning international lifestyle/documentary series that travels around the world to feature some of the world’s greatest private and public gardens and reveal the fascinating stories behind the gardeners who created them.

S03E01-Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Charles Jencks - Scotland
In the gardens of Charles Jencks, the internationally acclaimed architectural critic and designer has combined traditional and modern philosophies of nature and science with sculpture, architecture and landscape to create some of the most original and unique gardens of the 21st century. Inspired by his late wife, Maggie, Jencks uses the power of landscape and form to tell perhaps the most personal story of all: our search for meaning in our universe. For Jencks, this meaning takes him beyond surface beauty into form and function as he designs landscapes that speak to - and of - our fundamental connections to each other, to our selves, to nature, and to our universe.

S03E02-Garden of Earthy Delights. Marcia Donahue - Berkeley, California
Marcia Donahue is a hybridizer, but not in the common horticultural sense, as she has successfully blended her two worlds as an artist and as a gardener to create an elaborate tapestry of colour, texture, and patterns in the backyard of her Berkeley, California home. As a horticultural thrill-seeker, her garden is a whimsical and fantastical one that not only serves as her personal paradise, but also as her art medium as she believes that gardening is kinetic sculpture, because it doesn't hold still, it is always transforming itself.

S03E03-Gardens of Worship. Fariborz Sahba - Vancouver, British Columbia and Haifa, Israel
Iranian-born, Canadian architect Fariborz Sahba has designed and built some of the most holy sites in the Bahai religion including the Terraces of the Shrine of the Bab in Haifa, Israel. Aesthetically and symbolically, these spaces are designed for celebration and worship, bringing people closer to the divine. But for Sahba, it is in the garden that relationships between structure, spirit, design and God become most apparent. Using the grammar of nature and the language of design, Sahba becomes a translator for whom he refers to as our 'Master Architect' in his creation of gardens for people seeking spiritual refuge and inspiration.

S03E04-The Hand of Man and Nature. Robert Bateman - Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
Renowned artist Robert Bateman is known around the world for his paintings of nature, but it is in his garden that the self-professed ’nature faker’ lends his aesthetic eye, artistic skill and use of often man-made materials to create a stunning balance between what is natural and what is fabricated. On his new 80-acre property, located on Saltspring Island BC, Bateman’s gardens clearly demonstrate his artistic attention to detail by creating a natural landscape more real than reality, inspired by - and inspiration for - his art.

S03E05-On Grassl. John Grassl - Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
The word ’extreme’ comes easily to those who try to define John Grassl’s spirit, adventures, and private garden. As an adult, John has leaped off the CN tower, hand-glided across Lake Ontario, and rode a ferris wheel for 20 days. But his most extreme task took over 30 years to come to completion. As a small boy raised in the suburbs of Etobicoke, Ontario, John built a small pond in his backyard. 34 years later, the pond has grown to become a large exotic lake: an underwater garden of fish, plants and flowers with a rustic cabin and wilderness trails surrounding it. Encompassing most of the backyard, this unexpected paradise is a natural escape from the sights and sounds of the big city for the man who lives life to the extreme.

S03E06-The Giving Garden. Lucinda Flemer, Kingsbrae Garden - St Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick
At first, Lucinda Flemer's dream to build a world renown public garden in the town of St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, was received with scepticism, but the result of her perseverance and passion cannot be underestimated: eight award-winning gardens spread over 27 acres of land. Named Kingsbrae Public Garden, the property was built by individuals from all walks of life including the young and the old, troubled teens, abused women, and people who'd never been able to hold down a steady job in their lives - these were the people who would dig, plant and tend to the first of the Kingsbrae gardens and many whose own lives in turn were changed. As a result the gardens continue to mean many things to the thousands of visitors, gardeners and community members who share the beauty of the gardens: as a refuge, a symbol of hope, and an opportunity to experience the many wonders of nature. All fulfilling the important Kingsbrae creed: 'We don't just grow plants. We grow people'.

S03E07-A Therapeutic Community. Jack Hutton and Sister Frieda Raab - Providence Farm, Duncan, British Columbia
For co-founders Jack Hutton and Sister Frieda Raab, Providence Farm was an answer to a growing lack of resources for people with social, physical and mental needs. For the members of Providence Farm, this beautiful 400 acres of land offers much more. Located at the base of Mount Tzouhalem in the Cowichan Valley of Vancouver Island, Providence Farm has healed and changed the lives of many through the power of working and caring for the soil. Offering one of Canada's few horticultural therapy programmes, the farm operates as a community caring and nurturing the land together, and as a result each individual is in turn healed. It is The Renewal of Life theory at its most obvious - that by caring for the soil, the soil in turn nurtures the people.

