“Women in the Dirt” Documentary: January 2014


Landscape frames our days: trees or flowers, sidewalks and walls, city parks or private gardens. But who envisions this framework for our daily lives? Women in the Dirt is a documentary about seven groundbreaking landscape architects. Their work ranges from intimate, jewel-like gardens to vast urban projects. Through conversations with the designers in their offices, or outdoors in the stunning spaces they have designed, the film explores each woman’s personal aesthetics and approach to her discipline. The film examines how women have helped shape the profession of landscape architecture for over a hundred years. Some of the gardens featured in the film are among the most photographed in the world. We visit Isabelle Greene’s famous Valentine Garden, designed for a private client, and Lauren Melendrez’ magnificent project for the Los Angeles Staples Center.

Artists and scientists, the women bring to their work awareness of ecology, safety, and beauty. Women in the Dirt shows that, beyond the squares of lawn and concrete, and within suburban sprawl, a new landscape approach is being adopted. This approach is functional, elegant, and, above all, sustainable. Women in the Dirt reveals how these self-described “masters of the obvious” create the sublime.