Gardens are more than collections of plants. Gardens and Gardeners are intersectional spaces and agents for positive change in our world. Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden, a weekly public radio program & podcast is a voice for, with, and about gardeners and nature lovers of all manner around the globe, exploring how and why we garden - what we mean when we garden. 


Together, we center gardens and gardeners as paradigm shifters improving our relationships to and impacts on the more-than-human natural environment, on the larger culture(s), and on our communal and individual health and well-being. Through thoughtful conversations with growers, gardeners, naturalists, scientists, artists and thinkers, Cultivating Place illustrates the many ways in which gardens and gardening are integral to our natural and cultural literacy - on par with Art, Science, Literature, Music, Religion. 

Gardens encourage a direct relationship with the dynamic processes of the plants, animals, soils, seasons, and climatic factors that come to bear on a garden, providing a unique, and uniquely beautiful, bridge connecting us to our larger environments — culturally and botanically. With 38% of US households engaging in gardening - we are many, and especially together, we make a difference in this world. 


These conversations celebrate how all these interconnections support the places we cultivate, nourish our bodies, and feed our spirits. Take a listen.

A co-production of North State Public Radio (KCHO 91.7 FM in Chico, CA and KFPR 88.9 FM in Redding, CA) and Jewellgarden.comCultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden airs Thursdays at 10:00 AM, and Sundays at 9 AM. The program is engineered by Matt Fidler, and with original theme music by Ma Muse, accompanied by Joe Craven and Sam Bevan.

Produced from a physical base on traditional lands of the Mechoopda Maidu Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria, Cultivating Place builds on and deepens the conversations begun in 8 years of creating, writing and hosting the regionally focused In a North State Garden: Celebrating the Art, Craft and Science of Gardening in Northern California, which aired on North State Public Radio from January of 2008 - January of 2016. 


Cultivating Place is my baby, but there's very little in life we do all by ourselves without the input, support, and creativity of many other people - I am thankful for them all:


- Original artwork for the logo, website and business cards was commissioned from Chico, CA based artist Candy Matthews. She is a shero for sure. 

- Graphic design on other art and media pieces by Amy Gomersall of Chico, CA based Art in Motion Design Studio. Email on request.

- Website design and support is by Alissa Hessler, of Hessler Creative

- PR and marketing support from Experience Curation Consulting





I'm Jennifer - the creator, writer and host of Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden, airing on North State Public Radio (KCHO/KFPR, every Thursday at 10 am. The podcast goes live at the same time each week and is distributed nationally by PRX, Public Radio Exchange.

I learned to how and why to garden, and the spiritual philosophy of compost from my mother, Sheila Balding Jewell - who died in 1997. I learned to love the great outdoors and the diversity and interconnectedness of all life from my wildlife biologist father, Samuel Rea Jewell. I learned to marry these two critical elements of my formative years through my life thus far - traveling the world, reading, gardening and hiking wherever I was, and reaching out to and being inspired by the generous, smart, plant and garden people in every place I've called home. I learned some good stuff in college, too (I received my bachelor of liberal arts degree from Harvard University). After college, I went to work as an arts and literature editor and writer in Seattle, WA for Microsoft's Encarta encyclopedia; I tried unsuccessfully to convince them to add in depth articles for every major garden around the world. So, I turned my focus to writing, speaking and advocating for the importance of gardens/gardening/gardeners in our world. 


My writing and photography have been featured in publications including Gardens IllustratedHouse & Garden, and Pacific Horticulture. From 2008 - 2016 I created, wrote and hosted the weekly, regionally-focused In a North State Garden on North State Public Radio. From 2010 -2017 I worked as the curatorial assistant to the director and the curator of the native plant garden at Gateway Science Museum on the campus of CSU, Chico in Chico, CA, which was a delight. 

I believe in the power of mission-driven, non-profits, and I happily serve on the board of the Pacific Horticulture Society and am a long-time member of other national and regional gardening organizations, in the California Native Plant Society and Garden Communicators International.


