Philadelphia has been a center for gardening in this country since colonial times. So it is not surprising that it was in Philadelphia that Elizabeth Price Martin founded our nation's first Garden Club in 1904.
Her group was so successful that more and more garden interest groups were formed, and since 1913 there has been a national organization known as GCA, the Garden Club of America.
Over the last 100 years, members of this club have accomplished great things. To name a significant few they have planted Victory gardens, worked to preserve the redwood forests of California and promoted highway beautification across the country.
Historian William Seale has written a fascinating book, published by Smithsonian Books, about the history and achievements of this vibrant organization of committed gardeners. It also showcases the stories of some prominent Garden Club members: strong women who helped to disseminate information about gardening, and who planted seeds of awareness concerning the need for all citizens to nurture, protect and improve their local environments. This remarkable book would make an excellent gift for any garden club member or gardener, who you know and/or love.
Note: Seale, William, The Garden Club of America: One hundred Years of a Growing Legacy. Smithsonian Books, 2013.