“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.
7. Japanese Gardens
Audrey Hepburn sets the course through centuries of refined garden expressions arising from Japan’s cultural reverence for nature and the 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.
Other parts in the series:
Episode 1: Roses & Rose Gardens
Episode 2: Formal Gardens
Episode 3: Tulips & Spring Bulbs
Episode 4: Flower Gardens
Episode 5: Country Gardens
Episode 6: Tropical Gardens
Episode 8: Public Gardens & Trees