History of the Formal Gardens
Thomas Sears, a Harvard-educated landscape architect with offices in Philadelphia, drew the plans for the four-acre formal garden under the direction of Mrs. Reynolds. The garden, situated between the family home and Reynolda Road, was designed to be enjoyed by the public as well as by its owners. Following the deaths of Mr. Reynolds in 1918 and Mrs. Reynolds Johnston in 1924, trustees supervised estate operations. In 1931 they asked Mr. Sears to return to Reynolda to draw plans for reducing the numbers of plantings in the garden. In the mid-1930s Mary Reynolds Babcock, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds, and her husband Charles became the owners of Reynolda. The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation donated the greenhouses, formal gardens, and 125 acres of woodlands and fields to Wake Forest College in a series of deeds of gift dated 1958, 1961, and 1962 to establish Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest College.
The Greenhouse Gardens
1917, 1920, 1931
Almost two acres in size, the Greenhouse Gardens were an expression of modern ideals for large privately owned formal gardens. Wide grass lawns, border plantings combining shrubs and perennials, theme gardens, specimen trees, and boxwood hedges comprised the plant life. Tea-houses, fountains, and pergolas in the "Italian" style complemented other architecture of the estate. Plantings were designed to provide interest throughout the seasons.
Restoration of the Greenhouse Gardens
A restoration of the Greenhouse Gardens was completed in 1999. During the five-year project the walls, walks, fountains, tea-houses, and pergolas were rehabilitated, restored, or reconstructed. New plantings adapted from Mr. Sears' designs completed the re-creation of the appearance of the original garden. Wake Forest University and The Jaeger Company, landscape architects, have received awards and recognition for the excellence of the restoration project from the American Society of Landscape Architects and the National Park Service.
The Fruit, Cut Flower, and Nicer Vegetable Garden
This two-acre section, separated from the Greenhouse Gardens by five tea-houses, a pergola, and boxwood hedges, was designed for growing useful ornamental plants. Crushed stone paths and grass borders separated individual plots. Post and rail fences supported vines, climbing roses, and espalier fruit trees. Today this area showcases modern plant varieties and horticultural techniques within the design and horticultural guidelines of the 1921 garden. Harvested vegetables are used by volunteers and donated to local food charities.
The veiw as soon as you exit the Conservatory. I took these photos last week and since then the magnolias have really started to burst into bloom. I will be going back to take more pics!
A view to the left. Lots of historic roses are planted in these beds. This garden is repeated to the left as well.
Here is the resident welcome kitty. She loves to greet and follow all the guests as they tour the garden. I sat with her awhile and gave her a good petting before i left. She has lived at Reynolda Gardens for about 10 years. She just appeared one day and never left. She is estimated to be around 17 years old. She is missing an ear and has feline leukemia. She gets around well now but eventually she will have to be put to sleep. I can't think of a better place to spend the rest of her days.
There are many places to sit and take in the sites, sounds and smells.
A view back to the Conservatory and Greenhouses.
One of the many tree wisterias in the gardens. I haven't seem them in bloom yet but it's on my list! Wisteria grows all over the place down here. I see it rambling up trees along the highways. It will often be 30 feet up trees.
This giant pergola divides the formal gardens from the vegetable and ARS rose varieties.
I love the espaliered fruit trees.
One of the large ARS rose beds.
I love this view.
A little closer now.
Standing on the hill next to the gardens looking down in.