Now, 75 years later, the 28 members of the organization are celebrating its 75th year.
“The idea was for these women to become educated with flower creations and become involved in competitions, and also to create interest in one’s own gardening at home,” said Gretchen Reese, who has been involved with the club for more than 35 years, “and to define civic projects to make a difference in the community.”
She said a major focus of the club is civic projects, including “garden therapy.” It started at Wesley Woods’ geriatric memory care in DeKalb County, where they supplied and continue to supply flower containers and plants.
“Two of our members’ husbands invented troughs, so patients can [plants flowers] in a wheelchair, so they don’t have to bend over,” Reese said. “We have always been supportive of that.”
She said the club usually identifies one civic project a year, and is focusing its efforts — financially and physically — on Blue Heron Nature Preserve in north Buckhead.
“Our project is to take care of and maintain the entrance to the building there, … to take care of the gardens and improve the appearance,” said president Frances St. John. “As a club, it just emphasizes the importance of improvements that women as an organized group can make to the community.”
Aside from community work, Reese said part of the club’s mission is to promote the love of gardening among members and to “further the education of members in the fields of gardening, horticulture and landscape design.”
St. John said the club is a “congenial, thriving” group of women both young and old, who are committed to one another.
“They are just a very caring involved group of women who all want to learn about horticulture and want to share their knowledge with the community,” she said. “Our goal is to continue to work in the community and to enhance the camaraderie among members. … We are always striving to learn more and be guided by our knowledge in our own gardens.”
To celebrate its birthday, the club will meet for a luncheon chaired by Anna K Mansfield today at the Swan Coach House, where much of the club’s efforts were concentrated years ago.
St. John said the club designed, started and maintained the boxwood gardens for the Swan Coach House for several years, and continues to provide large Christmas wreaths on the Swan Coach House gates during the holidays.
The club is a member of the Greater Garden Club of Georgia, and meets monthly in members’ homes to hear speakers and take field trips.