Miksch Garden, Old Salem

Biennial Conference on Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes Comes to a Close

We regret to report that changing times and shifting museum directions have determined this conference will no longer be offered. It was from this Winston-Salem-based event that in 1982 the Southern Garden History Society (SGHS) came into being, and we view its end with sadness. SGHS saw this as one of the pillars of our educational commitment, and we will miss working with our co-sponsors, including Old Salem Museums & Gardens and Reynolda House Museum of American Art.
Upcoming issues of our journal, Magnolia, will examine some of the Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes (RSGL) programs, beginning in 1979. This website will also offer visitors a look at several of the proceedings published in follow-up to conferences.
Below you will find information on the final RSGL conference, held in 2019, along with a link to a remarkable World War II film on the Tuskegee Airmen, showing the work of landscape architect David Augustus Williston. As well, each RSGL conference is listed beginning in 1979. Click on the date to see a program for the specific event, each of which reviews speakers, topics, and activities covered during that conference.



The 22nd Biennial Conference on Southern Gardens & Landscapes, sponsored by Old Salem Museums & Gardens, Southern Garden History Society, and Wake Forest University Department of History, was held September 26-28, 2019, in Winston-Salem, NC. In Saturday’s session, Dreck Spurlock Wilson, ASLA, NOMA, presented “Closer than Botanists to Landscape Architects: George Washington Carver and David Augustus Williston.”
















Due to time constraints, Mr. Wilson was unable to conclude his presentation with the documentary video “Wings for This Man.” Mr. Wilson states: “Wings for This Man” was filmed in 1941 by the U.S. Air Force and narrated by Des Moines, Iowa sportscaster Ronald Reagan. It is the only film record of landscape architect David Augustus Williston’s (1868-1962) landscape design and civil engineering of the Tuskegee Airfield (1941) where the legendary “Tuskegee Airmen” trained. Until now the declassified film has not been publicly viewed. 

Please click on the image of the film to view:

Previous Conferences:

2017 – Gardening in a Golden Age: Southern Gardens & Landscapes of the Early 20th Century and the Challenges to Their Preservation

2015 – Learning from the Past/Planting for the Future

2013 – Feeding the American South: Heritage Gardening & Farming

2011 – A New World: Naturalists and Artists in the American South

2009 – Returning to Our Roots: Planting and Replanting the Historic Southern Garden

2007 – Lost Landscapes, Preserved Prospects: Confronting Natural & Human Threats to the Historic Southern Landscape

2005 – Unearthing the Past, Planting the Future: Issues and Challenges in Southern Landscape Restoration

2003 – A Genius & His Legacy: Frederick Law Olmsted in the South

2001 – Cultivating History: Exploring Horticultural Practices of the Southern Gardener

1999 – Plans and Plants of the Southern Landscape

1997 – Breaking Ground: Examing the Vision and Practice of Historic Landscape Restoration

1995 – The Influence of Women on the Southern Landscape

1993 – Many People, Many Cultures: The Shaping of the Southern Landscape

1991 – The Southern Vernacular Landscape

1989 – Gardening for Pleasure in the South

1987 – Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes

1985 – 400 Years of Southern Gardens and Landscapes

1983 – Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes

1982 – Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes

1980 – Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes

1979 – Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes: A Conference for the States of the Upper South