The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, designed by Beatrix Farrand, is one of many featured in a documentary about Farrand by filmmaker Karyl Evans. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Evans to screen Farrand documentary

BAR HARBOR — Filmmaker Karyl Evans will screen her documentary “The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand” at the Jesup Memorial Library on Tuesday, June 27, at 7 p.m. The film is the first documentary ever produced about the life and gardens of Beatrix Farrand, the most successful female landscape architect in early 20th-century America.

The film chronicles the life of Farrand, the niece of Edith Wharton, who grew up in the privileged world of the East Coast elite and fought through the challenges of working in a male-dominated profession to design over 200 landscape commissions during her 50-year career. The documentary features her personal story and many of her most spectacular gardens, including Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C.; the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden; Garland Farm in Bar Harbor; the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor; and her California gardens.


The film includes interviews with Farrand scholar Diana Balmori, landscape historian Judith Tankard and landscape architect Shavaun Towers. Current footage and archival stills of more than 50 Farrand-related sites are woven together to bring to life Farrand’s extraordinary story, reminding viewers why her awe-inspiring work is still relevant to this day. Visit

Evans, a six-time, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker has combined her two greatest professional loves – landscape architecture and filmmaking – to create this film. For the past three years, Evans has focused her attention on researching Farrand’s life and work as many Farrand gardens were being rediscovered and restored, visiting over 50 Farrand garden-related sites from Maine to California and Washington, D.C. to photograph the gardens and to talk with curators, scholars and gardeners. Evans also conducted research at the Beatrix Farrand Archives at the University of California, Berkeley, where she discovered never-before-published materials now included in her film.

Evans, the owner of Karyl Evans Productions in North Haven, Conn., has produced many historical documentaries over her 30-year career, including “Letter from Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio,” narrated by Meryl Streep, which won the 2016 Most Outstanding Director Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

This film screening is co-sponsored by the Bar Harbor Garden Club. Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].

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