Lecture Series

All lectures will be held at the Queen Street Playhouse
20 Queen Street, Charleston SC 29401


Title Sponsor: Bartlett Tree Experts
Supporting Sponsors: Queen Street Playhouse and South State Bank

Our monthly educational Lecture Series, FREE to current CHS members, welcomes horticultural experts from all over the country, as well as locally, to share their experiences and expertise on a variety of subjects from landscape design and preservation to butterflies and world travel. Our lectures always are tailored to be relevant to gardening and growing here in the Lowcountry and are attended by over 1500 members and visitors each season.

Queen Street Lot: On Mondays after 5pm lecture attendees can park in the bricked off parking lot on Queen St. between Church and Meeting Streets. The lot is on the left side of the street after you pass by the Dock Street Theatre. This lot is only a block away from the Queen Street Playhouse. Please only park one of the 25 spaces marked South State Bank parking

Cumberland Garage: You may also park in the Cumberland Street Parking Garage at the corner of Church and Cumberland Streets. This lot is only a less than two minute walk to the theatre. 

Street Parking: The theatre is in a residential area with parking limited to one hour. Metered parking is also available for up to two hours along many nearby streets. 

Due to the surge in new COVID cases we, and the Queen Street Playhouse, are requiring all attendees to wear masks at all times while in the building. The staff is fully vaccinated and will wear a mask when interacting with our patrons. We thank you for your support and willingness to maintain the safety of our community.

Jenks Farmer, horticulturalist, garden designer and author 
Rooted Wisdom: Old School Skills, Modern Gardens
Monday Sept. 13th at 6:30pm
Free for CHS Hort Members, $10 for guests 

Join us for our first lecture back in person, at the Queen Street Playhouse, as we welcome renowned and innovative South Carolina horticulturalist and gardener Jenks Farmer as he takes us to the intersection of where old school skills meet new world gardening with stories and adventures from his latest best-selling book Deep Rooted Wisdom.

‘Even at an early age I knew how to take care of plants. I grew up a tenth-generation South Carolinian on an old farm that was, for all intents and purposes, failing. In the old sense of the word, our farm was romantic. I remember vividly the wisteria draped barns, the magnolia swamp, and the decades of heirloom flowers layered along the yard. The house itself was built in the mid-17th century. I had a little garden right by the shed that my mother had set up for me. 


Today, that failing farm from my childhood is an organic mail order nursery. It was one of the first on the internet back in the ‘90s and later became one of the leaders in organically run nurseries in the country. It’s a horticultural tour spot for students, professionals, and plant lovers alike. It continues to thrive off of the lessons we’ve learned over time, like those in my new book Deep Rooted Wisdom. We’re a small but profitable enterprise — one of the largest producers of our specialty flower in the US. At our farm we never buy fertilizer; we build soil. We use cover-crops. We work by hand. And we do it all one bulb at a time.’

Featured in the New York Times, Garden and Gun, Southern Living, and the Dallas Morning News, Jenks Farmer led teams in establishing the gardens of Historic Columbia, the Charleston Parks Conservancy, and, most notably, helped guide the vision for two of South Carolina’s major botanical gardens: Riverbanks Botanical Garden and Darla Moore’s Botanical Garden.

A member of the American Horticultural Society Book Award Committee, Farmer is a regular presenter at EPCOT International Flower Show, Wave Hill, Denver Botanical Garden, Smithsonian, and his grandmother’s Allendale Ladies Afternoon Study Club. Farmer is passionate about encouraging people of all ages and all walks of life to get outside and get their hands in the dirt. 


Thank you to our sponsors!

Bartlett Tree Experts
Queen Street Playhouse

2021-2022 Lecture Speakers
(lectures will be held at Queen Street Playhouse)
Sept.: Jenks Farmer
Oct. : Rudy Mancke
Nov.: Molly Hendry
Feb.: Andrew Bunting
Mar.: Dan Hinkley
May: Thomas Woltz

Lectures at the Charleston Museum unless otherwise noted
* held at Queen Street Playhouse 


2020-2021 (lectures held via Zoom)
Brent Heath
Jeff Jackson
Jason Dewees
Scott Parker
Beatrix Farrand film
Dr. Richard Olsen
Bennett Saunders

2019 – 2020:
Film: Piet Oudolf
Jen Stringer
Joe Lamp’l
Susan Johnson
Chris Woods
(Shortened season due to COVID pandemic.)

2018 – 2019
Vince Dooley
Jim Martin
Kirk Brown
Nancy Hart
Troy Marden
Joe Henderson
David Johnson

2017 – 2018
Brie Arthur
Mark Weathington
Andrea Sprott
Pam Beck
Ernest Koone III
Lloyd Traven
The Nichols Bros.

2|016 – 2017:
Andy McCabe
Linda Lanier
Rudy Mancke
Sidney Frasier
Amy Dabbs
Buddy Lee
Dr. Merle Shepard

2015 – 2016:
Rita Randolph
Ben Lenhardt
Joseph Tychonievich
Susan Haltom
Jon Carloftis
Adrienne Roethling
Pam Beck
Derek Wade

2014 – 2015:
Walter Reeves
Ted Stephens
Bill Welch
Patrick McMillan
Jonathan Wright
Vince Dooley
Karl Gercens
Bill Noble

2013 – 2014:
Glen Gardner
Dr. Lincoln Brower
Karl Gercens
Dean Norton
Betsy Pringle
Gregg Tepper
Sara Clow
Brian Upchurch

2012 – 2013:
Pam Beck
Kelby Fite
John Hoffman
Peter Hatch
Rita Randolph
George Sanko
Karl Gercens
Scott McMahan

2011- 2012:
Patrick McMillan
Ted Stevens
Sheila Wertimer
Bobby Ward
Robert Mottern
David Stickel
Pam Beck
Flo Chaffin