“A sumptuous gardening program, it is not just about spectacular gardens around the world. It is also about the lives of the owners.”
Recreating Eden is a multi-award winning international lifestyle/documentary series produced by Merit Motion Pictures. Shot on HD, the series travels around the world to feature some of the worlds greatest private and public gardens and reveal the fascinating stories behind the gardeners who created them.
Part 1: The Colour of Love
Sandra and Nori Pope find love at Hadspen Garden, Somerset, England.!
The story of two people brought together by their mutual passion for gardening, plants and colour. Sandra and Nori Pope ran a successful flower nursery in Victoria B.C., but when they discovered the sadly neglected Hadspen Gardens in England, they knew they were the ones to take on the challenge of restoring them. The Popes sold their business and their home, packed up everything and moved to Somerset, England, where they rediscovered a passion for gardens, and each other.
Part 2: A Healing Tradition
Heather Bakazius leaves the nursing profession and returns to her roots of home grown herbs in Singhampton, Ontario
Concerned about western medicine and its heavy reliance on prescription drugs, Heather Bakazias left a successful career as a psychiatric nurse and moved to a fifty acre farm near the tiny village of Singhampton, just south of Georgian Bay in Ontario. Her move reconnected her with a long family heritage in herbal medicine. Nestled in acres of wildflowers, Heather has built a retreat where she counsels people toward an holistic approach to living in the wilds, and gathers herbs to use in her own line of herbal products.
Part 3: Gardener by Duty
Baron Axel Bonaert inherits a 17th century garden & estate, both a family legacy and a modern day burden, at Freyr Castle, Belgium
Axel Bonaert is a man caught in two worlds – the modern day world of his chosen career as a IT engineer, and the world he has inherited as one of the heirs to the Freyr estate and gardens, that date back to 1760. Built in the tradition of the French Renaissance, with 350 year-old orange trees that originated from the Court of Lorraine, the estate is phenomenal, and for many, an inheritance of this opulence would be a dream. However, 21st century demands weigh heavily on this modern baron, and for Axel, the inheritance is definitely a mixed blessing.
Part 4: Reflections of the Soul
Patrick Lane and Lorna Crozier find healing and inspiration in the garden in Saanichton, Vancouver Island, BC.
Patrick Lane and Lorna Crozier have created a sensational garden at their home in Victoria, BC. Both renowned poets, their writings draw heavily on the symbolism a garden provides – for Patrick, it is a metaphor for life and for Lorna, a source of erotic imagery. The garden was instrumental in Patricks recovery from alcoholism and served as inspiration for Addicted: Stories From the Belly of the Beast, a collaborative work edited by Patrick and Lorna that features writing on addiction from a diverse range of Canadian writers.
Part 5: A Garden Sanctuary Where Activism Blooms
Des Kennedy’s spiritual & environmental journey on Denman Island, BC.
Des Kennedy has made a career of combining his passion for the earth and love of the spoken and written word. A former monk who left his order for an even greater calling, Dess depth of knowledge on gardening has earned him a loyal Canadian audience for his writing, television and public appearances. Des reveals how he has managed to create a spiritual lifestyle which enables him to merge his passion for gardening and the environment with his public life as a humourist, writer and journalist.
Part 6: Garden of Controversy
Douglas Counter challenges our basic ideas about what a garden should be with his bit of naturalized Eden in Etobicoke, Ontario.
To Douglas Counter, the naturalized garden he planted at his Etobicoke home as a memorial to his mother represents a meditation space of natural beauty. It is also a unique and inexpensive approach to filtering pollutants from streams that run through his community. Follow Douglas as he challenges the Citys by-laws to protect not only his environmentally important sanctuary from nuisance complaints, but the rights of all gardeners to heal the environment.
Part 7: The Art of Gardening
Art Luna may create celebrity hair styles in Los Angeles, California, but his passion lies in garden design.
Though hes the man behind the hair of some of the biggest names in Hollywood, legendary hair stylist Art Luna considers himself first and foremost a garden designer. Over the years, Mr. Luna has earned a reputation as a no-nonsense hairstylist, intolerant of divas – he has even been known to refuse service at his salon to less than gracious movie stars. But from his garden clients, he demands only appreciation and passion for the fabulous gardens he creates.
Part 8: Tending to my Soul
Tricia Oktober rediscovers her childhood happiness in the isolated Blue Mountains of Australia.
Tricia Oktober was raised in the freedom of Australia?s outback, spending her days communing with nature, and for as long as she can remember, has taken that inspiration and turned it into art. A renowned illustrator, artist and author, Trish?s life hasn?t always been easy, failing at three marriages and losing two children in infancy, the tragedy of which eventually tore her third marriage apart. Five years ago, she rediscovered her childhood happiness in the form of a garden paradise in the Blue Mountains, where she has surrounded herself with flowers from all over the world, many of which have become the subjects of watercolours that grace her books and local art galleries.
Part 9: La Maison Verte
A couple’s lifelong dream to open an artist’s retreat in Roujan, France
In the late 1990s, Nicola Russell and Teddy Hutton left their home in Oxford, England to follow their dream. They bought a domain in a small town in the south of France and turned it into an artists retreat. Artists themselves, they now play host to painters, dancers, actors, sculptors and writers from all over the world who come to work and reflect in the garden paradise that Nicola and Teddy have created.
Part 10: A Growing Community
Laura Berman coordinates a multitude of community gardens in Toronto.
I want community gardens to be as common in big cities as libraries,” says Laura Berman, coordinator of the Food Share Community Garden program in Toronto. Laura used to be a landscape architect, but grew tired of creating elaborate and expensive back yards for people who simply wanted a garden because they had money. She now designs and implements community gardens that provide food for people in need, which satisfies her more than any expensive garden ever would.
Part 11: Plant Hunter
Maria Galletti hunts for alpine plants, Sutton, Quebec
Maria Galletti is a woman on a mission to find rare varieties and propagate the ?precious jewels? of the plant world, alpine plants. These incredibly small plants can be challenging to grow but at Alpines Mont Echo, Maria?s garden and nursery in Sutton Quebec, she has found ways of growing them in the most difficult conditions. She has also grown in reputation, slowly evolving from an immigrant entrepreneur to battle her way through the male-dominated world of alpine plant hunters, only to find herself one of the most respected alpine specialists in the world.
Part 12: Keeper of the Dream
Reford keeps his great grandmother Elsie?s memory alive in Reford Gardens of Grand Metis, Quebec
The Reford Garden (formerly Les Jardins de Matis) is one of Canada?s most historic landscapes, thanks to both its creator, Elsie Reford, and her great-grandson, Alexander Reford. Although the gardens were sold to the Quebec government for a time after Elsie?s death, the estate is now back in Reford hands, and it is thanks to Alexander?s tenacity and background as a History professor, as well as Elsie?s extensive archives that the family has been able to slowly restore the garden to its former glory.
Part 13: A Garden of Ones Own
Douglas Chambers combines his passion for literature and gardening on his family?s 150 year-old homestead near Walkerton, Ontario
His passion for literature and gardening history is what eventually drew Douglas Chambers away from the life of a professor and back to his family?s farm. With the use of pedestals and inscripted stones, Douglas Chambers creates quasi historic landscapes wherein both his personal and our greater history is brought into relief. In his beautiful garden, with plants and text, he actively celebrates his favorite poets, indulges himself in the mysterious atmospheres of Chinese gardens and commemorates a succession of European kings; while other planting schemes in the garden are devoted to a sense of the history of the area itself and to Chambers? own pledges to the memories of lost friends and relations.