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Gardens of the World (1993) – DVD Review

Gardens of the World DVD


Written by Glen Berenbeim
Directed by Bruce Franchini
Narrated by Michael York
Hosted by Audrey Hepburn


  • All eight episodes of the series
  • Behind the screen footage
  • Interview with Hepburn
  • Separate Symphony score
  • List of gardens featured
  • Photo gallery

Released by: Goldhil.
Rating: NR
Region: 1
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Own it.

[ad#longpost]Since we started in a garden, as some people say, it makes sense that we would try to recreate that environment. From the simplest herb garden to massive botanical expanses, the beauty and variety of nature is enhanced with the ingenuity of man. Gardens of the World travels the globe from the grand gardens of France and England to the lush greenery of the tropics to the serene designs of the Japanese. Host Audrey Hepburn walks through and shows us the splendor of roses and tulips, gardens of flowers and produce, intricately planned spaces and organic rustic planting. With narration by Michael York, you learn how many of these gardens came to be and all the hard work and love of the natural world that made them what they are today.

I must admit to being jealous of Hepburn while watching this series. She could smell the plants and feel their leaves and petals whereas I was stuck watching it on the TV screen. Still, what was on the screen was breathtaking. The sheer beauty of these gardens with their symphonies or color and shape with classical music in the background charmed even a cynical critic like me. And Ms. Hepburn conveys such unaffected joy while walking these garden paths with that wonderful smile made it all the more enjoyable. This series was quite informative too. One of the gardens featured was the working garden of Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. It seems that George was an accomplished horticulturalist and designed his garden himself. Monet, the famous French Impressionist also designed the gardens in his home in Giverny where he mixed flowers and plants so he would always have subjects for his canvas. All in all, a program that is good for the mind as well as the soul.

One of the really nice extras on this disc is that classical music used is included on a separate track so you enjoy it on its own. There is also some behind the scenes footage of setting up some shots with Audrey in one of the gardens. We see how they have to deal with the rainy English weather and how they manage to use all the heavy video equipment without causing any damage to the garden itself. Another nice feature is a list of the featured gardens by country in case you find yourself in England or Japan and want to drop by.

So if your life seems a little ugly, just pop in Gardens of the World and just relax and enjoy.

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