Garden Story: Episode 4 - The Garden as Classroom| 26mins
Director: Bill Reifenberger | Producer: Bill Reifenberger
Focus Years: 2008 | Country: United States
This program presents the many ways the gardens of the University of Virginia enhance the lives of students and faculty and serve the academic mission of the university. It discusses how gardens were an important part of Thomas Jefferson's original plan for the University of Virginia by providing quiet places of respite for faculty, outdoor classrooms to teach science, and sources of fresh vegetables for the dining halls. Today the gardens continue to enrich the lives of students and faculty and serve an even wider range of uses. They are places of quiet study and contemplation. They are outdoor classrooms, not only in the sense that they are places of meeting but also in that they serve as learning laboratories for plant science, landscape architecture, and studio art classes. They are venues for weddings, parties, and graduation ceremonies. Faculty who live near the gardens cherish them as spaces for relaxation, reading, and contemplation, and various student groups use them for meetings and social gatherings, as stages for performance, and as venues for debating societies. Host Rebecca Frischkorn discusses with students, faculty, alumni, and administrators the many ways the gardens serve the university community today and continue a legacy of almost 200 years. An animated watercolor plan by landscape architect Emmanuel Didier highlights the various features of the gardens. â€œGarden Story" is a documentary series depicting the extraordinary power of gardens to transform our lives and strengthen our communities. Ten engaging episodes filmed across America profile a wide variety of remarkable gardens. Some are creating positive social change in our cities, while others are protecting our natural environment. Among the exceptional gardens featured are therapeutic gardens providing healing and stress reduction in medical facilities, community gardens renewing urban neighborhoods, a teaching garden for inner-city children, a world-famous botanical garden supporting a global agenda of environmental stewardship, and a wet-lands habitat garden preserving endangered species in a rare mountain ecosystem. "Garden Story" challenges common perceptions of what defines a garden and explores the many different roles that gardens play in today's world.