I enjoy the dry summers, cool (with luck) damp winters and enormous diversity of native plants in interior Northern California - where my dog, my cat and my two smart, funny, lovely and lively daughters. remind me that it's time to come in from the garden for dinner and bed. They've been cutting flowers, helping with compost and tending to creatures in gardens since before they could walk and they still seem to love the power of mother nature, the garden and me. So that's good.


I consider myself supremely lucky to do what I do, in the company of the plants and plants people with whom I do it. 



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Since 2010, as part of her on-going work at Gateway Science Museum and in collaboration with plantsman, garden designer, and photographer John Whittlesey of Canyon Creek Nursery & Design, Jennifer Jewell has produced and co-produced natural history exhibits designed for small to mid-sized science and natural history museums. These include exhibits on Dendrochronology, Clouds, and three educational and interactive natural history exhibits with Exhibit Envoy.


An exhibit portraying the relationship between flowers and pollinators. The exhibit is based around 50-some photographs of pollinators in wild and garden settings. These images vividly portray the intriguing lives of many kinds of pollinators. While many people recognize the European honeybee as an important pollinator, Keeping Company with Flowers primarily highlights native pollinators - native bees,butterflies, beetles, flies and others, which play a key role in the ecology of California.

Pollinators: Keeping Company with Flowers aims to increase awareness and appreciation of the incredible beauty and diversity of pollinators. Of the 4,000 known bee species in the US, 1,600 occur in California. Through close-up photographs and supplemental materials, this exhibit introduces a diversity of pollinators, the various processes of pollination, the needs of pollinators, the obstacles their populations are facing, and what can and is being done to support them.


An exhibit exploring the fascinating life cycles, biology and important roles of fungi in our environment. While the Fungi Kingdom includes more than one million species, this exhibit primarily focuses on the mushroom-producing fungi. The exhibit is based around 30 photographs of mushrooms (the fruiting bodies of fungi) in the wild, taken by John Whittlesey and Jennifer Jewell.

Mushrooms aims to increase awareness and appreciation of the incredible beauty, diversity and critical importance of mushroom producing-fungi in our environment. Through large, detailed photographs and supplemental materials, this exhibit introduces viewers to a wide range of mushroom-producing fungi (gilled, pored, jelly, etc.), and their valuable roles in the environment (saprophytic, symbiotic, etc.)


An exhibit exploring the science of seeds and seed dispersal is a vast field of botanical study known as seed ecology, or carpology. Seeds, with their various support structures and dispersal mechanisms, are critically important to all of life – as the future of the health and diversity of the world’s plants, and as an important food source for wildlife and humans alike. Seed structures and their many ingenious dispersal strategies are elegant in their simplicity or their intricacy. 

Seeds introduces visitors to basic seed ecology and a range of amazing seed structures seen in some of California’s native plants through vivid photography, in-depth interpretive and interactive materials.

For more information on hosting these exhibits, please contact Exhibit Envoy:

(415) 525-1553  |







Please see Events Page for more information on current and future events. If you believe your organization’s work and or the mission of the event is a good fit for our work and philosophy, please submit an inquiry with all relevant information and available speaking fee and travel budget.  

While I am happy to speak with you about customized presentations or workshops, I have a variety of  existing talks/interactive workshops based on the interest and needs of previous groups, they range from 30 - 90 minutes in length:

  • CULTIVATING PLACE: Gardens/Gardeners as Intersectional Agents of Change

  • WOMEN IN HORTICULTURE Changing the World (including you in your garden)


  • PUBLIC GARDENS and the Power to Lead Change

  • THE EARTH IN HER (OUR) HANDS - 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants


  • SEEDS: Nature's Ancient/Artful Growing of the World


To inquire about rates and availability contact us here and let us know the scope of work you're looking for as well as your timeline and budget where applicable.


Currently we only publish original content and as such do not accept unsolicited guest submissions.


