2017 Conference on Restoring Southern Gardens & Landscapes

Gardening in a Golden Age

Gardening in a Golden Age
Southern Gardens & Landscapes

of the early 20th Century
and the Challenges to their Preservation



“Municipal Iris Gardens, Winston-Salem, NC”
postcard from 1940s ~ location Runnymede Park

“The Municipal Iris Garden contains 20,000 plants, of 525 varieties. The blossoms range from pure white to deep purple, gold, and dark red and are at their best during May. Weeping willows and rustic bridges add to the beauty of the rolling parkway.”

REGISTRATION FORM(PDF) – 2017 coming soon

CONFERENCE BROCHURE (PDF) – 2017 coming soon

Old Salem Museums & Gardens has served as the setting for the biennial Conference on Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes since the conference was founded in 1979.

The conference’s mission has always been to discuss historical horticulture, garden history, and landscape restoration in the southern states. The program presents topics of interest to the professional and layman alike and provides participants an opportunity to learn and share information about this field in the South.


Conference Co-Sponsors:



sghs-120 old-salem-logo-100 rhmaa-primary_logo-110


2017 Conference on Restoring Southern Gardens & LandscapesSeptember 21—23, 2017Winston-Salem, North Carolina

“Gardening in a Golden Age”
with noted scholars

Sam Watters will present the Flora Ann Bynum Keynote Lecture. Mr. Watters is author of Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935: Photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston. His forthcoming monograph on Richard Morris Hunt, architect of Biltmore House and landmark Gilded Age public and residential projects, is to be published in 2022 by Yale University Press in association with the Library of Congress.

Conference Presenters include:

Virginia Grace Tuttle,
author of The Once & Future Gardener: Garden Writing from the Golden Age of Magazines, 1900-1940

Staci Catron and Mary Ann Eaddy,
authors of a forthcoming book on Georgia Gardens, anticipated publication by the University of Georgia Press, 2018

Dreck Spurlock Wilson,
editor of African American Architects who will highlight the work of David Williston, the first professionally-trained African American landscape architect.


Winston-Salem was the largest and wealthiest city in North Carolina in the 1910s and 1920s and important landscape architects were commissioned to design estates, private gardens, residential lots, institutional grounds, and municipal parks in the Twin City.

Camilla Wilcox,  retired Curator of Education for Reynolda Gardens, will present the local impact of Buckenham & Miller, Thomas W. Sears, Louis L. Miller, and others.

Laura Phillips, Architectural Historian, will present the local work of Ellen Biddle Shipman

An afternoon tour will explore the Golden Age in Winston-Salem and the work of these designers and more.  Our guides include the independent scholars and authors:

Margaret Supplee Smith
Heather Fearnbach
Sherry Hollingsworth.