The Garden Club of Wilmington, founded in May 1918, has taken an active role in both horticultural and conservation projects in Delaware. For almost 100 years, the Club has been actively engaged in supporting civic and community programs in the state. The breadth and depth of horticultural and design knowledge among Club members is impressive, and the Club’s long-standing commitment to the communities of Delaware is well respected.
In 1920, the Garden Club of Wilmington became a member of The Garden Club of America (GCA).The Club is also a member of the Delaware Federated Garden Clubs and the National Garden Club (NGC). Today, members enjoy the enormous benefits both these national organizations. Members have the opportunity to attend the GCA and NGC meetings, garden tours, and horticulture photography and floral design workshops, held all over the country. GCA’s website (www. gcamerica.org) provides numerous links with information on conservation, horticulture and flower design.
The Garden Club of Wilmington currently has 92 members, 52 of whom are listed as active members; other membership categories allow for less involvement by long-serving members. Membership is by invitation.
The Club holds a regular monthly meeting, typically during the morning of the first Monday of the month. A speaker is usually featured, presenting information and insights on topics related to horticulture, flower arranging or environmental issues. The Club’s standing committees sponsor speakers, offer workshop and projects, host workshops, and plan field trips and plant sales. The Club holds two horticulture shows, two floral design shows and two photography shows annually; novice classes are often included. Members are expected to attend meetings, be actively involved in at least two to three committees and participate in flower shows whenever possible. Annual dues support club and community programs.
Members are encouraged to attend hands-on workshops that are held most months on a variety of topics, including propagation, flower arranging, pruning and trough-making. Plant sales are held throughout the year, enabling members to broaden their plant collections or share special plants they have grown through propagation or division. Horticultural knowledge is also shared when members open their gardens to the Club for informal touring.
Community involvement centers on a program teaching culinary gardening and floral presentation to inmates at the Baylor Women’s Prison and on maintaining an entry garden and arranging fresh flowers at the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.
Many members are avid competitors in both horticulture and flower arranging classes at the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, staged each spring for the benefit of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Club members have a long tradition of winning numerous awards and ribbons. Club members, working as a group, frequently enter competitive classes at the show. Recent prize-winning entries have been in a range of classes, including the Front Porch, Tables, Window Sill and Store Window classes. In addition, club members exhibit and judge shows held around the country.