Programs, Classes & Educational Opportunities

Forsyth County Cooperative Extension, through trained Agents and Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, are dedicated to distributing current research-based gardening information to the public through free or highly affordable educational opportunities, increasing environmental awareness, promoting gardening activities and supporting its volunteers.

In an effort to reach this mission we provide educational opportunities at the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park, the County Agriculture Building, and various locations throughout the county. All these events are open to the public as well as our volunteers. Please visit our Calendar of Events for the schedule. Each of our programs is briefly explained below. Participation in some of these programs requires you to be a member of our Extension Master Gardener Program. All the events on our Calendar are open to the public.

Extension Master Gardener Program

The program provides participants with 40 hours of in-depth training in the art and science of horticulture. Class participants receive current, research based information from Extension educators. In return, trained Extension Master Gardeners volunteer their time and expertise in support of many community programs and activities. Master Gardener volunteers are recognized as well-trained practitioners who serve and beautify their communities and are linked to a professional network of support through county, state and national Cooperative Extension offices.

Successful Gardening Series in the Libraries

Extension provides a gardening lecture series in all 10 of the Libraries in Forsyth County in an effort to bring our expertise closer to the communities where Forsyth County Residents live. We provide lectures on 12 different topics each spring during March, April, and May and sometimes offer a fall gardening series if the need arises. The programs last 1 to 1 1/2 hours, mostly in lecture format but with plenty of time for questions. Programs are presented by Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Forsyth County Cooperative Extension and the Agents. These lectures are listed in our Calendar of Events.

Speaker's Bureau

Extension provides programs to civic groups, churches, schools and other organizations through our Master Gardener Speakers Bureau. Extension Master Gardeners are trained to speak on various topics, mostly power point and demonstration. These programs can be scheduled anytime of the year with at least a 2-week lead time. Topics change frequently and it is best to email our office for a current listing.

The following are topics we have volunteers training in speaking: Arboretum at Tanglewood Park, Beginning Vegetable Gardening, Birding, Bulbs, Butterfly/Hummingbird Gardening, Choosing and Caring for Trees, Color in the Winter Landscape, Composting in the Home Garden, Container Gardening, Drought Tolerant Perennials, Lawn Care, Growing Grapes, Growing Small Fruits, Growing Tree Fruits, Herbs, Historic Plants and Landscapes, Indoor Plants, Invasives, Landscape Design, Lilies and Daylilies, Low Maintenance Gardening, Moss Gardening, Native for Triad Gardens, Organic Gardening, Perennials, Pruning Trees and Shrubs, Rain Gardens, Roses, Soils in the Yard, Shade Gardening, Stevia, Vermi-composting, and Wildlife Friendly Landscapes.

Ask an Extension Master Gardener

Extension provides a hotline from our office to problem solve and answer gardening questions for the general public. Trained Extension Master Gardener Volunteers man the Hotline every morning Monday through Friday from 9 am until noon. At other times you can still get your question answered by Extension Horticulturists by calling our office at (336) 703-2850.

Educational Materials

Located in the Forsyth Extension Office at 1450 Fairchild Road, is an Urban Horticulture Center which consists of a collection of leaflets and booklets to help gardeners and homeowners with just about any gardening or landscaping topic of interest. Some of the collections we have put together in print are Home Vegetable Gardening, Tree Fruits, Small Fruits, Growing Herbs, Flowers and Flowering Plants, Tree and Shrubbery Tips, Water and Organics, and many more. Many of the leaflets can be found on the N.C. Cooperative Extension website.

Plant Sales

Each spring and fall the Master Gardeners have a plant sale. The spring sale is usually in April and is located at the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park. The Master Gardeners propagate and grow many different annuals, perennials, and shrubs to raise money to help operate the Arboretum. Our fall plant sale is filled with perennials, trees, and shrubs with a focus on non-invasive plants and the funds go to operate our program as a whole. The fall plant sale is usually in September and is located at our office at 1450 Fairchild Road in Winston-Salem.

Adult Education

Demonstration Garden

Forsyth Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers maintain a beautiful demonstration garden at the Agriculture Building. In this garden are demonstrations on vegetable gardening, fruits and berries, pawpaw orchard, tropical garden, wildlife garden, rain garden, herb garden, perennial foundation planting, and much more.

Arboretum at Tanglewood Park

Forsyth Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers maintain a beautiful Arboretum as part of the Tanglewood Park. This Arboretum is located inside Tanglewood Park behind the manor house. This garden include many different themed gardens such as a children’s garden, shade garden, fragrance garden, conifer garden, greenhouse, nursery, wildflower garden and so much more. Any homeowner can visit the Arboretum and get wonderful ideas. To get a better feel for the gardens please visit our Arboretum website.

Plant Rescue

The Forsyth County Master Gardener Volunteers trained in Horticulture have developed a Plant Rescue Program. It is a unique program where the volunteers save plants that would be otherwise destroyed by development. The priority of the Rescue Committee is to move plants to a suitable site where they have the best chance for survival, whether that is a school nature trail, a public park or private woodland or garden.

Dixie Classic Fair

Every year at the Dixie Classic Fair the Forsyth County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers man a booth in the Horticulture Building to hand out leaflets and answer gardening questions.

Triad Home & Garden Show

Every year at the Winston-Salem Triad Home and Garden Show the Forsyth County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers man a booth to hand out leaflets and answer gardening questions.

Environmental Stewardship

Forsyth County Extension Master Gardeners program to help improve water quality, waste management, and wildlife management. One of our main programs called Carolina Yards and Neighborhoods is a main focus with our Speakers Bureau and our Spring and Fall Library Series. We also help maintain various Rain Gardens throughout the county.