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21st Century Garden Art

Dreharbeiten im Garten of Cosmic Speculation
Landscape and Garden Architecture

"21st Century Garden Art” presents the latest innovations, as well as the most interesting persons setting the pace for landscape and garden architecture. We portray garden artists who, by respecting national traditions as well as the unique nature and character of the local topography, have succeeded in establishing a living relationship between their gardens and the realities of modern culture.

In the light of these challenges: What forms can gardens be expected to take in the 21st century? And, which functions must a present day garden fulfill? In sum, the age-old dilemma: How can human culture be reconciled to the natural environment? And, can modern mankind regain its lost Paradise?
The unique personalities and the varying strategies of the diverse artists portrayed, and, even more so, the gardens themselves demonstrate the remarkable variety of "21st Century Garden Art.”


The series was braodcasted in several countries including Germany, France, New Zealand, the UK and Spain.

A german (sorry!) version of '21. century garden art' is available under the name 'NEUE GARTENKUNST' at and other internetshops.

Episodes: 21st Century Garden Art

Charles Jencks auf seiner Black Whole Terrace
Im Dschungel von Patrick Blanc - Frankreich
The Green World of Fernando Caruncho
Gardens and Squares of WEST 8
The Eden Project of Tim Smit
The Mobile Gardens of Atelier Alias
The Healing Gardens of Topher Delaney
The Private Jungles of Patrick Blanc
The Experimental Gardens of Vladimir Sitta
The Zen Gardens of Shunmyo Masuno
The Tropical Paradise of Made Wijaya
The Enchanted Gardens of Ivan Hicks
Charles Jencks Garden of Cosmic Speculation
The Water Gardens of Anthony Paul
The Gardens of Breimann & Brunn

21st Century Garden Art – The team


Author & Director: Christoph Schuch
Camera: Rüdiger Kortz
Sound: Hans Warth-Leimbert
Editing: Stefan Heintzenberg
Editorship: Petra Boden, Eva Kammerer ZDF / ARTE
Executive Producer: Achim Menges
Music Composer: Georg Reichelt,
Stefan Varga, Christopher Dell, Klaus Schroen
Production Company: Ilona Grundmann Filmproduction, Wiesbaden
Distribution: off the fence, Niederlande

21st Century Garden Art - Summery

The Green World of Fernando Caruncho (Episode 1)

Fernando Caruncho’s body of work is firmly rooted in the philosophies of antiquity, calling to an observer’s mind Spain’s Moorish history. And though his gardens create visually poetic landscapes, they clearly portray their contemporary context. The stunningly beautiful and austere Iberian Peninsula sets the tone and emotional basis for Caruncho’s poetic work, whose play of light and shade, often across reflective pools, is magical in effect.

Gardens and Squares of WEST 8 (Episode 2)

Gärten und Plätze von West 8 - Niederlande
Adriaan Geuze and his team "West 8”, working in Europe’s most densely populated country, seek in their urban landscape planning to reconcile modern, mass culture to the Netherlands’ natural environment. And, despite the daunting scope of this task, they approach their planning work with a charming trace of irony and humor.
Geuze’s thought provoking commentary, flavored with remarkably positive expectations for the future of gardening, is strictly "cutting edge,” and visits to the team’s principal projects is, frankly stated, eye opening!

The Eden Project of Tim Smit (Episode 3)

Die Teiche im Garden of Cosmic Speculation von Charles Jencks
England’s Tim Smit is not an advocate for contemporary gardening, having, in fact, become a garden designer more by accident than design. That occurred when he discovered the "Lost Gardens of Heligan” – a Victorian estate which, like Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, had slumbered forgotten in Cornwall for more than 60 years.
These historic gardens were then supplemented by a remarkable, wholly modern counterpart: "The Eden Project,” the world’s largest greenhouse.
Designed by renowned architect Nicolas Grimshaw, the Project - featuring displays of flora from multifarious climactic zones, - has become enormously popular, drawing visitors from throughout the world.

The Mobile Gardens of Atelier Alias (Episode 4)

Das Leipziger Atelier Alias
The Leipzig, Germany based team Atelier Alias is dedicated to gardening in its largest communal and municipal senses. Comprised of Bertram Weisshaar, Katja Heinecke and Reinhard Krehl, each a graduate in landscape design, Atelier Alias is dedicated to exploring new means of perceiving landscapes and municipal land use.
Their actions, such as "Gardens on Wheels,” "Shipwrecked Gardens” and the Garden Exchange cooperative portrayed in the film, have established their bona fides as leading edge innovators in 21st Century governmental gardening policy.

The Healing Gardens of Topher Delaney (Episode 5)

Die kalifornische Gartendesignerin Topher Delaney Topher Delaney of San Francisco exploits the excellent conditions of California’s climate to create highly individualized private gardens. In designing her spiritual gardens, Delaney draws upon her experiences with Zen Buddhism, pursuing an integrative process far exceeding the demands of classic horticulture. Moreover, inspired by her own successful battle with cancer, Delaney’s gardens are conceived as places of retreat and healing.

