Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University

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Estate Design

Reynolda

Although not part of Reynolda Gardens today, Reynolda Village and the Reynolda farmlands shared in the overall design. Several hundred acres were devoted to farming, incorporating orchards, vineyards, pastures, and field crops. Facilities for raising pigs, poultry, and cattle were located in outlying areas, but several major agricultural buildings were located in the village, in addition to the village church and homes. Thomas Sears designed landscapes for these structures. The influence of Frederick Law Olmsted’s landscape design philosophy is present throughout.

Recurring materials and themes helped unify structures and landscaping. Foundations constructed with volcanic rock excavated on the property were used in buildings and retaining walls throughout the estate. Roads were designed for efficient access through the most scenic routes, utilizing the most current paving methods and materials.

Designers, Engineers, and Plantsmen

Katharine Smith Reynolds worked closely with engineers, architects, horticulturists, and other professionals to create Reynolda. Louis L. Miller and Horatio R. Buckenham, who were partners in the landscape engineering firm, Buckenham and Miller, created a plan for the Estate and designed several important features, including entrance gates, the lake, and the dam. Later, Thomas Sears made changes to the Buckenham and Miller plans and designed additional plantings and structures. Other engineers and engineering companies were involved, as well. Several individuals were involved in the execution of the designers’ and engineers’ plans, including a forester, a horticulturist, and a greenhouse manager.

To learn more about Estate Design, see selected articles in The Gardener’s Journal, a publication produced by Reynolda Gardens staff for Friends of Reynolda Gardens.