Opening Keynote Speaker Jenks Farmer

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.

Jenks' writing has been published in scientific journals and popular magazines such as Organic Gardening and Horticulture. He is one of five US horticulturists on the American Horticulture Society book review committee. 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. Jenks has a new book coming out April 1, 2019.

Keynote Topic:  Haybales to Flower Fields - Lessons for Your Yard from Transforming a Farm

Jenks shares lessons that he learned from transforming a family farm to a plant nursery

Session Topic:  Crinum Lilies - They Are Not Just for Cemeteries Anymore

Jenks reveals why and how Crinum Lilies can brighten your garden while creating and rekindling fond memories.

Closing Keynote Speaker Marie Butler
Marie Mims Butler finds and shares the joy of the garden. From the floriculture greenhouses and design studios at NC State to the wilds of the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, she has harvested practical gardening techniques, tough and tasty plants, glorious garden combinations, oddities and curiosities. As a garden speaker, she educates, teases and entertains audiences at botanical gardens, professional horticultural symposia, garden shows, Master Gardener classes and garden clubs. Named Horticulturist of the Year by the Hampton Roads Nursery and Landscape Association, Marie is the most recently escaped animal from the Virginia Zoo.

After 19 ½ years in captivity, she now roams free to travel and to report her findings to all who will listen. At home in her Chesapeake, VA, garden, Marie aspires to tame the weeds and provide behavioral enrichment for the desirable plants while meeting every whim of her two cats, Beauregard and Sasha.

Marie challenges everyone to find and cultivate the joy that is nature: plant, animal and human

Keynote Topic: I have Elephants in My Garden, So What's Your Problem - The Wild World of Zoo Horticulture

Marie educates and entertains with stories and knowledge gleaned as a zoo horticulturist, conquering challenges that give backyard gardeners hope.

Session Topic:  It's Time to Go to Pot

Marie presents container Ideas for downsizing your garden.

Session Speakers

Amy Tipton

Amy Tipton is the Assistant Director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. She has a Master of Science in Botany from Eastern Kentucky University where she served as a National Science Foundation Fellow. In addition, Amy studied drawing and printmaking, obtaining a Master of Fine Arts from Miami University. With more than 15 years of teaching experience in art and science, Amy has worked for the U.S. Forest Service, Davey Tree and the EKU Herbarium. She combines her love of plants and art in botanical drawing, and has been a recipient of the American Society of Botanical Artists' Anne Ophelia Dowden Grant. Amy loves native plants and cutting gardens, and sharing her passion for plants with others.

Topic:  A Gardener's Intent: Are We in Control?

Amy offers food for thought: Why DO I garden?  Where DO I fit into the natural world? How DO I make decisions within my gardening? What are the ramifications?

Chase Smoak

Chase Smoak is a Consumer Horticulturist with Clemson University Cooperative Extension for Sumter and Clarendon Counties. After serving four years in the Marine Corps infantry, he received his Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Clemson University in 2016. While there, Chase worked under Dr. Jeff Adelberg as a research assistant, focusing on the propagation of notoriously hard to root plants. Before joining the Clemson team in June 2018, Chase was a contract propagator and private consultant for businesses hoping to improve their propagation success. Propagation of recalcitrant plants and incorporating native plants into urban landscapes are his personal areas of interest. Chase has been married for eight years and has two children.

Topic:  How to Increase Success in Propagation of Hard to Root Stock Plants

Chase shares ways to get better results in propagating difficult but rewarding plants.

Tom Hall

Tom Hall, retired from the South Carolina Geodetic Survey, turns Jenks Farmer’s design ideas and clients' dreams into drawings. Trained in hand-drafting, he now drafts on computer to make sure designs fit and work within spaces; and to provide accurate scales, plant numbers and planning documents. Tom also is in charge of hand packing and tracking all nursery orders at the farm he shares with Jenks Farmer. Near the farm's packing shed, he cares for his bees, introducing visitors to them and their honey. Tom has delivered presentations about the connections between plants and bees at Master Gardener events, SC State Park events and, of course, on the farm. As a soldier Tom’s father brought home a wife from Japan and they settled near the fort in Columbia, SC, where Tom grew up. He’s also lived in St. Pete. Now, he and Jenks live half time in Columbia and half time on the farm at Beech Island, SC.

Topic:  Let Me Tell You Honey - It's All About the Plants

Tom explains how plants that bees visit influence the taste of honey.

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson is a Distinguished Agent in Urban Horticulture with Clemson Extension Service. Along with a Master's Degree in Plant Health from Clemson University, he is a Certified Nursery Professional with the South Carolina Green Industry Association. Paul coordinates and instructs the Master Gardener Program for York, Chester and Lancaster counties. He writes a monthly column for YC Magazine, a quarterly column for South Carolina Farmer magazine, and is a regular guest on SCETVs Making It Grow. Paul also presents 'First Friday in the Garden', a monthly lecture series for home gardeners on horticulture topics of seasonal interest at the Glencairn Garden Learning Center.

Topic: Pruning: The Case Against Shearing

Paul discusses proper pruning methods and how to avoid damaging plants by improper and too aggressive shearing.