Design Seminar

May 5-6, 2023 Winston-Salem, NC


The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!

A Coronation Day Celebration of British Design

May 5-6, 2023

Please plan to join us on May 5th and 6th when four legendary gardeners, designers, and historians come together from both sides of the Atlantic to share the latest trends in British home and garden design.

This year we are excited to share an extended program with a Friday night keynote and reception, complete with a Saturday celebration of the royal coronation. You won’t want to miss this extraordinary two-day program, with England’s Garden Guru, Keynote Speaker Fergus Garrett (CEO and Head Gardener at Great Dixter and recipient of the 2019 Victoria Medal of Honour). 



Registration Closed! Please plan to join us next year!

 Keynote Only Ticket

  • Seating for one at the Friday night keynote and reception
$125 ($115 Frank L. Horton Society*)
Individual Ticket

  • Seating for one at the keynote, keynote reception, Saturday program, and luncheon
$325 ($315 Frank L. Horton Society*)
Patron Ticket 

  • Invitation to an exclusive dessert reception with the program speakers
  • Seating for one at the keynote and keynote reception
  • Preferred seating for one at the program and luncheon
$450 ($440 Frank L. Horton Society*)
Reserved Table Host

  • Seating for 8 at the keynote and keynote reception
  • One table with seating for 8 at the program and luncheon
Patron Table Host (Sold Out!)

  • Invitations for 8 to an exclusive dessert reception with the program speakers
  • Seating for 8 at the keynote and keynote reception
  • Preferred seating for 8 at the program and luncheon 



About the Speakers:


Fergus Garrett has held the position of Head Gardener for the internationally acclaimed Great Dixter Garden in Northiam, East Sussex, UK since 1993. Trained by the gardener Christopher Lloyd (1921-2006), Fergus learnt to keep the gardens
of Great Dixter constantly changing throughout the seasons and to be adventurous in trying out new plants and plant combinations.In 2019, Fergus received the highest accolade the Royal Horticultural Society can give: The Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH). In addition, Fergus has written many magazine articles and lectures widely both nationally and internationally. Today, Fergus continues with his role as CEO and Head Gardener at Great Dixter as well as spearheading several projects including the greening up of urban and suburban communities, biodiversity related projects in towns and villages, and training students from all over the world in the Dixter style of flower gardening.
Wolf Burchard is Associate Curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with responsibility for British furniture and decorative arts. He is the curator of Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts shown at the Met, the Wallace Collection in London and the Huntington Museum in San Marino, CA (Dec 2021- March 2023). Burchard is a regular contributor to Furniture HistoryApollo Magazine and Country Life, and sat on the executive committees of the Furniture History Society, the Georgian Group and the Society for Court Studies, as well as on advisory boards at the Château de Versailles, the Mobilier national in Paris and the German Embassy in London.
During Lady Clarissa Clifford of Chudleigh’s long career as an Interior Decorator, she has worked throughout the UK and overseas on many amazing projects. She has a wealth of experience restoring period, historic properties and has put this knowledge to good use for the restoration of her husband’s (Thomas, 14th Baron Clifford of Chudleigh) ancestral home, Ugbrooke Park. Mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086, Ugbrooke was re-modelled in the eighteenth century by Robert Adam. Recently, Clarissa has transformed the Georgian stable block into the home where she and her husband now live. For many years, Clarissa was a member of the British Institute of Interior Design and continues to be a member of the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.


Author of soon-to-be published St James Palace: From Leper Hospital to Royal Court, Rufus Bird is a furniture specialist and former Surveyor of the Queen’s Works of Art, Royal Collection Trust. Prior to his 10 year appointment in the Royal Collection, Rufus was a Director at Christie’s where he was responsible for English furniture.
Long-time Design Seminar Moderator J. Thomas Savage is Director of Educational Travel and Conferences at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Tom’s lifelong passion for country estates and extraordinary collections has led him around the world in pursuit of those with refined taste and style. A native of the South, Tom has been director of external affairs at the Winterthur Museum, was senior vice president of Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and served as curator and director of museums for the Historic Charleston Foundation.




The 2023 MESDA Design Seminar will take place in the
James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium
Old Salem Visitor Center
900 Old Salem Road, Winston-Salem, NC

FRIDAY, May 5, 2023
5:30pm Keynote Reception
Enjoy a special opportunity to mix with fellow program attendees over libations and hors d’oeuvres.
6:30pm Keynote Address
  Fergus Garrett
  CEO and Head Gardener at Great Dixter
  East Sussex, England
Patron Dessert Reception
Visit an incredible private home in Winston-Salem’s exclusive Reynolda Park neighborhood for a post-keynote dessert reception with speakers. 
SATURDAY, May 6, 2023
9:15am Seminar check-in and Book Store
Concourse, Old Salem Visitor Center
900 Old Salem Road
  Winston-Salem, NC  27101
10am Welcome & New to the Collections
  Dr. Daniel Ackermann
  Chief Curator & Director of Collections, Research, & Archaeology
  Old Salem Museums & Gardens
  Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  J. Thomas Savage
  Director of Educational Travel & Conferences
  Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
  Williamsburg, Virginia
10:30am Decorating Ugbrooke Park & the Old Stables
  Lady Clarissa Clifford of Chudleigh
  Interior Decorator
  Chudleigh, Devon, England
11:30am Designing the Met’s British Galleries
  Wolf Burchard
  Associate Curator
  Metropolitan Museum of Art
  New York, New York
12:45pm Luncheon
1:30pm Book Signing
1:45pm St James Palace
  Rufus Bird
  Author and Former Surveyor of the Queen’s Works of Art, Royal Collection Trust
  London, England
2:45pm Enjoy time in the MESDA galleries


Presented to the Community By

With Generous Support From

Mrs. Roger Hanahan

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts is one of the museums at Old Salem Museums & Gardens.  MESDA is located in the Frank L. Horton Museum Center at 924 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC  27101.  Seminar lectures will take place in the James A. Gray Auditorium at the Old Salem Visitor Center at 900 Old Salem Road, Winston-Salem, NC  27101.

Seminar Hotels:
A block of rooms has been reserved at the nearby: Book your room at a discounted, Good Neighbor rate: 
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Mariott Kimpton Cardinal Hotel
Winston-Salem Downtown
125 South Main St
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
51 4th St E
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Block Name: Design Seminar

Link to register online

Please use this link to register at the discounted rate.
*Please note, to ensure a room at the discounted price, reservations must be made by 5 pm on Wednesday, April 5th.  *Please note, if using the Good Neighbor rate, reservations can be cancelled for a full refund up to two days prior to the reservation.


Registrants who cancel at least two weeks prior to a program will receive a full refund minus a $50 handling fee.  No refunds will be given for cancellations that occur less than two weeks prior to the event.
The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts follows the inclement weather policies of Old Salem Museums & Gardens.  When OSMG is closed, the museum is closed as well.  Should this occur, the seminar will be cancelled and refunds will be issued.  For your own protection, please consider travel insurance to cover fees involved with cancelling hotel reservations.