We don't currently run ads on Jewellgarden or Cultivating Place. We do, however, create custom campaigns and sponsored posts for a select few products and brands that are a good fit. Please contact us to inquire about sponsorships. 


We don't do posts or reviews in exchange for product. If you truly think your product would be an ideal fit for our listeners and readers & with the Cultivating Place brand, feel free to submit it with photos attached or linked to. 


We ask that you not republish our photos or posts, but you may use 1-2 photos and link back to Cultivating Place with credit in the copy if you are a non-profit or another garden writer. If you are a for profit business or company, please inquire about rates before using any of our photographs.



The word garden does not mean just one thing – and there's not one way or right way to get to what they are and how they’re best achieved. Gardens are both more and less obvious versions of our selves, our fingerprints, our signatures, our reflections, our legacies– as individuals and as cultures. 


Jewellgarden is the canopy name under which you will find the various botanically-minded creative pursuits of me, Jennifer Jewell. I love gardens, I love nature, I love gardeners and nature lovers. As a corps of passionate, caring and connected people, I think we make a difference for the better in this world. We make a difference to our own mindsets, to our families, to our communities, economies and the environment - all of which need us to show up as our best selves every day. Gardens, gardening and gardeners matter.


Founded in 2007, Jewellgarden's mission is to explore and celebrate a deeper connection to the world around us through the cultivation of our gardens.


I raise my daughters, work in my own little suburban garden with natives and non-invasive non-natives, visiting weeds and lots of birds and bugs and gophers. I write, photograph, create and co-create natural history exhibits about plants and people.


But mostly I work my heart out at my weekly public radio program and podcast: Cultivating Place, on which I have the great pleasure and privilege of speaking with fascinating people involved in the science, art, craft, and culture of plant, garden, and natural history love. My guests and my listeners expand my own understanding of the world every single week.


Everything I do is founded on these beliefs:


Gardens are some perfect combination of history, culture and nature, of meditation, celebration and prayer. They are produce and they are poetry. Gardens are refuge from the world and, in my life, gardens are among my deepest, best connections to the world.

Sourced in and contributing to our evolving natural history, gardens hold vast potential. The impulse to cultivate the land for beauty and utility is timeless – the Ancient Egyptians cultivated their places, early Native Americans cultivated theirs, we – whoever we may be - cultivate ours. This primal impulse transcends gender, age, politics, socioeconomics and religion. I am a firm believer that in this impulse to cultivate and garden in the places we live, we find meaning. In this cultivation of place, we can possibly find solutions we have found nowhere else to the problems of the world, which we find everywhere.

Join me in this on-going conversation and let it make a difference to your gardening practice and life, too.

The Cultivating Place Garden-Variety World View:


Gardening at its best is a long-term, committed, and loving relationship between all living beings great and small (animal, vegetable, mineral - seen and unseen) and our places. 


Its first principles include: do no harm and honor all the diverse parts and players in this dynamic, interdependent process -

a process that calls on all our powers of hand, mind, and heart. 


To be a Gardener is beautiful, but not always pretty. 


To be a Gardener is profoundly satisfying, but it is neither easy nor perfectable. 


It is muddy, scratchy, fragrant, flavorful, fun, heartbreaking, and heart-fueling.


To be a Gardener asks us to embrace our smallness and to live more lightly, and yet expands us daily and beyond measure. 


A Garden/Gardener relationship is symbiotic - to be practiced and shared with respect, humility, and pride.


A Garden/Gardener relationship is a full-contact, wholehearted, co-evolving, true love.


Our Garden/Gardener relationships, which connect us so deeply to the nature of this world, hold the potential to change everything for the better - 

  • ourselves as citizens of this generous planet, our families and what they hold to be true and valuable, 

  • our larger human communities - their very social fabric and cultural, environmental, political, and economic priorities, 

  • the health and well-being of our surrounding places full of more-than-human air, water, soil, animal and plant-life-all that bridges us here to us over there… and over there…and down there, out there, and up there. 


We are all in this together and Gardens and Gardeners make a difference. 

-   February 2019 

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