21st 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


Reveille, Servant's Cottage in Colonial Garden, Elmer Crutchfield House, Virginia, 1929, photograph in hand-colored lantern slide by Frances Benjamin Johnston

Reveille, Servant’s Cottage in Colonial Garden, Elmer Crutchfield House, Virginia, 1929, photograph in hand-colored lantern slide by Frances Benjamin Johnston, Library of Congress


Frances Benjamin Johnston with her camera. Library of Congress, Photographs & Prints Division

About the conference:
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 is to promote and 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.

Continuing Education Credits available:

  • NC Board of Landscape Architects 9.5 hours
  • Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (check with agent)

Conference Co-Sponsors:


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


Conference Supporters:

Salem Academy and College

Garden Club Council of Winston-Salem

Twin City Garden Club

Club of Twenty Gardens

Spade & Trowel Garden Club

J A L A, Jeff Allen Landscape Architecture, LLC

Institute of Classical Architecture & Art,
North Carolina Chapter

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

Gardeners and garden historians alike look back on the early 20th century as a “golden age” — one of unprecedented garden-making in America, and an era since unequaled.

Explore this remarkable period with noted scholars and enjoy an afternoon trolley tour of Winston-Salem’s Golden Age!

Sam Watters will present the Flora Ann Bynum Keynote Lecture:

“Picturing the American Garden: Photography and Restoration with Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1900-1930”

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 Historic 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’s “Golden Age”

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, subdivisions, institutional grounds, and municipal parks in the Twin City.

Buckenham and Miller, Thomas W. Sears, Louis L. Miller, and Ellen Biddle Shipman are among the noted professional designers who left their mark in Winston-Salem. Lectures and a tour will explore this Golden Age.


Garden of Ralph and Dewitt Chatham Hanes, design by Ellen Biddle Shipman; Photograph by Frank Jones, 1939, Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection


Camilla Wilcox, Landscape Historian, will speak on the foundations of 20th century landscape design in Winston-Salem.

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

An afternoon Trolley Tour will explore the city’s Golden Age, guided by:

Heather Fearnbach, Architectural Historian
Sherold Hollingsworth, Garden Designer
Margaret Supplee Smith, PhD, Harold W. Tribble Professor Emerita, Wake Forest University

Stops include:
Reynolda Gardens
Chatham Farm
Ralph P. and Dewitt Chatman Hanes house and gardens
James G. and Molly Ruffin Hanes house and gardens
Womble-Poehling grounds

With thanks to Triad Trolleys!