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Visit Winston-Salem

Rooted in History: Bountiful Heirloom Gardens to Discover

Winston-Salem boasts a number of impressive historic and heirloom gardens that tell the rich agricultural history of the city. Spring and summer seasons bring gorgeous blossoms of hydrangeas, bright sunflowers, fragrant herbs (be sure to shop our Farmers Markets) and leafy vegetables. The earliest known community garden was planted in 1759 just 10 minutes outside of present-day Winston-Salem in Bethabara, the first North Carolina Moravian settlement. Then, in 1766, the Moravians settled the town of Salem and gardening practices which were once used for stocking their own pantries became a successful means of trade. It's safe to say our deep Moravian roots have set the standard for gardening in Winston-Salem since their arrival more than two centuries ago. Winston-Salem has an abundance of well-maintained historical gardens for visitors to tour. Below is a preview of our scenic gardens you can experience on your visit to Winston-Salem. 

 

Gardens to Explore

Historic Bethabara Park

Take a walk through the gardens at Historic Bethabara Park and enter into the days of the 18th century North Carolina backcountry. Bethabara is home to Winston-Salem’s oldest gardens dating back to 1753. Early settlers used gardening as a way to stay connected to the community as well as provide nourishing meals. Today, the meticulously reconstructed gardens, though reconstructed, celebrate that same sentiment. The 1759 Community Garden at Historic Bethabara Park is surrounded by a hand-split picket fence and is lovingly maintained by local gardeners who specialize in colonial agriculture. Today heritage plants and other varieties are planted based on original documents by Christian Reuter, North Carolina’s first forest ranger. The community garden is the only known, well-documented colonial community garden in the U.S. Bethabara is also home to Hortus Medicus (reconstructed), the country's oldest known medical garden. Registered as a National Historic Landmark, Bethabara Park sets the standard for classical charm.
Click here to learn more.

Upcoming Spring Events:

Summer Nights - A Series of Bethabara Concert Band Performances
Thursdays; July 13, Aug. 10, and Sept. 14; 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Admission is free. 
2017 marks the 31st anniversary of the Bethabara Concert band, whose first public performance took place at Historic Bethabara Park on September 4, 1986. Enjoy evenings outdoors with the Bethabara Concert Band. Bring the family, a blanket and picnic dinner. Enjoy hay wagon rides, children's games, ice cream, Dino's New York hot dogs, and wonderful music from all eras by the band. Immediately following the concert, enjoy the sounds of Big Band and swing music.

History of the Band
Moravians have a long history of celebrating the events of their life through music. Discover that tradition and history at Historic Bethabara Park, the birthplace of Winston-Salem. 

  • Thursday, July 13, 6 - 8:30 p.m. (Children's activities begin at 6 p.m. The Band begins at 7 p.m.)
  • Thursday, August 10, 6 - 8:30 p.m. (Children's activities begin at 6 p.m. The Band begins at 7 p.m.)
  • Thursday, September 14, 5:30 - 8 p.m. (Children's activities begin at 5:30 p.m. The Band begins at 6:30 p.m.)

 

Old Salem Museums & Gardens

The Single Brothers’ Garden in historic Old Salem was once responsible for feeding as many as sixty men of the Salem Single Brothers’ Choir. Now an award-winning restoration garden, it is the largest interpreted garden in Old Salem. Today the Single Brothers’ Garden is planted with crops representing what the unmarried men grew in their kitchen garden during the late 18th century as well as some of their field crops. Heirloom vegetables and grains are found in the garden throughout spring. To learn more about Single Brothers' Garden click here

Across from the Single Brothers' Garden are the Miksch Gardens and House. Offering visitors a look at the "Seed to Soil to Supper" process, this is the most intensive living history site in Salem. Here (ticket required) visitors are immersed into the life-sustaining activities of the 18th century as they interact with the interpreters.
History of the Miksch family: The 1771 Matthew Miksch House is the first single family home built in Salem. Matthew Miksch was trained as a gardener in Europe where he learned the skills to support his family by growing and selling vegetables, seeds and young fruit trees. He served as the forester and assisted master surveyor, Christian Reuter, with the survey of Wachovia.

Old Salem Museums & Gardens is one of America's most well-documented historic attractions. Old Salem engages visitors in an educational and memorable experience about the Moravians who settled, lived and worked in Salem in the early South. Spring garden workshops are offered now through May in Old Salem. Enjoy learning in the historic town of Salem where one can walk the cobblestone sidewalks to the beautiful heirloom gardens. To register for the workshops below please visit their site here.

