From Thursday, October 3 through Thursday, October 10, the Chesapeake Film Festival will screen 62 films in Easton, Cambridge and Oxford, Maryland. Two of those featured on Saturday, October 5th will thrill anyone who loves gardening. Due to popular demand, we’re bringing back The Gardener and FIVE SEASONS: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf.

The Gardener, a visual masterpiece, screens at 3:30 p.m. on October 5 at the Easton Premier Cinema.

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.” (thegardener-movie.com)

Helen T. Verongos in her March 29, 2018 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.”

The second film to delight gardeners is aptly called FIVE SEASONS: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf and will also be shown on Saturday, October 5th (7:15 pm to 8:30 pm) at the Easton Premier Cinema.

“For me, garden design isn’t just about plants, it is about emotion, atmosphere, a sense of contemplation. 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.”
– 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 project was born. The documentary, 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.

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.

Piet 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.” (fiveseasonsmovie.com)

This winner of this year’s environmental film festival will surely excite any garden enthusiast.

And there’s more! The first feature-length film of the day is The Pollinators at 10:30 a.m. The film follows migratory beekeepers throughout a growing season as we learn how some agricultural practices, pesticides and politics are making the simple act of pollination more difficult.

At 12:30 p.m., Hometown Habitat features renowned entomologist Dr. Douglas Tallamy, who sounds the alarm about habitat and species loss. Following the screening, Catherine Zimmerman – filmmaker, author and certified horticulturist and landscape designer – will lead a discussion about the benefits of native plants and meadowscaping.

Tickets range from $12 for a single movie, and $10 for youth under 21 and seniors over 62.