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90 YEARS AND STILL BLOOMING!
On September 11, 1924, eight ladies met to organize a garden club to create a more beautiful city. This group ultimately was to become the Gainesville Garden Club and in 1927 became affiliated with the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs.
When founding members created the club, they envisioned a small organization to further their garden research and to enhance city spaces. Because they did not have a place to meet, they gathered in members' homes which limited enrollment. However, by 1930 the new club was such a success that over 100 women had asked to join and garden circles were initiated. The first four circles were Founders, Azalea, Camellia and Oleander. Circles continue to meet monthly from September to May, and they now meet at the Garden Center in Gainesville or at other locations in the surrounding area.
During the early years the Garden Club focused on civic projects and city planning and in the 1940's were active in providing assistance to servicemen and in sending packages overseas to war torn Europe. The Garden Club with other civic organizations worked together to establish a Community Cultural Center, a portion of which was allocated to the Garden Club for a library and meeting place; the Garden Club members landscaped and maintained the grounds of the Center.
With the blossoming growth of the Garden Club, it soon became clear that a permanent location was needed. In 1968, four acres of land were donated by Dr. Lamar & Mrs. Louise Roberts to build the current Garden Center. Over time, an additional building was added as well as several patios, walkways and a butterfly garden. These buildings continue to be the site of garden club meetings, lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions, and plant and garden sales as well as weddings and other special events.
The Club is a self supporting, non-profit organization dedicated to education, beautification, and conservation. The Garden Club sponsors youth enrollment at Camp Wekiva, a nature camp operated by the Federation, and sends teenagers to participate in SEEK, a conservation conference of the FFGC. The Garden Club also provides University scholarships in horticulture and related fields for interested students.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENTGainesville Garden Club Members are proud to be involved in and support many activities both at our Club and around our community to help create a heritage for the future. Projects vary for each Circle during the year and the list below includes many of our past and present efforts.
Adopting Landscaping/Gardening Spots in the Community
Women Build (Habitat for Humanity)
Butterfly Sanctuary at Garden Center & Tacachale
Field Trips to Various Gardens
Floral Design Classes
Hidden Oaks Elementary School Butterfly Garden
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Butterfly Garden
Matheson Historical Center Gardens
Plant Distribution (Free Plants)
Ronald McDonald House
Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival
Spring Promenade - Cosponsor
VISTA Rehabilitation Center Courtyard Maintenance
Arbor Day Tree Planting
Bird Sanctuary at Garden Center
Floral Design Demonstrations & Workshops
Japanese Flower Arranging
Junior Gardeners and Garden Therapy
Loften Center - Recycling Pots & Seed Distribution
Morningside Nature Park - Heirloom Garden
Prayer Garden at Tacachale
Toys for Tots
Winn Dixie Hope Lodge
Park Meadows Rehabilitation Facility
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