Supporting a wooden paradise: Patrons can enjoy the beauty of the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park, buy plants to support it

Published 12:10 am Thursday, May 2, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Christian Simmons 

For the Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS — There is a beautiful wooden paradise that is open for all to see, and it’s located in Tanglewood Park. This weekend, visitors will have the chance to support the people who make it possible through the annual spring plant sale. 

“The Arboretum at Tanglewood Park showcases plants that grow in Forsyth County, N.C. The Arboretum is managed by North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Forsyth County Center, in partnership with Forsyth County Parks and Recreation and Extension Master Gardener volunteers,” Leslie Rose said. 

Rose is the director of the Arboretum and a Horticulture Agent at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Forsyth County Center. 

The reason why it is so beautiful is due to the efforts to keep it that way by the volunteers. 

Not only do these volunteers help keep the Arboretum looking its best, but they’re also trained in helping Tanglewood educate visitors on how they can make their own garden. 

Just last year alone, the Extension Master Gardener volunteers donated well over four thousand hours of their time to help the Arboretum stay beautiful and the citizens educated on making a garden at home. 

In regards to the education the adults receive, Rose said, “Our Adult Education program is a series of monthly classes for adults to learn about gardening. Adult Education classes focus on timely gardening topics. Speakers in the Adult Education series include Extension Agents, Extension Master Gardener volunteers, as well as gardening experts who are invited to give presentations.

“Many of the presentations are on Wednesdays at noon, though some have also been held on Zoom and on the weekends. The classes are usually held at the Arboretum office, in the gardens, or at Walnut Hall in Tanglewood. Recent topics have included pruning, growing tomatoes, understanding seed catalogs, growing and using herbs, growing fruit trees and lawn care.” 

On certain workdays, Tanglewood also invites community members to help at the Arboretum. 

Alongside the Extension Master Gardener volunteers, there is another volunteer group that helps fundraise and raise money to support the work being done at the Arboretum.

This fundraising group is known as the Arboretum Volunteers and Educators Group, formerly known as the Friends of the Arboretum. 

Every year, the Arboretum Volunteers and Educators Group has a spring plant sale as part of their fundraising efforts. 

“For the plant sale, volunteers grow plants from seed and from seedlings that they purchase, as well as plants they donate from their own gardens,” Rose said. “The volunteers begin working on the plant sale as early as January. The plants grown in the greenhouse are primarily annuals, herbs and vegetables, while the nursery grows perennial plants, shrubs and some trees. 

“The plant sale has been an annual event for over a decade, has grown in size over the years, and typically raises several thousand dollars. 

The funds from the plant sale help fund supplies for volunteer workdays, tools, plants, etc, as well as some of our educational events. These include our Youth Education Program, where third graders visit the Arboretum and learn about plant science. In March, we had 674 students visit the Arboretum for Youth Education.”

The plant sale will take place at the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Arboretum is located at 4201 Clemmons Road, Clemmons. 

Selections include herbaceous perennials, flowering shrubs and trees, native plants, milkweed, annuals, herbs and more. 

Shop early for the best selection. Sales are cash or check only. For additional information, call 336-703-2850.

The Arboretum’s next adult education class, “A Guide to Annuals in Your Garden,” will take place on Wednesday, May 15, from noon to 1 p.m. in Walnut Hall at Tanglewood Park.

Registered participants will receive driving instructions. Admission into Tanglewood Park is free. Tell the gate attendant that you are attending a seminar. The speaker is Jim Mitchell of Mitchell’s Nursery.

The program will explore how annual plants can add seasonal color and interest to the garden. In addition to information on growing annuals, this presentation will cover old standbys as well as interesting varieties that are newer to the market.

Registration is required, but space is limited. Registration opens 2 weeks prior to each class date and closes 24 hours prior. Interested parties can sign up through Eventbrite at

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, NC State University will honor requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities. Please direct accommodation requests to Kimberly Gressley at or 336-703-2851. Requests can be served more effectively if notice is provided at least 10 days before the event.