Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf
“For me, garden design isn’t just about plants, it is about emotion, atmosphere, a sense of contemplation. You try to move people with what you do. You look at this, and it goes deeper than what you see. It reminds you of something in the genes — nature, or the longing for nature.” – Piet Oudolf
After completing a feature documentary on New York’s High Line, award-winning filmmaker Thomas Piper met the inspirational designer and plantsman, Piet Oudolf, and the idea for a new project was born. The documentary, FIVE SEASONS: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf, immerses viewers in Oudolf’s work and takes us inside his creative process, from his beautifully abstract sketches, to theories on beauty, to the ecological implications of his ideas.
Intimate discussions take place through all fours seasons in Piet’s own gardens at Hummelo, and on visits to his signature public works in New York, Chicago, and the Netherlands, as well as to the far-flung locations that inspire his genius, including desert wildflowers in West Texas and post-industrial forests in Pennsylvania.
As a narrative thread, the film also follows Oudolf as he designs and installs a major new garden at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, a gallery and arts center in Southwest England, a garden he considers his best work yet.
Piet Oudolf has radically redefined what gardens can be. As Rick Darke, the famous botanist, says to Piet in the film, “your work teaches us to see what what we have been unable to see.” Through poetic cinematography and unique access, FIVE SEASONS will reveal all that Piet sees, and celebrate all that we as viewers have been unable to see.
"Piper's film is unrushed and chock-full of spark and life, much like the gardens Piper spotlights."
"The doc's visions of Oudolf's work, in gorgeous close-ups as well as from drone-photography angles and time-lapse perspectives, will undoubtedly send some viewers to his books and to the gardens themselves."
"The best plantings, Oudolf says, are the ones “you can’t control, only … conduct.” He’s a master conductor, and “Five Seasons” makes lovely visual music."