The Private Jungles of Patrick Blanc (Episode 6)

Der französische Tropenbotaniker Patrick Blanc
Patrick Blanc was an internationally celebrated tropical botanist long before his "plant walls” came on the scene. Faced with an increasingly ugly, green free, cement jungle, Blanc’s research led him to discover that plants could survive and even thrive in the absence of soil.
His vertical plant beds find their sustenance in the felt covering of the wall’s construction. By carefully arranging diversely colored plants on the wall "palette,” the French artist can create a rich variety of images. The resulting floral tapestries are reminiscent of the jungle themes in the artwork of the French master, Henri Rousseau.

The Experimental Gardens of Vladimir Sitta (Episode 7)

Vladimir Sitta – Der Garten als Bühne Vladimir Sitta arrived in Australia only twenty years ago. Since then, the Czech native has proven himself a ground breaking innovator in contemporary landscape architecture - not only in the creation of gardens for his adopted home of Sydney, but in widely ranging projects throughout the "Fifth Continent.”
Vladimir Sitta treats gardens as theatrical stages, to be variously set and dressed in order to convey the broadest range of dramatic narratives. His leading actors are the four elements: Fire, Water, Earth and Air. And, with a theater manager’s eye for detail, Sitta calls upon the latest "special effects” technologies to achieve his stage picture – being willing even to cast open flames upon his garden-stage.

The Zen Gardens of Shunmyo Masuno (Episode 8)

The ancient traditions and magnificent art of Japanese garden design continue to exercise an enormous, international influence on contemporary garden architecture. 21st Century Garden Art is proud to present a filmed portrait of Shunmyo Masuno, the internationally recognized master of Japanese garden style.
Masuno is an 18th generation Zen priest, and the very last of his order still engaged in garden creation. Significantly, the Zen monk has not withdrawn from the modern world. On the contrary, his designs can be found today in the great, modern cities of Tokyo and Yokohama - for whose stressed inhabitants the artist has endeavored to create oases of quiet and serenity.

The Tropical Paradise of Made Wijaya (Episode 9)

Living and working on the Island of Bali, Made Wijaya is considered THE leading contemporary exponent of exotic garden design. To date, the fifty year old gardener has created more than seven hundred tropical gardens.
Through his designs Made Wijaya attempts to subjugate the jungle to his control. It is not uncommon to find many hundreds of differing plant species combined in a single Wijaya installation. Given the artist’s awesome creativity, the climactic advantages of the tropics, and the unrestricted budgets of his clients, Wijaya has been free to recreate the Garden of Eden.

The Enchanted Gardens of Ivan Hicks (Episode 10)

Ivan Hicks im Zauberwald von Groombridge

Ivan Hicks is very likely England’s drollest garden artist. For, in a whimsical design style of a decidedly surrealistic bent, Hicks’ art succeeds in deftly combining respect for mythic tradition to a profoundly modern worldview.
Hicks’ garden designs are rooted in the Earth itself, baring the influence of ancient Celtic mythology, and in particular, its worship of trees.
21st Century Garden Art is delighted to present the most remarkable and representative sampling of Ivan Hicks’ garden creations. From the film’s first moments, the spectator is invited into the mysterious, magical forest of Groombridge Place. Hicks explains how the Enchanted Forest is based in the same traditions as the Harry Potter stories and the J.R.R. Tolkien RING trilogy:. .. We all want to get back to back to the woods and have fun, and have magic.

Charles Jencks Garden of Cosmic Speculation (Episode 11)

Die Teiche im Garden of Cosmic Speculation von Charles Jencks By tradition, gardens and parks tend to tell stories. Yet what happened during the last ten years in Dumfriesshire in the South of Scotland probably goes beyond the scope of the park landscapes which were established within the last two hundred years.
Charles Jencks, the leading architectural critic of postmodernism, transforms his knowledge of the complexity theories into a fascinating garden amidst the rough Scottish hill country, which deals with a theme no less than the universe.
Twenty-five minutes of film should be just enough to introduce the impressive garden of 16 hectares and the philosophy behind it.

The Water Gardens of Anthony Paul (Episode 12)

In a sheltered valley in the county of Surrey there lies England’s most beautiful sculpture park. The area has been laid out by the New Zealand garden architect Anthony Paul. The selection of sculptures is made by his wife, the gallery owner Hannah Peschar.
Paul is one of the most well-known representatives of the natural garden design. He believes that a garden which is laid out naturally in the first place prevents a sense of being in a permanent fight against rank growth and weeds. A natural-looking garden, according to Paul, leaves you more time to actually enjoy it.
Anthony Paul’s own garden is a fascinating example of his philosophy put into practice.

The Gardens of Breimann & Brunn (Episode 13)

The Film opens in Northern Italy, with a breathtaking view out upon Lago Maggiore. We find ourselves in the private garden of Henning Breimann.
Here he experiments with Mediterranean and subtropical plants- testing their climatic sensitivities and the optimal location and conditions for certain cultures.
The experiences gained from this garden are used by Henning Breimann and Bertel Brunn, for example, in their Spanish designs. The film presents four of their garden creations on the island of Majorca.
The final garden introduced in the film provides an interesting contrast to the gardens on Majorca. In a Frankfurt banking building, more than thirty winter gardens and courtyard-installations have been created under Breimann and Brunn’s direction. With this ingenious installation Breimann and Brunn have raised the thematic garden – Green on the Job – to a new level.

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