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The Heavy Mettle Behind a GCA Medal
Mrs. Oakleigh Thorne

Each year, The Garden Club of America awards up to ten national medals to nationally or internationally recognized leaders in their fields of study or achievement. These beautifully designed and cast medals often bear the name of past GCA club members, who inspired others by their knowledge, passion, and leadership. One such club member is Helen Thorne (Mrs. Oakleigh Thorne), who was a force of nature in her own right. Read more about this founder of The Garden Club of America, and the pivotal role she played in every major achievement during the GCA’s first thirty nine years, by reading more.

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An Olmsted Brothers Shakespeare Garden
A Revival and an Unlimited Run

Few garden clubs can boast an Olmsted Brothers designed garden as their local civic project. Given their long involvement with The Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park, New Jersey, the Plainfield Garden Club (PGC) can. Created by the Plainfield Shakespeare Society in 1927 and tended by dedicated PGC volunteers ever since, the garden features two 100-foot-long borders and seventeen flowerbeds. Nearly every Saturday during the growing season, a group of seven or eight PGC members gather to maintain this historic garden.

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The GCA Celebrates National Pollinator Week
Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Bats, and Beetles

National Pollinator Week 2021 will be celebrated during the week of June 21-27. The annual event was initiated and is managed by The Pollinator Partnership. In 2006, the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration, promoting the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles.

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Video: Take the Tour!
Frederick Law Olmsted — Hartford’s Native Son

Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., considered by many to be the father of American landscape architecture, championed parks and open spaces with a vision that still resonates today. He understood their link to the health of our communities and cities and was exceptionally prescient given the era in which he was born. The 200th anniversary of his birth on April 26, 1822, will mark an opportunity to celebrate Olmsted and all of those influenced by him who contributed to our American life and culture. Read more to enjoy the video tour.

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Tidal Garden Resolves King Tides Flooding
The Creation of the Bradley Park Tidal Garden

Working with Mother Nature proved crucial when the Garden Club of Palm Beach teamed up with a local landscape design company to solve frequent flooding caused by the phenomena of king tides. The garden club was researching its latest town beautification project, establishing a children’s playground in Bradley Park, when members learned that recurring flooding needed tackling first. An ingenious solution solved the problem—the creation of the Bradley Park Tidal Garden.

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Orchestration of Movement
From the GCA Collection at the Archives of American Gardens

Many gardens included in The Garden Club of America Collection at the Archives of American Gardens hold a proud distinction: they embody design principles developed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903). In addition to establishing a firm that had a hand in the design of more than 6,000 landscapes and gardens for over a century, Olmsted published influential theories about landscape design that transformed how people organized and maintained the outdoor space around them. Olmsted scholars have distilled Olmsted’s ideas down to a list of six design principles. Read more for Principle Three.

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A Legacy of Community Care
A Tale of Two Gardens

For several decades, Rusticus Garden Club members have worked to make the club’s presence felt in Bedford, NY, recognizing the role that gardens and horticulture can play in shaping civic improvement and beautifying public spaces within a community. Projects of note are the ongoing care and beautification of two local gardens, the library garden in front of the Bedford Village Free Library and the Terrace Garden at the John Jay Homestead.

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The GCA's virtual flower show is open to the public through September 30, 2021. We welcome curious visitors — look and learn!

Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The Garden Club of America offers 29 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. In 2020, $306,000 was awarded to 64 scholars.Follow GCA Scholarships on Twitter for the latest news about pollinators, coastal wetlands, native bird habitats, and much more. Connect to a larger world of horticulture and conservation through the Garden Club of America scholars. Learn more about the GCA Scholarships. Learn more about the GCA Scholarships.

Plant of the Year

Since 1995 the GCA has identified a stellar North American native plant to receive The Montine McDaniel Freeman Medal: GCA Plant of the Year.

Cephalanthus occidentalis, buttonbush is The Garden Club of America's 2021 Plant of the Year.

The Garden Club of America is a proud founding partner of the Olmsted 200 bicentennial campaign.