Born and raised on an eighteenth-century farmhouse in Beech Island, it is only fitting that Jenks Farmer, a seventh-generation South Carolinian, grew up to be a nursery owner and garden curator. As the surname suggests, the Jenks' family maintained a self-reliant farm and grew its own food. As a child, Jenks climbed on magnolia trees, transforming them into a playground. He learned that the trees were originally planted to shade those walking through the yard. As a result, Jenks realized from an early age that plants had intentional purposes.
Fascinated by the myth and romance of plants, Jenks turned his appreciation into a lifelong career. Jenks studied Horticulture at Clemson University. As a student, he was able to take advantage of an internship opportunity at The University of Zambia and was able to study the country's plant history. He then furthered his education with a master's degree in Public Garden Management and Forestry from The University of Washington.
Jenks education blossomed into a career. After 25 years of experience, Jenks has built a thriving nursery in addition to a successful career as a garden curator and designer. Owner and operator for LushLife Nursery, a family run connoisseur nursery specializing in Crinum, Jenks maintains Crinum varieties and names to horticulturists throughout the country. He is also currently the curator and designer for Moore Farms, a private 25-acre garden, managing forestry planning and plant databases. Jenks has designed gardens from Seattle to Managua. He's also managed the construction of Riverbanks Botanical Garden. Currently, he is director of Moore Farms Garden, a private Botanical Garden in South Carolina.
Travel is important to Jenks. Each year he takes a hobby-directed vacation to a new place to explore and photograph the vegetation in order to learn more about the area's indigenous plants. He has traveled extensively in Central America where he welcomes friends to tag along to explore and journal their findings. The most recent trip included the Easter Islands and Chile. Sometimes Jenks travel activities include lectures to diverse groups including the Smithsonian Institute.
You can catch Jenks articles in Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening, Horticulture, American Nurseryman and several scientific journals. Jenks continues to find time to be a hands-on gardener despite maintaining a very busy schedule. He finds mental rejuvenation in the yard, in the dirt and amongst the plants.
Jenks's Recent Posts
Beans: A Nurse Crop for Perennials
10 Perennials You Should Plant in the Heat of Summer