Garden Story: Episode 9 - The Garden as Autobiography| 26mins
Director: Bill Reifenberger | Producer: Bill Reifenberger
Focus Years: 2008 | Country: United States
Often a garden is a portrait, rich and revealing, of its creator. The remarkable garden of Harvey Ladew, sportsman and art connoisseur, is just such a portrait, etched in the rolling hills of southern Maryland. This program explores Ladew’s passion for gardening and how that passion, bordering on obsession, led him to create one of America's most original and eccentric gardens. The 15 rooms of Ladew's immense garden, built over more than 40 years, delight us with constant surprises and expressions of his wry sense of humor. It is filled with plants clipped into playful sculptural forms. Some recall Ladew's travels in France, England, and the Far East. Others celebrate his love of foxhunting, such as his self-portrait in topiary astride his favorite horse jumping a fence in hot pursuit of a fox. Like a good portrait, Ladew’s garden reveals the man but also speaks to the human condition. It embodies our ability to create beauty from the raw materials of nature and to evoke the power of humor to keep life in a healthy perspective. His garden also leads us on a journey back to the America of the 1920s and mirrors the values that governed the lives of members of the Gilded Age. Program host Rebecca Frischkorn recounts the main events of Ladew’s life and discusses the way in which his garden became his most important form of self-expression. Using animated plans, she explores the development of this unique and captivating garden over time and examines the spatial relationships between the various garden rooms. The program also reveals through interviews with visitors and staff the challenges of maintaining this large and complex garden. They note how it continues to be a source of enjoyment and delight for thousands of visitors each year and is used as an educational resource for children of Baltimore's inner-city for the teaching of ecology and related topics in natural science. “Garden 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.
Garden Story: Episode 9 - The Garden as Autobiography | 26mins
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