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This Month in GCA History


April 29, 2019

The initial meeting of the GCA took place in April 1913

“Planting the seeds” is an apt metaphor to describe the outcome of the historic meeting that took place on April 30, 1913 at the home of Mrs. Bayard Henry in Germantown, PA, for it was there that the initial organization of what is now known as The Garden Club of America took place. Until that day, members of several garden clubs had been meeting informally in homes and gardens sharing news of their work for a number of years. It was Elizabeth Price Martin, a member of the Garden Club of Philadelphia, who raised the idea of uniting as a larger group "to increase our usefulness in the cause of good gardening.” Elizabeth later became the first president of The Garden Club of America. The forward-thinking spirit in all the clubs created The Garden Club of America for “a better knowledge of horticulture among amateurs, for the improvement of our national taste, the preservation of our natural beauty, and for war on its disfigurement.”

The idea took hold. The Garden Club of Philadelphia invited representatives of garden clubs of similar purpose to be their guests in Philadelphia to share in the privilege of organizing a national club.

At the April 30th meeting, organizers discussed the objectives of the organization and the question of how to organize on a national level were discussed. An executive committee was formed and together they made plans to preside the following day at the first annual meeting of what was to become The Garden Club of America.

The seeds that they planted that day in April 106 years ago have flourished and their legacy continues with 201 clubs and nearly 18,000 club members.


Top left: Elizabeth Price Martin, the GCA’s first president planted the seed for the creation of The Garden Club of America on April 30, 1913 at a meeting in Philadelphia, PA.

GCA Landscaped Gas Station for an Exhibit at the International Flower Show in the late 1920’s.

The GCA’s anti-billboard campaign.


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