Speaker: Augustus Jenks Farmer
Jenks Farmer is a renaissance plantsman. He fell in love with the natural world while growing up in a family of artists, musicians, and farmers. Jenks went on to get a more formal education in plant sciences at Clemson University and then botanical garden design at the University of Washington.
For 20 years, he’s led teams to establish and plant the vision for two of South Carolina’s major botanical gardens. He is the former director of Riverbanks Botanical Garden and founding horticulturist of Moore Farms Garden. His designs for homes, museums, and businesses have received recognition and awards and have delighted hundreds of thousands of visitors with the joyful, easy exuberance of hand-crafted gardens.
Join Jenks for an inspiring and interactive discussion of the transition of his 1750s farm - now a leader in a new type of agriculture based on age-old nurturing of the land. As a garden designer, he finds lessons that every gardener and environmentalist should put into practice — like caring for the life below our feet. Like understanding the real difference between dirt and soil and like cultivating plants that carry stories, history and parts of our past to make our future more full, more connected to the earth.
A light lunch provided during a Q&A following the presentation. Bulbs from his farm as well as books will also be available for purchase.
Augustus Jenkins Farmer III, Jenks Farmer, led teams to plant and establish the vision for three of South Carolina's major botanical gardens. He is the former director and plantsman of Riverbanks Botanical Garden, Moore Farms Botanical Garden (he was designer of Darla Moore’s gardens in Lake City and Charleston) and Historic Columbia. With a masters in public garden management from the University of Washington and a horticulture degree from Clemson University, he has the combination of horticultural science and museum science needed to set strategic vision and the get great plants growing well.
An engaging storyteller and teacher, he is talented at getting people of all ages and from all walks of life to get outside and get their hands dirty. He’s lectured for groups as varied as the NC State Agricultural faculty, the Smithsonian, Wave Hill, Disney, lots of Master Gardeners and of course, his grandmother’s Allendale Ladies Afternoon Reading Club. Internship programs he manages have inspired students to come SC from across the country, students who now lead major botanical gardens across the country.
His writing has been published in journals, Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Botanic Gardens Conservation International and recently his photos in the Royal Horticulture Society magnolia quarterly.
His book Deep Rooted Wisdom; Lessons Learned from Generations of Gardeners, Timber Press, received acclaim from professional organizations and public media.
Professional activities include: Founding Board Member, Charleston Parks Conservancy. Book Review Committee, American Horticulture Society. Volunteer Designer The Audubon Society.
Jenks lives with his family on an 18th century South Carolina farm. From that farm, Jenks does garden design work from New Orleans to Charleston, specializing in environmentally sound designs. Major recent projects include the Florence Museum Garden, a master plan for an agricultural college in Cange Haiti, and its home to his pioneering nursery which has led the resurgence of interest in the genus Crinum.