Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn

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Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn is an acclaimed documentary television series that aired in the United States on PBS. It was hosted by actress Audrey Hepburn in what would be her final performance before the camera, filmed on location in seven countries in the spring and summer of 1990. The show did not premiere until January 21, 1993, the day after Hepburn's death. Hepburn was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement posthumously.

The series features Hepburn visiting exemplary and elegant gardens both private and public. Each episode sets forth a different garden theme, as well as aesthetic, environmental, historical or horticultural concepts. Interspersed with Hepburn's on-camera performances are expository and historical background segments narrated both by Hepburn and Michael York.

The first six episodes aired in 1993, however the final two installments were not broadcast until 1996. In all, there are eight episodes: These are:

  • Episode 1. "Roses and Rose Gardens": An adventure with the flower of legend, romance and beauty
  • Episode 2. "Formal Gardens": A journey through the evolution of formal garden design
  • Episode 3. "Country Gardens": An exploration of the earthly country garden
  • Episode 4. "Public Gardens and Trees": The stories of Mt. Vernon and the greening of Paris, concluding with Hepburn's tribute to trees and nature
  • Episode 5." Flower Gardens": An exploration of Monet’s gardens at Giverny and classic English perennial border styles
  • Episode 6. "Tropical Gardens": A wide ranging affirmation of nature’s floral diversity
  • Episode 7. "Japanese Gardens": A journey reflecting centuries of Japanese cultural reverence for nature
  • Episode 8. "Tulips and Spring Bulbs": A focus on spring blossoms and their inspiration as art and in the garden

Some of the gardens featured in the show include: Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny, George Washington's estate at Mount Vernon, and Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.

Audrey Hepburn wrote the foreword to the hardcover companion book, Gardens of the World: The Art & Practice of Gardening. A DVD of all 8 programs was released in 1999; in September 2006, an extended DVD edition was released.


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