New growth: Video novice sells garden series


Rebecca Frischkorn is a self-taught landscape artist. She's also become a self-taught television producer, and her series, GardenStory, has just won a regional viewing audience.

GardenStory isn't a how-to program. Rather, Frischkorn, with the help of UVA landscape architecture prof Reuben Rainey, explores the transforming power of gardens.

WHTJ was attracted to the series' "beauty, cinematography and message," says communications director D.J. Crotteau. The station, along with its Richmond sister station, WCVE, will air the four episodes during prime time in June.

The first episode, "The Garden as Muse," looks at the Lynchburg garden of Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer. The Pavilion Gardens and Thomas Jefferson's vision for an Academical Village are the focus of "The Garden as Classroom."

"The Garden as Realm of Creativity" travels to Ashintully, the Berkshire Mountains retreat of composer John McLennan. And episode four, "The Garden as Environmental Stewardship," depicts the efforts of volunteers and nonprofits to reclaim land once devastated by logging and mining and sustain the Upper Shavers Fork Nature Conservancy Preserve in West Virginia.

Frischkorn envisions a 13-episode series to be completed by 2007. "We definitely look forward to watching the next nine they come up with," says Crotteau.

"What we're trying to convey is a passion for a connection with the land," Frischkorn told The Hook last year. Apparently local public television thinks they succeeded.

Rebecca Frischkorn and Reuben Rainey set episode two of a new PBS series in the Pavilion Gardens at UVA.