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What’s in Bloom?

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What’s in bloom in Forsyth County? 

N.C. Cooperative Extension mantains two public gardens in Forsyth County with the assistance of Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers:

  • Forsyth County Demonstration Garden, located at the Forsyth County Agriculture Building, 1450 Fairchild Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27105
  • Arboretum and Gardens at Tanglewood Park, 4200 Manor House Circle, Clemmons, NC 27012

These gardens are open year-round for visitors.

If you want to learn more about one of the plants you see here, check out the NC Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox at

Season Review: 2022

This year was punctuated with periods of drought and wet. We saw a relatively early frost during October, killing many tender annuals. There is something of interest in our gardens throughout the seasons. Thanks to our Extension Master Gardener Volunteers for assistance in documenting the flowers throughout the seasons. Review the photos below for an overview of what we saw in our gardens this year.


Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) bring early signs of spring in our gardens. They grow as perennials in our area and can be planted as bulbs in the fall. Daffodils in a variety of colors including yellow, white, and orange.


Daffodils are growing at both the Demonstration Garden and the Arboretum. Visit in spring to see these in flower!

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are a spring ephemeral, meaning their blooms only appear in the garden for a short time in the spring. Their blue color is a spectacular sight!


Virginia bluebells bloom for a brief period in the spring at the Arboretum. Visit in April to see these flowering.

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is a biennial, with a tall flower spike appearing in its second year of growth. The plant will add vertical dimension to the garden and will reseed.


Foxglove is growing at the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park.


Stoke’s aster (Stokesia laevis) blooms during the summer, attracting pollinators. Stoke’s aster is a perennial, growing in clumps in the garden.

Stoke's aster

Stoke’s aster is growing at both the Demonstration Garden and the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park.

Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) is an annual flower that grows from seed during the summer. This is an easy plant to direct-sow in the garden and appears in a variety of colors. Zinnias add color, attract butterflies and other pollinators, and make a great addition to flower bouquets in the summertime.


Zinnias grow during the summer at both the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park and the Demonstration Garden.

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is famous for being a host for Monarch butterfly caterpillars. The attractive orange flowers provide food for other insect visitors and add beauty to the landscape.

Butterfly weed

Butterfly weed is growing at both the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park and the Demonstration Garden.


Oakleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, adds fall interest to the garden with its red foliage. This is a beautiful native shrub, but it can get large. Look for smaller cultivars if you are limited in space.

Oakleaf hydrangea

Oakleaf hydrangea is growing at the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park.

Clethra alnifolia ‘Sixteen Candles’, or sweet pepperbush, is a deciduous shrub that reaches a height of 4 to 5 feet and width of 2 to 3 feet, making it compatible for smaller gardens. It provides seasonal interest in both the late summer with its showy creamy white blooms, as well as in autumn when leaves turn golden yellow. This plant tolerates a wide variety of soil types. Its name comes from its fragrant, nectar-rich blooms that it produces even in shady sites.

Sweet pepperbush

Clethra alnifolia is growing at the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park.

Sweet pepperbush

Clethra alnifolia is growing now at the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park.

Chrysanthemums, or mums, are divided into garden hardy and exhibition types. Garden hardy mums, like these Chrysanthemum x morifolium, can be planted in gardens, while exhibition mums are more florist types and need special growing care.


Chrysanthemums are growing at the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park and at the Demonstration Garden.

Asters tend to bloom late in the season. Aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium) is a shorter aster that grows to about 3 feet tall and wide in full sun. The scent of the foliage is similar to balsam when crushed, giving the plant its common name. This plant was a NC Wildflower of the Year in 2000.

Aromatic aster

Aromatic aster is growing at the Demonstration Garden.

For more photos:

Click here for the folder of archived “what’s in bloom” photos.