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Jenks Farmer, Plantsman

Augustus Jenkins Farmer III 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.

An engaging storyteller and teacher, Jenks has a real talent for getting people of all ages and from all walks of life to go outside and get their hands dirty. He’s also presented lectures for groups as varied as the North Carolina State Agricultural faculty, the Smithsonian, Wave Hill, Master Gardener clubs, and, of course, his grandmother’s Allendale Ladies Afternoon Reading Club.

His writing has been published in scientific journals and popular magazines like Organic Gardening and Horticulture. He is the author of the quarterly publication Gardening with Crinum Lilies and Deep Rooted Wisdom: Lessons Learned from Generations of Gardeners, published by Timber Press in 2014.