Atlanta History Center to host screening of Ryan Gainey film
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Another screening of “The Well-Placed Weed,” the film about the late Decatur gardener Ryan Gainey, will take place at the Atlanta History Center on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
The documentary chronicles the life and work of Gainey, a world-renowned gardener who died in 2016. One of the most celebrated American garden designers of the past three decades, Gainey was “an exceptional gardener and garden designer, brilliant horticulturist, master showman, poet, visionary, and unapologetic original,” the Atlanta History Center said in a press release.
Gainey developed a love of plants as a child and, after coming to Atlanta in the 1970s, began designing gardens throughout Atlanta and the rest of the world.
After his death, the fate of his well-recognized house and cottage-style garden – which had been featured on garden tours, in books, magazines, and was used to film “The Odd Life of Timothy” Green in 2011 – became the subject of speculation.
As Decaturish previously reported, a few people suggested the city of Decatur buy it and preserve it in some way, but former City Manager Peggy Merriss said the city didn’t have the expertise or resources to maintain it properly. The house ended up being torn down in 2018.
Gainey was the focus of a number of gardening television shows, but the documentary was the first project to take a deeper look at his life.
“As the film shows, he was a contradictory character, both off-putting and tender, self-absorbed and generous, artificial and authentic,” the press release said. “Ryan Gainey was a lover of beauty, and his home garden in Decatur, Georgia was his masterpiece.”
The film’s two creators, Steve Bransford, a senior video producer at Emory University and a documentary filmmaker, and Cooper Sanchez, an artist and a gardener at Historic Oakland Cemetery, filmed Gainey between 2010 and 2016. Since the film’s production, it has been screened to sold-out crowds at a number of venues, including the Plaza Atlanta, Cine Theater in Athens, Avondale Towne Cinema and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
The upcoming screening will begin at 7 p.m. at the Atlanta History Center, located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road in Atlanta. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Movie refreshments will be provided. Tickets are $15, $10 for members and free to AHC Insiders. Please call 404-814-4150 or reserve tickets online here.