For 20 years, Ellen Ashley has pursued and shared her passion for gardening by tending and teaching in her own 10-acre paradise, which houses thousands of plants in nine types of gardens. Ashley's interest in flora ignited when she was a youngster in rural Virginia, where she watched her father grow vegetables and fruit trees while her mother raised flowers and tutored wood nymphs. After retiring from a career in technical sales, Ashley dedicated herself full time to her planting passion, both at home and in the community. Her decade of activity with the Guilford Horticultural Society has included lecturing on subjects such as butterfly gardens, seed saving, and herbs.
Elizabeth's Italian Restaurant may rely on traditional Italian recipes and ingredients to create its dishes, but that doesn't mean the chefs aren't flexible. Every night, they augment a menu of standards such as oven-baked ravioli and manicotti with special preparations of fish, lobster, or rib-eye steak. Meanwhile, more than 18 thin-crust pizzas range from the classic margherita to more unusual creations, such as pies topped with egg, salami, and ham or a maritime-themed blend of shrimp, calamari, and tuna. Live Italian music every Friday and Saturday night also lends to a welcoming atmosphere.
Since 1998, landscape specialists Glenn and Donna Claeys of The Garden Outlet have shared their horticultural expertise with customers who want to bring the outdoors indoors while also beautifying their property. The duo operates throughout the year, tending to flowering annual and perennial plants, trees, shrubs, and vines, while also offering seasonal items such as Christmas trees and Halloween pumpkins, the latter of which must be plucked before they hatch into Thanksgiving turkeys. Though The Garden Outlet staff supplies customers with landscape materials and tools, they also professionally install plants, walkways, and patios. In addition, the gardening designers create elaborate arrangements for weddings and other formal events.
Helmed by Doctor of Wine Chemistry Robert Wurtz, Stonefield Cellars Winery's team of winemakers craft award-winning, small-batch libations using grapes from an onsite vineyard, as well as from local Yadkin Valley vineyards. The winery offers wine tastings in a tasting room with dark wood accents where cheese and crackers are also available, as well as hot mulled wine on winter weekends. An array of events includes workshops that educate students on different grape varietals, as well as winemaking classes where instructors demonstrate their craft and show off limited-edition grape-stomping boots. Winemakers also guide budding blenders through a bottling program, during which they learn to mix, ferment, and bottle their own wines. Stonefield Cellars also offers regular events such as dinner-and-concert nights or wine-and-food pairings to grant visitors unique ways to taste their wines. In warmer weather, tours and revelers venture outside the tall white barn to frolic under an outdoor pavilion or on rolling green hills.: