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Jenks Farmer Book Signing & Discussion – Evening Session

March 21 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Join renowned author, garden designer, and plantsman Jenks Farmer, and longtime friend, mentee, colleague…and now cover model, Conservancy horticulturist Kellen Goodell at Colonial Lake for a fun and informative discussion of plants, gardening, Jenks’s career highlights, and many other topics; all in celebration of the release of Jenks’s fourth book – Garden Disruptors: The Rebel Misfits Who Turned Southern Horticulture On Its Head. 

The backdrop for our talk is beautiful Colonial Lake, another park and horticultural project that pushed the envelope of its time and was envisioned with a similar ethos. Jenks provided plant material and input towards the project, which was designed and managed by some of his colleagues. He visits the park each time he comes to Charleston and has written about its unique character.

Not a symposium, no slideshow, just many different topics, stories, and Q&A. Choose between a 9am or 5pm book signing and informal discussion on Thursday, March 21st. Session size is limited. Tickets are $60 including a signed copy of the book ($20 book)

Morning Book Signing 9am tickets here. 

Evening Book Signing 5pm tickets here. 

About Jenks Farmer

Augustus Jenkins Farmer III is a renaissance plantsman. Born into a family of artists, musicians, and farmers, he fell in love with the natural world early in his childhood and later went on to pursue a formal education in Plant and Environmental Sciences at Clemson University and Botanical Garden Design at the University of Washington.

For the last twenty years Jenks has led teams responsible for establishing two of South Carolina’s major botanical gardens. He’s presented lectures for groups such 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 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.

As the former director of Riverbanks Botanical Garden and founding horticulturist of Moore Farms Garden, Jenks has a true talent and passion for inspiring people of all ages and from all walks of life to go outside and get their hands dirty.

About Garden Disruptors

In the 1990s, a South Carolina town built its first botanical garden. For a small town, that was big news. For a small Southern town, that it was led by two gay men and a feminist was astounding as the Garden became a national showcase for new styles, even earning recognition on HGTV’s “Secrets of Great Gardens.”

One of the young men, Jenks Farmer, had previously left the conservative South but returned with a mission: to challenge traditional notions of garden beauty, which clung to formality and associated certain plants with stigmas of poverty and race.

These Garden Disruptors challenged genteel social norms of race, homophobia, and sexism while shoveling compost, searching for plants, and planting flowers. The crew of creative misfits built a garden that attracts millions of people today.

In this novel-like true story, Jenks Farmer’s soulful voice shares the story of a mismatched crew of real, dirty-handed gardeners who not only planted the garden but set its mission.

Through these characters, Jenks also recounts the history of elitist horticulture, of sexual and racial discrimination in gardens, and of how social norms changed drastically in the South during the period of the garden’s construction and opening.


March 21
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


Colonial Lake Park