Upcoming Garden Workshops and Events

Autumn Leaves Tour
Friday, Oct. 27; Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Meet at the Market-Fire Engine House on Salem Square (Near Single Brothers House at 600 Main Street)
Encounter some of North Carolina's most vividly colored fall scenes while in the beautiful historic setting of Old Salem. A multi-chromatic experience is set off by the texture and form of the ancient buildings dating to 1766 when Salem was settled by Moravians. Tour guide Toby Bost, discusses not only characteristics of each species and historical uses, but also the value of trees in the landscape today and how they might work in your yard, or as street trees.

All participants receive “A Walking Guide to the Trees of Old Salem”
The tour is expected to last approximatle 1.5 hours so confortable walking shoes and water for hydration are encouraged.
Cost: $17 per person. Call 1-800-441-5305 to secure your reservation.

 

Reynolda Gardens

Adjacent to the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, the Reynolda Gardens paint a vivid portrait of roses in full bloom, seasonal vegetables and interesting succulents. A walk through the gardens and into the greenhouse not only provides stunning scenery -- it provides a history lesson on early 20th century Winston-Salem during the Reynolds family era. Designed in 1913 on the historic estate of Winston-Salem's tobacco tycoon R.J. Reynolds and wife Katharine Reynolds, Reynolda Gardens hosts numerous year round workshops allowing visitors to learn new gardening techniques as well as discover Katharine Reynolds' vision of these magnificent gardens. With plants native to the area showing what it would have looked like then and new plant introductions to add a modern vibe, the Reynolda Gardens are the perfect example of how history is still very present today. Start your journey inside the reconstructed greenhouse then venture on to see the boathouse, wetlands and maybe take a jog on wooded trails. 

Reynolda Gardens is free to tour and open year round during daylight hours. Please visit reynoldagardens.org to learn more.

 

Tanglewood Park Arboretum

Featuring twenty-six spectacular gardens that showcase seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, and a wide variety of trees native to the area. The Arboretum and Gardens at Tanglewood is one of the most beautiful outdoor attractions in Forsyth County. Nestled behind Tanglewood's historic Manor House, the gardens are open to the public year-round.

2017 Arboretum Adult Education Seminars
 All classes are free to attend. Mention the Arboretum Seminar to the park officer working the main entrance for free admission into the park. 
Arboretum Office Location: 4201 Manor House Circle, Clemmons, NC 27012

To register for any Arboretum Seminar, please email coop-ext-registration@forsyth.cc or call 336-703-2850 no earlier than 2 weeks before the date of the program.

Find the Arboretum Office at Tanglewood:
The Arboretum Office is a white building located behind the Manor House which is on your left-hand side after you enter the park. You may park in the Manor House parking lot, which is to the right of the house as you face it from the street.

 

Creative Vegetable Gardening
Wednesday, July 19; 11 a.m. - noon
Learn how to use your creative talent and innovative spirit to increase productivity in the vegetable garden and make it a fun place to work. 

Gardening for Butterflies
Wednesday, Aug. 16; 11 a.m. - noon
Invite some fascinating and colorful winged friends to visit the plants you are growing. Find out what plants butterflies prefer and how to take care of them. Harriet McCarthy, Forsyth County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, will lead this program.

NC Department of Wildflower Program
Wednesday, Sept. 6
Learn about the history of the NC Wildflower Program and the plants used along the NC highways. Statewide electronic images from the program are included. Derek Smith, Environmental Engineer for NC Department of Transportation, will lead this program.

Berries for the Home Garden
Wednesday, October 4; 11 a.m. - noon
Berries for the Home Garden: Learn how to grow blueberries successfully and increase your crop’s yield. Preparing the soil, adding necessary amendments such as fertilizer, calculating the number of shrubs, pruning, and harvesting will all be discussed. 

Spring-Blooming Bulbs
Wednesday, Nov. 1; 11 a.m. - noon
Learn how to extend your spring bulb season by incorporating early, mid, and late varieties. Planting bulbs to create layers of color, size, and texture in the garden will also be discussed. Adrienne Roethling, Garden Curator for Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, will present this program.

