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.
Ep1 Garden of the She-Wolves.
Nicole De Vésian is well known for her career in fashion at the House of Hermes, but at the ripe age of 69, she found new fame working with a fabric of a three dimensional sort. Her garden tapestry entitled ?La Louve? (The She-Wolf) and located at her home in Provence, has often been called her greatest design project. Trading in haute couture for horticulture, this first lady of fashion spent the last ten years of her life dressing landscapes around the world with her fabulous ?minimalist, whimsical and dreamlike? sense of style. Today, Judith Pillsbury, who bought ?La Louve? shortly before Nicole?s death, maintains the garden in true faith to the original conception, an ongoing tribute to the woman who was known as ?chic personified?.
Ep2 The Mona Lisa of Parterres.
When Princess Claudia took over her family estate in Italy she gave up her jet-setting lifestyle for a small village that hasn?t changed much since medieval times. What she gained in return were her roots and a connection to the many strong women who have dominated her family over the centuries. She also inherited a 500 year old beautifully designed geometric parterre garden, created by her ancestor Octavia Orsini, a woman whose husbands had a way of ?mysteriously? disappearing. Claudia quickly dedicated herself to restoring the garden to it?s original glory and now welcomes visitors from all over the world to what is considered the best-preserved Renaissance parterre in all of Italy.
Ep3 Cultivating Writers.
Deep in the Tuscany Valley, Baronessa Beatrice Monti della Corte Rezzori has created a refuge from the chaos of the everyday world. The ?Santa Maddalena Foundation?, which Beatrice founded in memory of her late husband, offers a peaceful haven where writers and botanists come to take part in good food, great conversations, and the creative muse that is offered by a truly inspirational garden. Recent residents include Irish novelist Colm Toibin, English author Zadie Smith and U.S. author Michael Cunningham. For the Baronessa, Santa Maddalena provides fertile soil not just for the expansive garden, but also for the growth of creative minds.
Ep4 Against All North Atlantic Odds.
You wouldn?t expect to find exotic plants in Iceland, but Gudridur Helgadottir has committed her life to turning the bleak landscape green one garden at a time. In a country where many people are raised with little or no exposure to horticulture, Gudridur was born with ?green blood? in her veins. Determined to bring her North Atlantic country to the cutting edge of the gardening world, she journeyed to England, returning six months later from her ?mecca of gardening? enlightened and inspired. As the host of a nationally televised gardening program, Gudridur continues to push the limits of Icelandic gardening, constantly encouraging new gardeners to test a variety of plants and methods in a country of uncharted horticultural limitations.
Ep5 The Renaissance Gardener.
Flowers in Holland mean big business. It is a billion dollar industry, but in a time when plants are very often cloned in petri dishes in laboratories, Marco van Noort?s method is decidedly more ?high touch? than ?high tech.? At the van Noort Nursery, bees are relied upon for their cross-pollination process and the result is award-winning perennial hybrids which are proof positive that nature cannot be replaced. Marco is a rare breed; a true Renaissance gardener harkening back to the past to help him define his future.
Ep6 The Namer of Names.
Anna Pavord, the gardening correspondent for The Independent and the best-selling author of The Tulip and The Naming of Names: The Search for Order in the World of Plants, is famous across the United Kingdom for her deep passion for gardening. She has often relied upon her garden in Dorset, England as a source of personal healing of both physical and emotional challenges and originally took up writing about gardening to help finance the rebuilding of her Eden, a rural home known locally as the Rectory.
Ep7 Horticultural Impresario.
The awards on this gardener?s shelf include gold and platinum records with the likes of Barry Manilow and the Nolan Sisters, but Tim Smit?s talents extend far beyond producing music. In 1987 he moved to rural Cornwall, England with the intent of setting up a recording studio, only to discover he was living next door to a ?sleeping beauty?. Making a career shift from music to horticulture, Tim restored the abandoned estate and his Lost Gardens of Heligan was soon attracting upwards of 400,000 visitors a year and enough accolades and awards to last a lifetime. But Tim wanted more. In the midst of restoring Heligan, he began to dream about a facility where science, art and horticulture would combine to tell the fascinating story of human being?s dependence on plants. The result was a global garden for the 21st century. This sprawling structure of hexagonal transparent windows housing the biggest conservatories ever built is called ?The Eden Project?, but it soon became known as ?the Eighth Wonder of the World?.
