DATELINE: Exquisite Nature Manipulated?
Should this exquisite documentary be called The Garden? No, it is named for the man who single-handedly created 20 acres of pure beauty. It’s The Gardener.
Frank Cabot is not your garden variety gardener. His family owned miles of land in Quebec going back to the 1840s. He is a patrician horticulturalist, but he designed his gardens methodically as a labor of love.
He also had the resources and independent wealth to fulfill his creative impulses to build on his mother’s estate. He wanted something with magic, mystery, passion, and surprise.
When you visit his garden, you will be stunned. The private estate is open several weekends each summer for small public tours. No group meets another. Frank Cabot believed the best wanderers in his garden went silently and in a solitary state
His book of the 1990s inspired the film entitled The Gardener.
You will hear his last interview as he explained why he made paths that led to other motifs in his horticultural symphony or sonnet. Having spent time in Japan during World War II, he made several expensive replicas of tea rooms, with staircase waterfalls.
There are bridges of all sorts, like the oriental Moon Bridge that mirrors a circle in the pool it crosses. You will step into intimate little alcoves of flowers and shrubs that open up to vistas that spread for miles.
The film is surely publicity for the actual garden, for who will not want to experience the majesty and philosophical transcending moments in person.
You will whet your appetite for a trip to Eden, called Les Quartes Vents, from a viewing of this magnificent documentary.