The Best of Spring

Flower Power

When you’re the floral designer for the White House, a post that Laura Dowling held from 2009–2015, flowers take on added significance. Think: diplomatic messages or symbols used in arrangements at state dinners. And then of course, there are the Christmas decorations for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, requiring about 55 trees, miles of garlands, dozens of wreaths and an army of volunteers. A recipient of American Horticultural Society’s Great American Gardeners Award and an annual presenter at the Philadelphia Flower Show, Dowling will dish on her experiences and discuss her lush, romantic style of floristry at “ Evolving Styles and Trnds in Floral Designs.” Sponsored by The Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs, the event, held on Saturday, March 28 at Starmount Forest Country Club (1 Sam Snead Drive), will also include discussions from florists Cindy Tole, owner of Botanica Flowers & Gifts and Stacy Curtis of The Farmers Wife. To register by March 10 please call (336) 558-5959 or visit

Glass Act

That would be who else? Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose colorful glass creations drew inspiration from flowers and wildlife, and became synonymous with the country estate movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. See how his painter’s eye seamlessly fused nature and decorative arts with revolutionary glassmaking techniques at Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light, on view from March 27 through June 21 at Reynolda House Museum of American Art (2250 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem). The exhibit includes some of the artist’s iconic windows and panels, lamps, as well as an installation of Katharine Smith Reynolds’ Tiffany vases. But it doesn’t stop there: Its floral themes extend to Reynolda Gardens, where a kaleidoscope of spring blooms will be unfolding in the 4-acre formal garden. Tickets: (888) 663-1149 or

Obscure Oases

Who doesn’t love the idea of a private paradise, such as the one discovered by the child protagonist of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden? How about a dozen such plots tucked away from the public eye? Discover them all at “Uncovering Beauty a Tour of Secret Gardens,” presented by the Garden Club Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County? Whet your appetite on April 24 with a luncheon and talk by Margot Shaw, editor-in-chief and founder of Flower magazine at Forsyth Country Club (3101 Country Club Drive) before you tour hidden delights such as formal English gardens, midcentury gardens and “gardeners’ gardens” on April 25. Tickets:

Divine Digs

For all you inside cats, May brings two opportunities to have a gander at stunning interiors. On May 2, marvel at the ingenuity of architects and craftsmanship of cabinetmakers, among other artisans at Junior League of Winston-Salem’s 15th annual Tour of Fine Spaces. For yet more gracious living, check out Preservation Greensboro’s Annual Tour of Historic Homes on May 16. Tickets:;  h

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