Garden movies: Saving Grace


still from saving graceConstance Casey has an interesting gardening column over at Slate, Gilding the Lily
What movies get wrong (and right) about gardening
, where she points to several instances where directors commit gardening fraud.

I can relate. At a tender age, I pointed out the wires in Peter Pan. And as I grow old, I notice the flowers that shouldn't be blooming together in the movies.

The garden-themed movie that I most enjoyed was Saving Grace (2000). The synopsis: A small-town English widow, facing financial troubles after her husband's suicide, turns to agriculture of an illegal kind.

Watch the longish (10-minute) video of excerpts below, and you'll see that they've got most of the horticulture right, though the mature plant in question is not like any of that genus and species I've ever seen. (At least the wild ditchweed patches I saw on farms out in the Midwest back in the day.)

Plus it's just a delightful movie, winning the Sundance Festival Audience Award in 2000. Craig Ferguson (who returns to the airwaves tonight with his writers) wrote the screenplay, co-produced the film and co-stars in it.

Video warning: Pot culture and effing Scottish language.

Have any favorite garden movies?

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January 2, 2008

susan harris @ 8:02 pm #

Oh, you dog! I was going to post about the Casey article on Saturday.
But to your question, Angels and Insects. And Casey thought Atonement did a good job and I’m rushing to see that one this weekend, anyway. (Loved the book.) S

eliz @ 8:47 pm #

Yes, Angels and Insects is a favorite of mine too. But I kind of liked Greenfingers, though they trashed it over at Slate (which I also read and was considering posting on).

Gardening is nothing. I can’t watch any movies or television shows that have any mention of those new-fangled computers without groaning and screaming in frustration.

January 3, 2008

Sue @ 5:13 am #

No favourite movies, but I did once notice that when Star Trek visited the botanical garden of a far distant planet, they were growing bromeliads. How odd that the same plant should have evolved in such widely separated galaxies …

We’re now gearing up for round 2 of the Garden Bloggers’ Carnival -a bit different this time, in that I’m asking people to nominate a post from another person’s blog. Full details on my blog today (Jan 3rd). I hope you’ll participate again, like you did last time. And of course, if anyone else reads this, please join in!


Tina @ 7:11 am #

Holy crikey! Someone else has seen that movie? Every time I’ve ever mentioned it to people they give me this blank look. Too bad, as it’s an awesome one!

January 4, 2008

jim Charlier @ 3:04 pm #

Garden State

Okay, it’s not a gardening movie, but it’s got garden in the title, does that count?

January 5, 2008

I LOVED Saving Grace. Fabulous movie. I have never met anyone else who has seen it!

I can’t think of too many movies in which gardening is featured. Interesting question to ponder on a very cold afternoon.

–Robin (Bumblebee)

chuck b. @ 1:34 pm #

It’s frustrating that there aren’t more gardening movies. I recently loaded up my Netflix queue with natural history documentaries. That’s about as close as it gets.

The thing about gardening movies is that they’re barely about gardening. It’s always about something else, and gardening is just a narrative device.

January 6, 2008

If you are headed out to see a movie soon at the Regal Theaters in Ithaca – look for my niece – she’s the manager. You can’t miss her she’s seven months pregnant!

Kathy @ 4:52 pm #

I am not much of a movie person, but when I read stories to my children I am always inspecting the vegetation in the illustrations and critiquing it. My first pet peeve is generic flowers that aren’t any true plant but just made up out of the artist’s imagination. And then, yes, I am sure to remark if the delphiniums and daffodils are blooming at the same time. I have a favorite tissue box with botanically accurate illustrations that I always buy at the grocery store when it’s in stock, just to reward the manufacturer.

I don’t have a favorite gardening movie, but it almost bothers me that in “Lord of the Rings” they have nasturtiums and sunflowers growing around Sam’s house in the last movie. His garden looks great, and the sunflowers really help to dwarf the house, but I think that in the “real” Middle Earth, which is based on old England, they only have british plants. I don’t think any of their adventures took them to Africa or North America. Picky picky.

On the other hand, the shimmering forest scenes in Lothlorian provides nice inspiration for a shade garden.

January 7, 2008

Frances @ 6:26 pm #

I am a new visitor and will have to catch up on your posts. I like what has come so far. As to movies, my favorites are the Merchant and Ivory duo, Howard’s End and A room With a View. Great scenery with some of the action taking place in the gardens.

January 8, 2008

Pam @ 5:50 am #

Oh, how funny. I wish I could remember the movie – but I saw one once where there were trees that couldn’t possibly be growing in that zone. It was terribly distracting (and was I thinking that everything ELSE in the movie was drowning in accuracy….I kinda doubt it). Loved the Star Trek reference. I do believe that I remember that one!

The Orchid Thief? I do believe that might count as one – not gardening so much as obsession (which gardening truly is).

Lynn @ 9:23 pm #

I was gonna say “Adaptation” (based on the Orchid Thief) but Pam scooped me! The scene in the orchid show (from the book or movie) where Laroche describes the mysterious pull of the flowers is mesmerizing! I’ve seen it 3x.
The Ents in LOTR are the best, and 2 other fantasy movies get my vote: all the herbal stuff in Harry Potter (herbology is a required subject, and gillyweed, an herb that lets you grow gills to breathe underwater, plays a big part in 1 of them). Mandrake plays a big part in Pan’s Labyrinth, though you can’t really call it “gardening.”
I don’t think I saw the movie they made, but “The Secret Garden” is something every kid should read. Thanks for the post Mr. Hollow! Nice to read something besides bad overseas news.

January 9, 2008

My favorite gardening movie is “Green Fingers,” based on a true story about British inmates who start gardening & end up at the big garden show there. Very British, very funny, good plants.

January 12, 2008

Ellen Zachos @ 8:21 pm #

Ok, not a gardening movie, but in Bridges of Madison County Meryl Streep had a Hindu rope Hoya in her kitchen which was a totally accurate houseplant choice for that time period. I love attention to detail.

April 22, 2009

Robert Bobrow @ 3:24 am #

Wallace and Gromit, Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

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