Ep8 A Garden Gallery.
The Garden Gallery is located on Bainbridge Island, 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle. It is designed by George Little and David Lewis. Some of the plants that appear in their garden are: Abyssinian red banana, Tetrapanax or Rice Paper tree, Hardy banana (Musa basjoo), Abutilons (Flowering Maples), tropical Euphorbias, tropical and hardy water lilies, Gunnera, Tasmanian tree fern, Hosta lilies, Bamboos, Orchids, Papyrus, large ferns and grasses, hardy Fuschias, hardy and tropical gingers, tropical begonias, Agave and other cacti, tropical Kalanchoe, Pomegranate, and many other tropicals in pots.
Ep9 An Island Eden.
They started out as a farm boy and a beach girl, but together Colehour and Melanie Bondera have combined their passion for the outdoors into a successful organic coffee farm in one of the most prestigious coffee-growing regions in the world. After Colehour suffered a devastating accident, this ?agro-jungle? was a part of his journey to recovery. Kanalani Ohana, located 1600 feet above the beautiful Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii is thriving with avocado, papaya, guava, coconut, and of course coffee. In fact, 80 percent of their land is agricultural, but this farm is such a beautiful tropical paradise that visitors are prone to ask ?Where are the crops??.
Ep10 When Everything That?s Old is New Again.
She is considered the ?Queen of English Gardeners?. H.R.H. Prince Charles himself has been known to seek her expertise and nowhere is the legacy that is Rosemary Verey more evident than at her family home, Barnsley House. Even the most conservative gardeners have to appreciate Rosemary?s progressive gardening attitude when it comes to her concept of an ornamental kitchen garden and making a decorative feature out of vegetables. Since Rosemary?s death in 2001, Barnsley House?s new owners , Rupert Pendred and Tim Haigh, continue to preserve Rosemary?s unique horticultural style. Today, this historic estate is now a five star luxury hotel complete with its own restaurant and a gourmet chef who serves vegetables? fresh out of the garden.
Ep11 A Garden Symphony.
Famous British composer William Walton proposed to Argentinian born Susanna the first day they met and her response was to think he was a lunatic. But he persisted and they married with historic results for both music and horticulture. They took up residence on the Island of Ischea in Italy and while William busied himself with his compositions, Susanna found her calling in their garden. Here, under the guidance of famous landscape architect Russell Page, Lady Susanna Walton developed on the site of an old volcano a beautiful space where her husband could find harmony in nature and inspiration in music. Now, more than 20 years after William?s death, their garden ?La Mortella? continues to inspire thousands of visitors each year, and with regularly scheduled outdoor musical performances, Susanna has created a lasting tribute in both sights and sounds to the man she adored.
Ep12 The Lost Pears.
She doesn'?t exactly look like Indianna Jones, but after a brief conversation with Isabella Dalla Ragione about her passion archeoligia arborea she certainly starts to sound like him. Only it is not lost biblical artifacts that she scours the Italian countryside for? it?s lost fruit. Isabella and her seventy-year-old father identify and then try to recover old varieties of fruit that are no longer available in the Italian town markets . Rescuing plants by visiting abandoned properties, parish gardens, monasteries and cloisters, the Ragiones provide a safe home for these rare fruit trees saving them from possible extinction.
Ep13 Spirits of Nature.
Findhorn Garden in Scotland is famous for its 40-pound cabbages, a phenomenon that mystifies horticultural experts. How can the barren, sandy soil of coastal Scotland yield these and other impressive vegetables, flowers and herbs? According to Dorothy Maclean, the answer comes from the plants themselves. Maclean claims that the spirits of the plants, or ?devas,? have always provided the guidance needed to make the most of the garden.
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