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July 22, 2021

Better Building for Native Bees

You may have noticed them popping up in parks—a small structure that looks a bit like one of those little outdoor libraries. The shelves, however, are not filled with books. Rather, there are stacks of small hollow sticks—a bee nursery. Do bees need nurseries? Little bee houses? Cute hotels? The answer is yes.

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July 20, 2021

Litchfield Garden Club Celebrates Earth Day

The Litchfield Garden Club, Litchfield, CT, has a long history with Earth Day, an annual international event held on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. LGC celebrated the inaugural event in 1970 by planting a tree on North Street. Since that date, LGC members have organized various Earth Day events every year. One long-time member organized the first Earth Day parade in Litchfield and continues to show her passion for Earth Day by organizing various ceremonies and activities each year.

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July 15, 2021

Butterfly Survey

Since the spring of 2020, The Planters, a GCA member club in Bryn Mawr, PA, has worked with Stoneleigh Natural Garden on a butterfly survey. Results from the ongoing survey will help the garden planners have a better understanding about which native plants attract which species of butterflies and where best to plant the natives in the garden.

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July 13, 2021

Adopt-A-Spot Garden Flourishes Again

Piscataqua Garden Club recently kicked off year two of its Adopt-A-Spot garden in Portsmouth, NH, by installing pollinator-friendly plants. Adopt-A-Spot is a city-wide volunteer program designed to create and maintain small gardens in public areas. Last year, in collaboration with the city’s arborists, PGC’s conservation and civic development committees worked together to design and care for a little garden in an overlooked area at the entrance to the historic Old North Cemetery. This year the spot will include food sources for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, becoming part of an official Pollinator Pathway.

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July 08, 2021

GCA Scholar Thaisa Way

In 2015, Dr. Thaisa Way received The Garden Club of America’s (GCA) prestigious Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture for her project entitled, “Drawing Histories of Landscape Architecture.” She is now paying it forward as the Resident Program Director for Garden and Landscape Studies (GLS) at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, where her responsibilities include leading the residential fellowship program. Part of the program involves leading a Mellon Urban Humanities Initiative titled "Democracy and the Urban Landscape: Race, Identity, and Difference," which brings young scholars from multiple disciplines together to explore how urban environments have emerged as we know them today, how we might reimagine them in the future, and what role landscape design might play.

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July 06, 2021

Garden Guild of Winnetka Maintains Butterfly Habitat

It‘s no secret that pollinator numbers are in significant decline. One of the main contributors for this drop is habitat loss. In an effort to combat this growing problem, the Garden Guild of Winnetka, Winnetka, Illinois, established the Butterfly Garden in 1998 to help educate and demonstrate how to conserve butterflies. In 2018, GGW collaborated with the Winnetka Park District to redesign and refresh the 1,700 square foot garden located in Dwyer Park. The result is not only a beautiful landmark in the community, but also a crucial habitat for butterflies and bees.

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July 01, 2021

New Garden Honors Local Heroes

In early June, a group of new members from the Stonington Garden Club (SGC) gathered at the Quiambaug Fire and Rescue Department in Mystic, CT, to plant a new garden surrounding the Quiambaug Fire Company sign and memorial dedicated to all members of the fire department, past, present, and future. The new garden is the perfect way to thank the fire department for their continued support during the club’s triennial Gardens by the Sea tour, which will be held June 10-11, 2022.

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June 29, 2021

Shaker Lakes Garden Club in the “Valley of God’s Pleasure”

Shaker Lakes gets its name from the North Union Shaker Community, early settlers of the area, who referred to the landscape as the “The Valley of God’s Pleasure.” After John D. Rockefeller purchased the property in 1889, he donated it to the city of Cleveland for parklands. Fast forward twenty six years to 1915, when four visionary and determined women met to discuss what to do about the neglected park at Lower Shaker Lake, and the Shaker Lakes Garden Club (SLGC) was born. Its history has been intertwined with this park ever since.

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June 24, 2021

The Heavy Mettle Behind a GCA Medal

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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June 22, 2021

An Olmsted Brothers Shakespeare Garden

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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