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Renewal of the Boscobel Herb Garden
One of the Hudson Valley’s Premier Historic Properties

For nearly fifty years, the Philipstown Garden Club has maintained the herb garden at Boscobel, one of the Hudson Valley’s premier historic properties. When the executive director of Boscobel recently gave the club a list of plants uncovered in the 1788-1803 Archive of States Dyckman, the PGC team undertook a revision of planting, restricting it to those found in early nineteenth century American gardens.

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The Garden Club of America 2021 Floral Design Conference
Floral Designers, Flower Growers, and Educators In Floral Artistry

Following in the footsteps of four previous virtual conferences, the Shirley Meneice Horticulture Conference, the Conservation Study Conference, the Photography Conference, and most recently the National Affairs & Legislation Conference, The Garden Club of America’s 2021 Floral Design Conference “Springtide” brought club members together for a day of floral opulence featuring floral designers, flower growers, and educators in floral artistry.

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An Historic Garden is Renovated for a New Era
Ballard Park

Tucked away in a corner of Ballard Park in Ridgefield, Connecticut, is an historic, perennial-filled parterre underwritten and maintained by Ridgefield Garden Club since 1982. Elizabeth B. Ballard, a past president of the club, designed the garden in the early 1920’s. In 1964, she bequeathed five acres of her estate on Ridgefield’s historic Main Street to the town for a public park.

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Unified Composition
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, Sr. (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. Here is Principle Two.

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GCA Medalist Paul Alan Cox, PhD
An Adventure into the Science of Ethnobotany

Paul Alan Cox, PhD, recipient of the GCA’s 2019 Eloise Payne Luquer Medal, and fellow co-author Michael J. Balick, PhD, have published a new book entitled Plants, People, and Culture, The Science of Ethnobotany, Second Edition. Their fascinating stories weave together chemistry, history, botany, anthropology, and ecology with a focus on the many features of indigenous cultures and the impact of plants on cultural development.

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The Emerald Necklace
Center of Stewardship for the GCA's Boston Committee

Frederick Law Olmsted once dubbed the ribbon of parkland running through Boston as the “Jeweled Girdle.” Now better known as the Emerald Necklace, this area serves as the center of stewardship for the Boston Committee, an Area Committee of The Garden Club of America. Under the umbrella of the Boston Committee since 1989, the GCA and affiliated garden clubs have joined forces with multiple not-for-profits in the Boston area to support the design and beautification of parks and green spaces in Boston, to encourage civic achievement in horticulture and conservation, and to educate the public on horticultural practices and environmental issues.

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Scientific Illustrator Catches the GCA’s Eye
“Did I catch your eye? Good – that’s my job.”

In 2020, Julia Ditto asked this question on a conference poster presentation, “Did I catch your eye? Good – that’s my job.” Ditto is both a scientist and an artist, studying environmental science at Alaska Pacific University in preparation for a career in field science and scientific illustration. With the support of The Garden Club of America’s (GCA) Mary T. Carothers Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship, she joined an ongoing research project this last summer, hiking, and pack-rafting 375 miles through the remote Alaskan wilderness, collecting data on white spruce seedling density and changing vegetation. Ditto also took on the role of “expedition artist,” carrying a watercolor kit to record the project through her illustrations.

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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.