Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Reynolda Gardens

Magical planting design

wide view of the garden with large planting of yellow flowers

Amy Birdsong is taking us along to this beautiful garden today.

My husband and I moved our youngest back to college in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, this weekend and stayed overnight so we could visit Reynolda Gardens. This space was designed and built in the early 1900s by the Reynolds family, and much of the layout and concepts remain the same to this day. The garden is divided into two larger sections by a series of “teahouses” that provide interesting viewing angles and viewpoints to play off of. The front half holds four parterres, each with its own color scheme. The pictures primarily show the pink and white parterre and the blue and yellow parterre, which are holding up the best in this hot, end-of-summer time. How the plantings are interwoven to hide the messy or bedraggled bottoms of the flowering plants is inspiring, and they mingle to create a tapestry. Another design element that has a strong impact is gladiolus used as punctuation marks, which are mixed in among more flowy plants. What is most impressive about these formal gardens, though, is that almost all of the flowers and plants are fairly common, even to a novice like me. Zinnias, phlox, hydrangeas, cleomes, roses, impatiens, black-eyed Susans, salvias, irises, lilies, and buddleias are varieties you see at your local nursery, but the way they are mixed here is magical.

look through three garden tea housesThe garden teahouses give beautiful structure to the garden.

garden tea house with formal garden beds aroundThe garden design is formal, with straight, square-cornered beds that give structure to the looser plantings within.

pink and purple flowers in the foreground of the gardenPink cleome (Cleome hassleriana, annual) and Japanese anemones (Anemone hupehensis, Zones 4–8) bloom in the foreground, with purple butterfly bush (Buddleia hybrid, Zones 5–9) in the background.

garden bed with pink and white flowersGladiolus murielae (Zones 6–10) gives strong vertical structure to the garden. This species of gladiolus is quite different from the familiar hybrids, with an elegant presence in the late-summer garden and a wonderful fragrance, especially in the evening.

wider view of the pink and white garden bedWide view of the pink-and-white planting

garden bed with blue and yellow flowersThe yellow and blue planting is a magical color combination!

wide view of the garden with large planting of yellow flowersA beautiful cloud sweep of black-eye Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–9)

close up of yellow and blue flowersSalvia uliginosa (Zones 6–9) provides clouds of soft blue flowers.

two plants with bright pink flowersA magenta combo of zinnias (Zinnia elegans, annual) and impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri, Zones 10–11 or as an annual)


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 09/02/2022

    So very pretty.

  2. user-7969408 09/02/2022

    That is not Gladiolus, but rather it is acidanthera, Peacock Orchid. They are blooming now in my zone 6 garden.

  3. btucker9675 09/02/2022

    What a beautiful garden! Thanks for sharing.

  4. [email protected] 09/02/2022

    My maiden name is Reynolds, and how I wish I was related to the folks responsible for that beautiful place! I have become accustomed to curving beds, but I see the square beds you pointed out, and they also have a wonderful look. Thanks for sharing, and bringing us looks at new gardens during your travels!

  5. lynda_t 09/04/2022

    Very nicely photographed! Thanks for sharing!

  6. User avater
    simplesue 09/05/2022

    So pretty, everything about it is gorgeous!
    And oh those huge white lilies are amazing!

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