S03E08-Gardens in the Sky. Mike Moody - Toronto, Ontario
Mike Moody is an unassuming modern renaissance man: an intellect who reads Latin and ancient Greek, a philosopher of great depth, a skilled craftsman, a successful teacher, a caring father ; and a 'reluctant' gardener. Built in the asphalt desert of Toronto's rooftops, Moody's garden developed unintentionally with the placement of one potted plant on the roof of 401 Richmond Street. Two years later, the result is a beautiful rooftop garden retreat that is now relied upon as a place of refuge by the building's tenants looking to escape the heat, noise and stress of working downtown. It truly is an example of how one can create a space of beauty and environmental well-being in the least likely of places.

S03E09-Tomato Royale. Gwynne Basen & Prince Louis Albert de Broglie
Montreal filmmaker-turned-organic-farmer Gwynne Basen loves tomatoes, but not just the kind you get at the grocery store. Basen's passion is for heirloom tomatoes; her obsession is with seed propagation and sharing; and her goal is to find heirloom varieties that have been passed down through generations of families, many of which are now on the edge of extinction. In her pursuit of the rare, Basen casts her eye abroad and travels from her own farm in the Eastern Townships of Quebec to the Loire Valley in France, location of the Conservatoire de Tomate and the annual Tomato Festival hosted by 'The Tomato Prince' himself, Louis Albert de Broglie.

S03E10-Searching for the Simple Life. Philippe Levesque - Dundee, New Brunswick
Since his childhood, when he spent time growing vegetables in his backyard, Philippe Levesque has had a passion and respect for nature that quickly turned into successful business ventures and world-traveling. Accumulating more experience before the age of 30 than most gardeners do in a lifetime, at age 17 Philippe quit university and moved to London, England to work for a garden shop where his talent and charm attracted many of the city?s rich and famous to hire him as their private gardener. By the time he was 20, he returned to Canada to pursue his dream of opening his own nursery and founded Macrophylla, an environmentally sustainable nursery in Dundee, New Brunswick that uses only biodegradable materials to produce ornamental plants. The nursery was a huge success and transformed the community with a new environmental consciousness, but left Philippe with a sense of longing to simplify his life. In October of 2005, his search for the simple life has taken him back to England with a renewed sense of purpose and only time will tell where his next adventure will take him?

S03E11-The Lily King. Barrie Strohman - Neepawa, Manitoba
The small prairie town of Neepawa, Manitoba is now claimed to be the World Lily Capital thanks to the work and passion of one man known as the Lily King: Barrie Strohman. As a contractor, the houses he built formed communities and neighbourhoods for multiple families, but it is his passion for the "poor man’s orchid," the Lily, that has transformed this Prairie town’s spirit. An accomplished hybridizer, Strohman has dedicated himself to developing and growing over 2,000 named varieties of the flower at his nursery known as the Lily Nook, and his excitement and passion for the flower has been spread to the community as volunteers beautify the town with thousands of Lily beds and the birth of the annual National Lily Festival.

S03E12-Teaching to Grow. Cassie Scott - North Richmond, California
Cassie Scott uses her love of gardening to make a difference within the community of North Richmond, California. Located in a low income neighbourhood where racial tensions, violence and drive-by shootings are common, Scott?s teaching garden at Verde Elementary School provides the students with an area to escape the daily stresses of their living environments. It is a place of community where they can learn about the beauty and diversity of nature by working together in the garden. A dynamic approach to teaching both traditional curriculum and social change, Scott?s teaching garden brings children of different races and backgrounds together in hands-on projects that for many represent the first joyful experience of helping something grow.

S03E13-Gardener of Eden. Natalie Zaidan - Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies
Who wouldn't wish to live on a beautiful island and work for famous celebrities and 5-star resorts? For most, this vision presents itself with images of a partying and luxurious lifestyle. But for Natalie Zaiden, this dream became reality with some unexpected results: a sense of self that transformed the self-confessed 'wild-child' into a responsible, focused, hard-working landscape designer whose clients include actor Bruce Willis, and who as an employer has provided work opportunities for over a hundred local Islanders. As the most sought-after landscape designer on the Turks and Caicos Islands, Zaiden's work has a huge impact on the overall aesthetics of these quickly developing tourist communities. And that work continues to impact Zaiden herself as she becomes more comfortable with her role of responsibility to change the desert landscape into a panorama of ecologically responsible - and beautiful - gardens.

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