Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Documentary film maker Karyl Evans wants to take you down the proverbial garden path.  For the last three years, she has been hopscotching across the country researching the creations of one woman's enterprising works, a socialite who dared to venture into a male dominated word: landscape architecture.  This forty minute movie, "The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand," reveals the exquisite works of a lady way ahead of her time.

Born to a privileged lifestyle in New York City in 1872, Beatrix Farrand was the niece of author Edith Wharton.  She explored the gardens of Europe for four months and then set her sights on a career in America, primarily on the East Coast.  Over a remarkable five decades, Farrand created over 200 garden sites, being hailed as the most successful female landscape architect of 20th century America.

From sites in Bar harbor, Maine where her family had a summer home, to prestigious undertakings like the National Cathedral in Washington, D. C., a commission for the first Mrs. Woodrow Wilson for the White House (now redesigned as the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden), Dumbarton Oaks as well as gardens on the campuses of Yale, Princeton and Occidental, Farrand left her indelible mark. 

From botanist Charles Sprague Sargent, after she moved into his home, she learned landscape gardening, drafting, elevation, surveying and engineering. She furthered her studies at the Columbia School of Mines.  In her creations, she favored native plantings. 

Six-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and Yale Fellow Karyl Evans has focuses her camera on a unique woman who might have been forgotten without her efforts.  Farrand's unusual career choice makes her a worthy subject for examination, as Evans spotlights fifty of her gardening sites across the country, highlighting how relevant they still are today.

Scott Koniecko, President of the Beatrix Farrand Society said of her film, "We are all duly impressed with the way you are able to put your well researched information together in such an eloquently concise and comprehensive way."  

In 2014, Farrand was recognized by Built by Women New York City, to salute outstanding sites engineered and built by women, for her creation the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden.

"The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand" is now available for screening by the producer and for purchase.  Go to  Come fall in love with the lush rainbow colored creations by this master architect, a pioneer, of the landscape world.

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