Bullfrog Films, which provides documentary DVDs for the general and educational markets, offers an excellent example of the genre ideal as to the release of "Beatrix Farrand's American Landscape" (2019). This genuinely loving tribute to the titular groundbreaking (pun intended) garden designer entertains just as much as it educates. Getting to see numerous bright and sunny gardens at a time that most of us are locked in our cages except for limited periods in the yard is a much-needed bonus.
The following trailer for "Farrand" expertly conveys both the tone of the film and the admiration of host/acclaimed garden designer Lynden B. Miller. This promo. also includes a spoiler that is film highlight.
This literal cradle-to-grave video biography begins with the 1870s birth of Farrand. We soon learn of the childhood life-changing experiences that would be era-specific noteworthy even without hearing that Edith Wharton was her aunt.
The same newsworthy element applies to the career of Farrand. Her being born into 19th-century society makes pursuing any profession newsworthy; working in the relatively rare area of garden design is another selling point for a documentary. Taking the lead as to projects that include the White House, transforming a portion of the Maine wilderness into Acadia National Park, and being the creative force behind the locally well-known Washington, DC garden at the Dunbarton Oaks historic property helps explain why Miller and her peers so greatly admire Farrand.
The interesting elements of this aspect of "Farrand" include the overall design philosophies of the subject. We see examples of her technique of having a garden start formal near the house and get increasingly wild as it moves from that dwelling; we further get to see how she enjoys surprising garden visitors.
Meeting a group of teens whose interest in horticulture has nothing to do with tending to a particular type of plant under a gro-light further contributes to the fun and inspiration of "Farrand." A highlight there is a future Farrand receiving praise for his design instinct.
Learning near the end of the film that the kindness of not-so-strangers allows Farrand to live out her golden years in just the right spot for her and that the legacy as to that special spot lives on provides our indie film a true Hollywood ending.