Audrey Hepburn

Friday, May 11, 1990

In May of 1990, Audrey Hepburn visited Mount Vernon while filming an episode for the television series Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn, featuring some of the world’s most beautiful and noteworthy gardens.

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association Annual Report of 1990 noted:

The estate also rolled out the red carpet for actress Audrey Hepburn, who was on the property to serve as hostess for a new PBS series entitled 'Gardens of the World,' which will be telecast internationally in 1991. Although 75 gardens will be among those covered in this eight-part series, Mount Vernon will be one of a handful of gardens given first-rate attention. Our selection for this series is testimony of George Washington’s remarkable talents as a landscape designer and of the hard work of our gardens and grounds crew.

Audrey Hepburn visited Mount Vernon while filming the PBS series “Gardens of the World” in May 1990. Left to right: Neil Horstman, Resident Director; Mrs. Robert E. Lee IV, Vice Regent for Maryland; actress Audrey Hepburn; and Mrs. Thomas B. Battle, Vice Regent for North Carolina. (MVLA)

As reported in the Fall 1990 issue of "Mount Vernon: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow":

Fortunately, the film crew arrived on a perfect spring day to capture George Washington's gardens at their very best. As the cameras rolled, Miss Hepburn described Washington's love of the land and quoted from his writings while strolling along the paths in the upper garden. Another segment featured the actress pointing out trees planted by Washington on the bowling green. 

Miss Hepburn, an avid gardener herself, remarked that the series is personal dream come true. Prior to visiting Mount Vernon, the crew had completed filming in Holland and the Dominican Republic, and immediately following the Mount Vernon filming, Miss Hepburn and the production crew boarded a plane for Japan. Other gardens to be featured in the series include Hidcote Manor in England, the Alhambra in Spain and Claude Monet's garden in Giverny.

Mount Vernon appeared in the “Public Gardens and Trees” episode, which premiered on PBS in March 1993. The Washington Post wrote of the show in 1993, “Hepburn kind of floats in and out of the shows with some delicately crafted lines of information and a feeling for the vivid and captivating gardens. They're often referred to as estates, but they are more of an art form, especially with Hepburn in the middle of the picture.”

Hepburn was posthumously awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement, Information Programming, in the fall of 1993.

Trailer: Gardens of the World


Watch the trailer for Audrey Hepburn's PBS series "Gardens of the World."

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