North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture

Cohosted by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum

"The Bristol Briar: From Space to Place"
Jeremy Schmidt and Meghan Fidler, Ph.D.

  • Saturday, April 17, 2021 – 10:00 am11:30 am

Meghan and Jeremy will chronicle the inception and ongoing construction of their home garden, the Bristol Briar. The development of this garden will touch on the concepts of space, place, and home as it relates to a garden. By using the Bristol Briar as a case study, the cultural constructs which create defining features of a landscape will be explored. These observations relate to HOAs, curb appeal, utilitarian use, comparative layout in botanical gardens, and what can be recognized as home. Located in southeastern Raleigh, the Bristol Briar is home to a 3,000 gallon koi pond, vegetable gardens, several raised berms, three rain gardens, and over 750 different kinds of plants ... all cobbled together by over 80,000 pounds of planted boulder walls.

The Bristol Briar

Meghan Fidler and Jeremy Schmidt

About the Speakers

Meghan Sarah Fidler is the nursery manager at Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden (2017–present). She earned a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at the four field school provided by Southern Illinois University, specializing in the relationships between people, plants, and technology (2014). Her regional specialization is East Asia, with primary emphasis in Japan (three years), China (two years), and Taiwan (one year). Her research emphasizes the way cultures perceive botanic space, incorporating the experience of symbolic meaning for elements of the garden in ethnobotany.

Jeremy A. Schmidt is the research and grounds supervisor at Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden (2008–present) and owner of a small business, HortCo, The Horticulture Company, (1998–present). He earned a bachelor's degree in landscape horticulture from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (2005), and gained curatorial and research experience at Longwood Gardens (2006). His extensive hands on experience has led him to innovate radical techniques for organically amending soil and creating garden spaces—notably, fighting compaction with compaction. For more than two decades, Jeremy has studied eastern and midwestern U.S. plant populations throughout their natural and introduced range. His botanical foci are documentation of plants in situ (especially the genus Trillium), and ex situ conservation through horticulture. By incorporating stone into the garden, Jeremy promotes the marriage of living art and ex situ botanical diversity in the landscape. In the past three years, Jeremy has stacked over one million pounds of stone in specialized rock garden beds, supporting over 3,000 plant taxa. When not in the garden, Jeremy is likely to be in his boat fishing.

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