“In each age, beauty has a different interpretation. In 17th century France, gardens, tended by vast teams of labourers, became mediums for the display of horticultural skills in plant clipping and training, as well as demonstrations of power and wealth. In these layouts, the architect rather than the plantsman had the last word. It was the architect gardener’s ultimate expression of man’s triumph over nature.” – Audrey Hepburn, Formal Gardens, Versailles
Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn is a highly acclaimed, richly informative eight-part PBS documentary television series that serves up a veritable treatise on gardens of singular distinction, of renown and beauty – that illuminate broader aesthetic, historical or environmental concepts through generations: 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.
The incomparable Audrey Hepburn hosts the series – with an unerring sense of place, artistry, style and grace. Notably, many of the ideas Audrey Hepburn most cared about introducing – on gardens, on nature, on the well-being of the planet for future generations – are more relevant today than ever.
Gardens of the World is highly recommended by Video Librarian and still stands today as one of the most comprehensive, erudite series on gardens every produced.
2. Formal Gardens
Audrey Hepburn traces 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). Also featured are two UNESCO World Heritage sites – Hadrian’s Villa in Rome, and The Alhambra in Granada. Appearing with Audrey Hepburn: Penelope Hobhouse, renowned British garden authority and gardens curator for the National Trust.
Other parts in the series:
Episode 1: Roses & Rose Gardens
Episode 3: Tulips & Spring Bulbs
Episode 4: Flower Gardens
Episode 5: Country Gardens
Episode 6: Tropical Gardens
Episode 7: Japanese Gardens
Episode 8: Public Gardens & Trees