November 8, 1924 - March 17, 2006

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Flora Ann Lee Bynum, 81, of Winston-Salem died Friday, March 17, 2006, at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center of Winston-Salem. Born Nov. 8, 1924, in Guilford County to William and Hattie Clark Lee, Mrs. Bynum was a homemaker and an active member of Centenary United Methodist Church. She graduated with honors from Meredith College, where she received the Silver Shield Award and later the Distinguished Alumnae Award. After graduation, she worked for the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Bynum was well known across the country for her work in the restoration of historic landscapes. She served as the chairman of the Old Salem Landscape Restoration Committee for 30 years and as a member of the Old Salem Board of Trustees. Mrs. Bynum was one of the founding members of the biennial Conference on Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes. She helped found the Southern Garden History Society to promote research and restoration and served as secretary-treasurer for more than 20 years. In her honor, the Flora Ann Bynum Award for Exemplary Service was created. She received many awards, including the Minnette C. Duffy Landscape Preservation Award and the Frederic Marshall Society Distinguished Service Award. She received the Archie K. Davis Award for serving as treasurer of the Wachovia Historical Society for 20 years and for her horticultural research, which was instrumental in the restoration of Old Salem's landscape. She was an active member for more than 50 years and past president of Spade and Trowel Garden Club. Recognized as an authority on Moravian horticulture and a plant historian, she was well known for her unassuming, modest manner along with her vision and hard work.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Zachary Taylor Bynum Jr. She is survived by her son, Zachary Bynum, and wife Lynda of Winston-Salem; and her three daughters, Larkin B. Smith and husband Gerry of Beaverdam, Va., Lee B. Schwall and husband Jeff of Winston-Salem; and Loren B. Williams and husband Garrett of Peachtree City, Ga. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren: Meredith, Taylor, Noel and Jackson Bynum; Minta, Marshall and McCrae Smith; Jordan, Will and Patrick Schwall; and Corinne and Claire Williams. She is survived by her sisters, Virginia L. McKay and Doris L. Tyson; and her brother, William D. Lee, and his wife, Bessie; and many nieces and nephews. Her funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. today, March 21, at Centenary United Methodist Church, followed by a family graveside service. Memorials may be made to the Old Salem Landscape Restoration Program at this address: Old Salem, Attn: Development, P.O. Box F, Salem Station, Winston-Salem, NC 27108; or memorials may be made to a charity of the donor's choice. (Vogler & Sons Main Street Chapel)

Published in the Winston-Salem Journal from 3/19/2006 - 3/21/2006.

Farewell to Flora Ann Bynum

Many of us who love historic gardens were broken-hearted when we learned of the death on March 17 of Flora Ann Bynum. One of the warmest, most genuine people you could ever hope to meet, Flora Ann was devoted to her family and a wide circle of friends in historic Old Salem, NC, as well as in the Southern Garden History Society and all across the country. She founded and worked tirelessly for decades leading the SGHS and landscape-preservation efforts in Old Salem. She had a special affection for Roman hyacinths, making herself the country's leading expert on these all-but-lost Southern heirlooms, and her big, old-fashioned garden on Main Street became a local landmark. The garden history community has lost one of its brightest lights, the world has lost an amazing human being, and we have lost a good friend who we will miss forever.

Published in Friends of Old Bulbs Gazette Old House Gardens, 536 Third St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103, (734) 995-1486

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Flora Magnifica

Flora Ann, a dear,
to all she ever met.
Working, learning, giving;
never one to get.

She lived her life to help,
old gardens and flowers bloom.
Her task was not in vane,
as her quest we'll all assume.

She planted her seed in tended order.
Their names she came to know.
She gleaned the truth in dogged chase.
To Elizabeth and Bill she'd go.

Her garden shined like none before,
All came to share its glow,
But none of it could compare
to the love we came to know.

Greg Grant, March, 2006

Flora Eternus

The cherry blossoms wept
and the Romans hung their heads.
The stars of Bethlehem fell to earth.
For dear Flora Ann was dead.

The lent lilies did their penance
while the violets said their prayers.
As we said good by one final time
beneath the budding pears.

The boxwood blooms sneaked a peak
while the forsythia screamed in pain.
As the snowflakes quietly rang their bells
the clouds cried with rain.

A hush fell over Salem
and the dogwoods began to swell.
As the Moravian choir stood in rank
the sweetest petal fell.

The Saints played their march
as we laid her beneath the ground.
Sent her home to paradise
where forever she'll be found.

Greg Grant, March, 2006

Greg Grant, Research Associate, Stephen F. Austin Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Nacogdoches, Texas
Posted 15 May, 2006. Communicated by Dr. Jerry Parsons, Texas Cooperative Extension.
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