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Cultivating Place: GARDEN FUTURE FORWARD, The Botanic Garden, Tim Johnson & Jamil DePeiza-Kern

Sheri Peabody
Smith College

To kick off the new year, Cultivating Place offers out the first in what will be an ongoing and intermittent series exploring Fresh Starts in our horticultural and gardening world.

Following up on last week’s show with Duron Chavis, in which we explored some of the obstacles, hobbles and even failures of imagination in the botanic and garden world, this week we dive into a botanic garden endeavoring to imagine a fresh start to what they do, how they do it, and to whom it is of greatest service.

The Botanic Garden at Smith College opened its well-endowed collection in 1895 and celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2020.


Credit Sarah Crosby / Smith College
Smith College
Jamila DePieza-Kern


This week’ we’re are in conversation with Tim Johnson Director of the Garden going on 4 years now, and Jamila dePeiza-Kern, a student in her Junior year at Smith and involved with the garden since the earliest days of her freshman year.

As these two share in our conversation, the Botanic Garden at Smith College, the original design for which was created by Frederick Law Olmsted, is a venerable university-based botanic garden striving to meet the needs of our times with intelligence, heart and imagination.


Join us to hear more on Cultivating Place this week.


Credit Smith College
Smith College
Tim Johnson

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We can't thank you enough for making it possible for this young program to grow even more of these types of conversations.

The show is available as a podcast onSoundCloud,iTunesGoogle Podcast, and Stitcher. To read more and for many more photos please visit

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Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.