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 Garden Events:

 

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. 

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. Seasonal Hands-On Workshops are hosted in Old Salem inviting you learn just as an apprentice would under a skilled trademan. To register for the workshops below please visit their site here.

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.

Check out Reynolda Garden's Event and Workshop Calendar:

Historic Reynolda Grounds and Gardens Walking Tour
Friday, May 31; 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Reynolda Greenhouse; 100 Reynolda Village, Winston-Salem, NC, 27106

Walk the grounds of historic Reynolda Estate with experts as your guide sharing highlights of the hidden sites and stories of one of Winston-Salem's finest landmarks. The tour begins and ends at the original 1913 Reynolda Greenhouse, then takes you through the wetlands, trails, and lawns of Reynolda. Comfortable shoes suggested.

Admission is free, though registration is requested.

Register online here.

 

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 rose garden in front of the historic manor house contains more than 800 rosebushes, including more than 400 American Rose Society winners. Also, the enchanting arboretum behind the manor house and the nearby fragrance garden make a beautiful stop on any tour of Tanglewood’s gardens. 

The gardens are open to the public year-round.

 

 

 

Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden (PJCBG)   

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

Concert on the Lawn featuring Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba
Thursday, May 30; 6:30 p.m. (Gates open at 5 p.m.)

May's Concert on the Lawn series wraps up with Daili Cissokho & Kaira Ba. Cissokho, Kaira Ba's bandleader and kora player, hails from a long line of Griot musicians in Senegal. Alonside four North Carolina natives, Cissokho & Kaira Ba create a universally appealing sound full of bright tones and driving polyrhythm. Joining the group is special guest, Tony Williamson. A North Carolina Heritage Award recipient, Williamson is a seventh generation musician from rural Piedmont North Carolina and has been playing stringed instruments (most significantly mandolin) for six decades. Recognized as one of the best mandolinists in the world, Tony performs live and travels internationally.

Tickets:
$15 in advance - Purchase online here.
$18 day of concert


Concert is held rain or shine with limited tent coverage. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. There are also food trucks, local beer and wine on site for purchase. 

Please, no coolers, pets or smoking. 

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Sunday, June 2; 2 - 4 p.m.

Experience an outdoor theatrical performance of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet by Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company. This local production incorporates North Carolina folk and bluegrass into this classic story of two feuding families and young romance.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair, as well as comfortable shoes. As a part of the show, attendees travel on with the actors as they guide the audience on an outdoor, scenic journey that won't soon be forgotten. 

Tickets:
$20 General admission (plus taxes and fees)
$15 Seniors, Veterans, and Students (plus taxes and fees)

Buy tickets online here.

June's Summer Thursday Lecture - "Don't Get Your Bloomers in a Bunch-the Best Blooming Plants for Southern Gardens"
Thursday, June 13; 6 - 7 p.m.

Join PJCBG and Christina Larson, president of the Guilford Horticultural Society, owner of Guilford Garden Center, and a long-time Master Gardener, for an informative lecture sharing some of the most interesting trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals that outperform in the this region's climate, with beautiful flowers and striking foliage. Some of the trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals discussed will be available for purchase.

Cost: $5.

Light refreshments are served. Registration is required. To register, call 336-996-7888.

"Preserving the Garden: Dried Arrangements"
Thursday, July 11; 6 - 7 p.m.

Gardens and plants seem to get better with age. Another way to preserve the age of your gardens is to cut, preserve and use plants for indoor enjoyment. Adrienne Roethling, executive director of PJCBG, demonstrates how to save a handful of material from the garden, hang them upside down and save for multiple uses later. Some of the best plant parts to use are the spent inflorescence of hydrangea, sedums, and oregano while some of the best pods to use are lilies, iris, milkweed, cotton and okra. Great dried seeds or seed heads come from sea oats, black eyed Susan, sunflowers, clematis, artichoke, thistle, poppies and more.

Learn how to preserve your gardens, take a tour of PJCBG's drying area and one workshop attendee will take home a dried masterpiece.

Cost: $5

Light refreshments are served.

"Epiphytes - Life Out on a Limb"
Thursday, Aug. 8; 6 - 7 p.m.

Discover what it means to be epiphytic (a plant that grows on another plant without being parasistic). At the PJCBG's August lecture series, learn how epiphytes live and thrive, and what you can do to take care you them. You're also explore interesting and creative ways to use them.

Registration is required. Register online or call 336-996-7888. Light refreshments are served. 

Cost: $5

 

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
8:30 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