 

Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden   

Our newest garden celebrates new and historic roots. Located in the heart of Kernersville, just 15 minutes outside from downtown Winston-Salem, sits Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden with two acres, 15 separate gardens and 1,300 different types of plants. An extraordinary feature found here is the Kitchen Garden, planted in accordance with Moravian tradition. The Pattern Garden at PJCBG contains the largest spring bulb display in the Piedmont Triad area.
The garden is open from dawn until dusk 365 days a year.
Admission is free.
For information on Paul J. Ciener and their gardening lectures series and events click here

Check out Paul J. Ciener's Event and Workshop Calendar:

Yoga and Pilates in the Garden
Select dates July - September (see full schedule below) 
Join Paul J. Ciener this summer and fall for a special Yoga and Pilates series in the Garden, taught by Mindful Bodi Movement. Participants are asked to bring their own yoga mat and come dressed for the class. (No changing or restroom facilities are available for this class.)
Free to attend, though registration is requested. 

Class Schedule:

  • Saturday, July 1; 9 a.m. (Yoga)
  • Thursday, July 20; 6:30 p.m. (Pilates)
  • Saturday, Aug. 5; 9 a.m. (Yoga)
  • Saturday, Sept. 2; 9 a.m. (Pilates)
  • Thursday, September 21; 6:30 p.m. (Yoga)

Register online here

Growing Miniature Hostas in North Carolina
Thursday, July 13; 6 - 7 p.m.
Learn tricks to grow hosta minis successfully, including the best ones to grow and clever ways to display them. A selection of miniature hostas will also be on-hand for participants to handle personally. Light refreshments will be served. To register, call 336-996-7888 or register online at the PJCBG website here
Cost: $5 donation for non-members.

A Curated Tour of our Tropical Garden
Thursday, Aug. 10; 6 - 7 p.m.
Join Paul J. Ciener Garden Curator, Adrienne Roethling and discover the Tropical Garden, PJCBG's first garden,  exploding with leaves of the large bananas and elephant ears, the flowers of ginger and canna lilies and more, that thrive in summer heat and humidity.
Cost: $5 donation/non-members
To register, call 336-996-7888 or register online here

 

Seasonal Farmers Markets in Winston-Salem

The spring and summer months are known for stirring the senses and inspiring creativity in the kitchen. Visit Winston-Salem's many farmers markets and treat your palate to fresh berries, fragrant herbs and bright vegetables. Just can’t wait for the weekend markets? Cobblestone Farmers Market Downtown is located in the Downtown Arts District every Wednesday afternoon. Tanglewood Park Farmers Market covers double shifts on Thursdays and Saturdays and Reynolda Village Farmer’s Market offers a Friday fill-up on produce, meats and flowers. Weekend markets include the Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem, Kernersville Farmers Market and the year-round Dixie Classic Farmer’s Market, each on Saturdays.

 

Cobblestone Farmers Market: Historic Old Salem District
Every Saturday, April-November
9 a.m. - Noon 
Old Salem Museum & Gardens
Corner of West & Salt Streets, adjacent to the Single Brothers Garden
 
Ranked as one of the best farmers markets in America by U.S. News & World Report, Old Salem Cobblestone Market is a bountiful, producer-only market that entices food-enthusiasts with farm fresh vegetables/produce, leafy greens, grass-fed beef and lamb and freshly picked flowers. Click here to see the rankings.
The Old Salem Cobblestone Market is located next to the Single Brothers Garden and is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. To learn more about seasonal offerings at the market click here.
Mother-daughter duo Margaret and Salem Norfleet Neff created and operate the Cobblestone Markets and are also the proprietors for Beta Verde. Beta Verde is a “home sown” production that retails small batch local pickles and preserves. Many of the ingredients are harvested in Margaret and Salem’s backyard along with the partnership of local farms. To learn more information about Beta Verde click here.

Dixie Classic Farmers Market
Every Saturday Year-round; 6 a.m. - 1 p.m.
421 W. 27th Street (Dixie Classic Fairgrounds)
Winston-Salem's only year-round Saturday farmers market features locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, flowers, jams, jellies, meats, honey, a variety of crafts and fresh baked goods. The Dixie Classic Fair Farmers Market is open on the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds every Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.  For updates on weekly vendors visit their website at www.dcfair.com/farmers-market.

Tanglewood Park Farmers Market
May - October
Every Thursday; 4 - 6 p.m. and every Saturday; 8:30 am.. - noon
4201 Manor House Circle
Clemmons, NC 27012
Winston-Salem's newest farmers market is held on the scenic grounds of Tanglewood Park. Patrons look forward to finding a variety of fresh, locally sourced meats, cheeses, produce and herbs. The Market is located across from the Tanglewood RV Campground and adjacent to the dog park area. Patrons are able to access the farmers market without paying the park entrance.
Visit their website here