Our History and Mission

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, 5,000 member garden clubs, and 165,000 members. Additionally, NGC has 60 national affiliated organizations within the United States and nearly 330 international affiliated organizations with locations ranging around the globe including: Canada, Mexico, South America, Bermuda, South Africa, Australia, and Japan.

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.

Gay L. Austin
President 2019-2021
National Garden Clubs, Inc.

  • NGC 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.

  • 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."

  • A Sampling of Our Projects and Programs

    Plant America

    NGC President Gay L. Austin's 2 Year Project: Plant AmericaThe theme for President Gay L. Austin's administration is Plant America, a singularly focused initiative on gardens and gardening and the establishment of a grant fund to facilitate local club projects. Both a call to service and a description of what NGC clubs do, Plant America supports the main reason that people say they join a garden club - to learn about gardening!

    Youth Programs

    NGC youth programs get kids involved in conservation and protecting our environment.A wide variety of in-school and out-of-school youth programs to help kids learn, get involved and take an active role in protecting and conserving our environment and growing their own gardens.

    College Scholarships

    Awarding college scholarships for deserving undergraduate and graduate students majoring in the fields of gardening, landscape design, environmental issues, horticulture, and other related areas.


    NGC schools teach floral design, gardening, landscaping, horticulture and flower show judging.NGC sponsored floral and landscaping schools which prodvide resources, education and advancement in the study of gardening, landscape design, environmental issues, floral design and horticulture and Flower Show Judging.

  • Today's Garden Clubs are Globally Focused and Locally Grown

    Today's garden clubs 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

    Gardening is therapy and healing for many.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.

    Replanting Disaster-Struck Areas

    Kids help to replant after storms and other disasters.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

    NGC outreach programs help Habitat for Humanity homeowners plant and grow gardens.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.

    Conducting Flower Shows

    NGC sponsored flower shows bring people, plants and the environment together.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 help to maintain community green spaces, parks, and environmental areas.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