Skip to main content

Our History and Mission

Main Article Section

Our history dates back to 1891

The first garden club in America was founded in January 1891 by The Ladies Garden Club of Athens, Georgia. On May 1, 1929, 13 federated states became charter members at an organizational meeting in Washington, D.C. In 1935, the National Garden Clubs established headquarters at Rockefeller Center in New York City. A permanent headquarters building in St. Louis was dedicated May 10, 1958.

Today, National Garden Clubs, Inc., (NGC) is a not-for-profit educational organization headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri USA, adjacent to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Our organization comprises 50 state garden clubs and the National Capital Area, nearly 6,000 member garden clubs and nearly 200,000 members. Additionally, NGC has 70 national affiliated organizations within the United States and nearly 300 international affiliated organizations with locations ranging around the globe including: Canada, Mexico, South America, Bermuda, South Africa, Australia and Japan.

NGC Conservation Pledge

"I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of the planet earth and promise to promote education so we may become caretakers of our air, water, forest, land, and wildlife."

Our Mission Statement

National Garden Clubs, Inc. provides education, resources, and national networking opportunities for its members to promote the love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility.

Overall, we promote the love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility and we help coordinate the interests and activities of state and local garden clubs in the U.S. and abroad.

We organize, support, arrange and deliver educational and school programs along with a variety of resources to support horticultural and environmental activities. Further, we sponsor many networking opportunities and special projects in which our members can participate in order to be of service and help our communities on a local, regional, national and international level.

Some of Our Projects and Programs Include

  • Aiding in the protection and conservation of natural resources.
  • Promoting civic beautification and encouraging the improvement of roadsides and parks.
  • Encouraging the establishment and maintenance of botanical gardens, arboreta and horticultural centers for the advancement of science, enjoyment and education of the public.
  • Advancing the study of gardening, landscape design, environmental issues, floral design and horticulture through it's sponsored floral and landscaping schools.
  • Awarding college scholarships to deserving undergraduate and graduate students majoring in the fields of gardening, landscape design, environmental issues, horticulture and other related areas.
  • Cooperating with other organizations furthering the interests of horticulture, conservation, environmental protection and beautification.

Today's Garden Clubs are Globally Focused and Locally Grown

Young child scooping dirt into a containerToday's garden clubs creatively and effectively address current issues, such as climate change, highway beautification and other environmental concerns. Local and state projects and national partnerships with such organizations as the U.S. Forest Service and Habitat for Humanity International give garden club members everywhere an opportunity to make a difference while engaging in activities they love.

Garden clubs develop and participate in a myriad of outstanding and rewarding local, regional and national community service projects that involve and include people of all ages and backgrounds. A small coast-to-coast sampling includes:

  • Healing with Gardens and Horticultural Therapy

    Therapeutic projects are diverse and include such things as teaching gardening skills to developmentally challenged high-school students; planning, planting and maintaining healing gardens in nursing homes and veterans hospitals; and providing gardening education and encouragement to prison inmates. Click to learn more.

  • Digging in to Raise Funds for Replanting Disaster-Struck Areas

    Garden clubs across the nation raise money annually in support of the USDA Forest Service Penny Pines program (www.pennypines.org), which replants damaged state and national forests. Garden clubs in the Gulf States are working to re-landscape hurricane-damaged public areas through the NGC-sponsored Green the Gulf Coast Grants program. Click to learn more.

  • Helping Habitat for Humanity Homeowners

    Garden clubs provide gardening education and assistance to Habitat homeowners throughout the U.S. During Habitat's national Home Builders Blitz, garden club members work side by side with new homeowners to help them establish low-maintenance, environmentally friendly gardens. Click to learn more.

  • Working with Children and Schools

    Garden clubs assist local schools in establishing gardens to teach children about nature, horticulture, the environment and how to plant native. Click to learn more.

  • Conducting Flower Shows

    These enjoyable events continue to draw crowds while giving club members a chance to exhibit their plants and floral arrangements and compete for prizes. The shows also help spread the word about the joys of gardening and serve as a forum for learning and discussing the latest horticultural techniques. Click to learn more.

  • Beautifying and "Greening" the Community

    Garden club members frequently take on park and vacant lot rehabilitation; community gardening; recycling and pollution-control efforts; and historic-site preservation. Many clubs actively support the Blue Star Memorial program, which honors those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces by placing distinctive and permanent memorial markers along highways and in national cemeteries, parks and veterans facilities.

    Local garden clubs join together at both the state and national levels to form strong, synergistic networks for sharing ideas, advancing common interests and pulling together to achieve mutual goals. In fact, with nearly 200,000 members, National Garden Clubs Inc. is the largest volunteer organization of its type in the world. This means that garden club members have a powerful voice that can be heard coast-to-coast to achieve NGC's rewarding and relevant mission: to promote the love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility. Click to learn more.

National Headquarters Contact Information

National Garden Clubs, Inc.
4401 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110-3492
Phone: (314) 776-7574
Fax: (314) 776-5108
Email: headquarters@gardenclub.org
Website Address: www.gardenclub.org