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Secret Gardens: Private Gardens of Paradise
From The Garden Club of America Collection at the Archives of American Gardens

The secret garden, also known by its Italian name, giardino segreto, has a long history that can be traced back to Roman peristyle houses which featured a garden located within a central courtyard. Secret gardens were also often found within traditional Islamic houses and were considered paradise gardens — an oasis where one could contemplate privately.

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Help Solve A Garden Mystery - The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens
Tobie Garden / Unidentified location (between 1914 and 1949?)

Do you love gardens and the thrill of the hunt? The Garden Club of America Collection at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens has images of numerous gardens across the United States that need a bit of sleuthing to be positively identified. Some images belonged to slide lectures that were dismantled over time or simply never labeled. Regardless of how it happened, they are a mystery! If this garden looks familiar to you, please READ MORE.

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GCA Scholar Dr. Quave Researches Botanical Solution
Acne: Age-old Teenage Problem

Approximately 85% of the human population suffers from acne at some point in their lives, negatively impacting self-esteem, self-confidence, and social life. Now a plant extract may finally be the solution to the problem. Ethnobotanist Dr. Cassandra Quave, recipient of the GCA’s Anne S. Chatham Fellowship in Medicinal Botany in 2007, has concluded research on a native southeastern United States shrub that has shown great potential as a natural way to treat common acne.

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Meant to Bee: Bee City Designation has Big Impact
Beaumont, Texas is Blooming!

The members of the Magnolia Garden Club took action when they learned about an opportunity for their city of Beaumont, Texas, to become a Bee City. The idea was proposed to the City Council, approved in October 2018, and Beaumont was designated the third Bee City in Texas. The mission of Bee City USA® galvanizes communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with a healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free to nearly free of pesticides. Statistics on pollinators are impressive; they are responsible for 1 in 3 bites we eat and the reproduction of almost 90% of the world's flowering plant species. To date, there are 98 Bee Cities and counting.

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“The Catesby” in the GCA’s Rare Book Collection at the NYBG
The twenty-sixth oldest book in the collection...

The LuEsther T. Mertz Library at the New York Botanical Garden is home to the GCA’s rare book collection – 717 volumes ranging in age from 1612-2012. The twenty-sixth oldest book in the collection and meticulously restored is Mark Catesby’s, The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (1771), affectionately known as “The Catesby.”

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club Honored
Civic Projects, Community Outreach, and Education

The Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club was honored by the city of Carmel, California for its dedicated service and significant contributions to the community. The collaboration between the city and the garden club has restored gardens, protected land from commercial development, and restored native plants and habitats to upland prairies, marshlands, and threatened areas. Since 1981, Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club has concentrated its efforts on civic projects, community outreach, and education.

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The GCA Recognizes Outstanding Teachers in Early Environmental Education
2019 Hull Award Winners

Bees, trees, and lettuce seeds… these topics and more were brought to classrooms across the country by 13 outstanding teachers, all recipients of the GCA’s 2019 Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award. The Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award annually recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals furthering the early environmental education of children. Established in 1992, the Hull Award provides $1,000 to chosen recipients who honor Miss Hull’s common sense approach to environmental awareness by inspiring children under 16 to appreciate the beauty and fragility of our planet. One-hundred and forty-four awards have been granted over the past 27 years.

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Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The Garden Club of America offers 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. In 2019, $377,500 was awarded to 73 scholars.

Follow GCA Scholarships on Twitter for the latest news about pollinators, coastal wetlands, native bird habitats, and much more. Connect to a larger world of horticulture and conservation through the Garden Club of America scholars. Learn more about the GCA Scholarships.


Plant of the Year

Annually since 1995, the GCA has identified a stellar North American native plant to receive its Montine McDaniel Freeman Medal for Plant of the Year.

Aristolochia macrophylla (Dutchman's Pipe) is The Garden Club of America's 2019 Plant of the Year.

Nominate a Plant - recognize a plant that is under-utilized but worthy of preservation, propagation and promotion.