From Thursday, Oct. 11 to Sunday, Oct. 14, the Chesapeake Film Festival will celebrate the burgeoning of film on screens all over Easton, St. Michaels and Cambridge, Md.
With nearly 50 films flourishing in the area, two will thrill anyone who loves gardens and gardening.
The first to delight the garden devotee will be the screening of “Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf.”
After completing a feature documentary on New York’s High Line, award-winning filmmaker Thomas Piper met the inspirational designer and plantsman, Piet Oudolf, and the idea for a new “Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf” immerses viewers in Oudolf’s work and takes us inside his creative process, from his beautifully abstract sketches, to theories on beauty, to the ecological implications of his ideas.
“For me, garden design isn’t just about plants, it is about emotion, atmosphere, a sense of contemplation,” says Oudolf. “You try to move people with what you do. You look at this, and it goes deeper than what you see. It reminds you of something in the genes — nature, or the longing for nature.”
Intimate discussions take place through all four seasons in Piet’s own gardens at Hummelo, and on visits to his signature public works in New York, Chicago, and the Netherlands, as well as to the far-flung locations that inspire his genius, including desert wildflowers in West Texas and post-industrial forests in Pennsylvania.
As a narrative thread, the film also follows Oudolf as he designs and installs a major new garden at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, a gallery and arts center in Southwest England, a garden he considers his best work yet.
Oudolf has radically redefined what gardens can be. As Rick Darke, the famous botanist, says to Piet in the film, “your work teaches us to see what we have been unable to see.”
Through poetic cinematography and unique access, “Five Seasons” will reveal all that Piet sees, and celebrate all that we as viewers have been unable to see.”
This winner of this year’s environmental film festival will surely excite any garden enthusiast.
The second film to delight gardeners is aptly called The Gardener.
“The Gardener is a documentary reflecting on the meaning of gardening and its impact on our lives. Shortly before his passing at the age of 86, influential gardener and horticulturalist Frank Cabot recounts his personal quest for perfection at Les Quatre Vents, his 20 acres English style garden and summer estate.
Nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Charlevoix County in Quebec, Les Quatre Vents has become one of the world’s foremost private gardens.
Created over three generations, it is an enchanted place of beauty and surprise, a horticultural masterpiece of the 21st century.
Through the words of Cabot and his family, and with the participation of gardening experts and writers, the film looks back at this remarkable man’s personal story and the artistic philosophy that gave birth to one of the greatest gardens in the world.”
Experts who have seen the garden say: “when you see this garden, you are knocked out,” “people who visit in those large groups…by the time they are finished their lives have been changed” and “its garden theatre at its best.” (
Helen T. Verongos in her March 29 New York Times review “’The Gardener’ Cultivates the Wealth of Nature” writes:
“With its leggy white tulips, literal primrose paths and stalks of violet delphiniums stretching to the sky, Les Quatre Vents, the Canadian estate of Frank and Anne Perkins Cabot is a tribute to the glory of horticulture in all its forms.
“The Gardener,” directed by Sébastien Chabot, relies on previously recorded narration by Mr. Cabot, who died in 2011. Mr. Cabot refers to himself as a “master plagiarist” for purloining ideas from gardens he visited on his travels to Nepal, European cities and India, and employing them at home. The result is a dazzling series of separate outdoor scenes that open onto one another, with each framing a view of the next, or the St. Lawrence River beyond. The sights are enchanting, especially when the camera lingers on the Japanese garden, which was years in the making … or the Chinese moon bridge set on a reflecting pond.”
Tickets range from $12 for a single movie, and $10 for youth under 21 and seniors over 62. For dates, times and tickets, visit