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The 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show GCA Exhibit
In honor of the GCA’s Centennial and the RHS Centenary Chelsea Flower Show, GCA mounted an educational exhibit at the show called “A Lasting Legacy." Featuring the GCA’s first conservation project, redwood images towered over a serene, lush planting of understory flora, creating a virtual forest unique to our country and preserved by a far-sighted group of Garden Club of America ladies. The display of GCA’s efforts to save the redwoods was awarded the coveted Silver Gilt medal by the RHS.
Redwood stepping stones marked the GCA's journey from the past to the present, listing major achievements over 100 years. Display boards illustrated these milestones including the Centennial Tree Project, the 2013 Founders Fund project in Central Park, images of historic garden landscapes from the Archives of American Gardens at the Smithsonian and finally, the tie that binds, the legacy of the Garden Club of America/Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellowship.
Visitors and the U.K. press have been generous in their praise of the exhibit. To review a selection of commentary and video, click on the each of the following publications: Financial Times (24May2013), Financial Times (17May2013), Cotswold Life, YouTube and The Gardening Times.
The display would not have been possible without the help of many grateful GCA Scholarship recipients from both the U.K. and the U.S. who contributed their time and talent to help with our exhibit. Two British Interchange Fellowship recipients, now accomplished landscape architects, were the lead designers. Click here for more information.
American Academy in Rome
The American Academy in Rome is one of the leading American overseas centers for independent study and advanced research in the arts and humanities. Each year, through a national juried competition, the Academy offers up to 30 Rome Prize fellowships including the prestigious Garden Club of America Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture. Described as an “estate of the mind," the Academy provides students with an atmosphere for unregimented study, independent work, and inspiration. http://www.aarome.org/
Archives of American Gardens
In 1987 the Garden Club of America donated its unique slide library of Notable American Parks and Gardens to the Smithsonian Institution: nearly 3,000 hand-colored glass lantern slides dating from the 1920's and 1930's, along with approximately 37,000 35mm slide images of gardens that date from colonial times. These form the core of The Archives of American Gardens, housed in the Smithsonian Gardens. The GCA’s Garden History and Design Committee continue to contribute to the AAG by documenting gardens, both large and small. With GCA’s volunteer commitment and financial support of a summer intern, the collection now holds more than 80,000 photographic images and records documenting over 6,300 historic and contemporary American gardens. http://sirismm.si.edu/siris/aaglocation.htm
Botany in Action
The Botany in Action Fellowship (BIA) program at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens fosters the development of the next generation of plant-based scientists. The BIA program, originally started by members of the Allegheny Garden Club, Zone V, is open to PhD students enrolled at U.S. graduate institutions who are conducting plant-based scientific field research. BIA provides grants for study around the globe. GCA is pleased to partner with the Phipps Conservatory to spread the word about funding opportunities for aspiring plant scientists.
In 2001, Mrs. Eugene B. Casey, a local philanthropist in Washington DC, became concerned about the severe loss of tree canopy in our nation's capital. Discussions between Betty Casey, her Foundation, and Garden Club of America then-president, Bobbie Hansen, resulted in the Casey Trees organization that today maintains a close partnership with GCA. Casey's mission is to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of Washington, DC and, since its inception twelve years ago, has established itself as a local and national leader in urban forestry renewal. http://www.caseytrees.org
Central Park Conservancy
With national headquarters located steps from Central Park, the Garden Club of America has a special relationship with America's foremost major urban public space. As part of GCA’s centennial celebration, the Founders Fund recently partnered with the Central Park Conservancy to renovate Central Park’s East 69th Street entrance and Dene Summer House landscape. The project will create a more inviting park experience using a harmonious blend of details, materials, and a revised layout that ties the entrance with the unique character of the Dene (valley). Park visitors’ visual senses will be piqued by new native plantings offering seasonal texture while preserving Olmsted’s original design narrative. Additional plans include enhancing the 69th street entrance with a more generous threshold opening and lining the walking path with flowering trees. The GCA anticipates project completion by 2013. http://www.centralparknyc.org/
The Royal Horticultural Society
The Garden Club of America has a long-standing relationship with the Royal Horticultural Society. GCA and RHS have annual reciprocal scholarships: the Garden Club of America Interchange Fellowship offers a British student an opportunity to study in the United States and the Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellowship provides study and internships in the UK for a year. Meetings of the RHS and GCA enrich our shared vision. http://www.rhs.org.uk/Home
Save the Redwoods League
GCA's first-ever national conservation effort is the Garden Club of America Grove, which is at the core of the largest contiguous old-growth forest in the world, located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California. Save the Redwoods League advanced funds to the Garden Club of America to help with the cost of acquisition beginning in 1921, when GCA was a mere eight years old. As the organization approaches its centennial, GCA's obligation to the Save the Redwoods League is still being repaid by contributions to the league from Garden Club members. http://www.savetheredwoods.org/
Smithsonian Gardens - Millennium Butterfly Habitat Garden
The Smithsonian Butterfly Habitat Garden, managed by Smithsonian Gardens, is an 11,000 square foot area that supports plant species having specific relationships to life cycles of eastern United States butterflies. Built in 1995 with funds from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, the Butterfly Garden is located on the East side of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. In 2000, the Garden Club of America designated the Butterfly Habitat Garden as one of its Founders Fund Projects and significantly expanded the original garden. This gift was in keeping with the GCA's goal of restoring, improving, and protecting the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement. The allure and significance of this garden is found not only in the beauty of the plant species themselves but also in the multitude of artfully enameled signs with text that interpret particular plant/butterfly relationships. http://www.gardens.si.edu/horticulture/gardens/nmnh/butterfly.html
of Flower Arrangers
The Flower Arranging Study Group of the Garden Club of America became a member of the World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA) in 1990. The management of WAFA moves from country to country every three years. During its tenure, the host country organizes an International Seminar, stages a World Flower Show, convenes a General Assembly, and plans various other educational events. The mission of WAFA USA is threefold: education, the promotion of floral art, and conservation. GCA’s Flower Arranging Study Group was honored to co-host the 10th World Flower Show with the Assembly of Flower Arrangers (of the National Garden Clubs) in Boston from June 15-19, 2011.
The Garden Club of America has arrangements for mutual hospitality with garden clubs in eight countries:
- Garden Club of Bavaria, Munich, Germany
- Garden Club of Bermuda
- Garden Club of Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Garden Club of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
- St. James Horticultural Society, Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Garden Club of Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Council of Garden Clubs of Montevideo, Uruguay
- Remuera Garden Club, Auckland, New Zealand