For 30 years, Preston Stockton has enjoyed what may be the best “office” at Wake Forest: Reynolda Gardens. She grew up visiting the gardens and greenhouse, and is now manager of Reynolda Gardens.
What do you do?
I have the best job at WFU! I oversee a talented staff and a beautiful and historic 120 acre property; do tours and programs; talk to visitors from all over the world; interact with WFU faculty and students, volunteers and local gardeners; associate with many local civic groups; all aspects of gardening.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
Besides coming to work at an exceptionally beautiful place, I work with really good people, especially the gardens’ staff and our co-workers at Facilities Management. The association with these people has made me a better person. I also have loved plants since I was a child so being able to garden as part of my work is great fun.
How did you end up at Wake Forest?
I am originally from Winston-Salem and grew up visiting Reynolda. When I got out of college I did an internship at Monticello and became very interested in historic gardens. I was working at Stratford Hall Plantation in Virginia (the home of Robert E. Lee) when I got a call from a friend working at Wake Forest that the position was open at Reynolda Gardens. I was thrilled to be able to move back home and work at such a beautiful place.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I work with Almost Home Dachshund Rescue and several other dog rescue groups; I like to spend time at my family’s home on Edisto Island, SC; fish, read and of course, spend time in my own garden.