#GardenClubofGeorgia    #2023GardenClubofGeorgiaConvention

I’ve admired the sweet little yellow cottage in downtown Historic Norcross, home of the Norcross Garden Club for many years. I had spent so much time in classes and serving as a Georgia Master Gardener that I had been hesitant to join another organization. When I attended the garden club plant sale last spring and spent some more time with several of the members, I knew I couldn’t wait any longer to join this wonderful group of people.

Garden Club is Much Bigger than I Thought

I have really enjoyed attending the garden club meetings, hearing from interesting speakers, volunteering with other garden club members (and learning from them too). When I first joined, I discovered that I had joined a group of people who not only cared about tending gardens, they also cared deeply for one another and our community. After only a few meetings, I began to realize that the garden club was much bigger and broader than I expected. I saw how garden club members are dedicated to their mission to promote Beautification, Conservation and Education.

Garden Club of Georgia Convention

I soon learned that our district, the Dogwood District was responsible for planning and organizing the 2023 Garden Club of Georgia (GCG) Annual Convention. In every meeting and interaction I saw how our members worked to address each aspect of the garden club mission in our local activities and in the planning for the annual convention. As updates were shared at our meetings, I realized that the Norcross Garden Club is part of a huge network including district, state, regional and National Garden Club organizations. (My membership in the Norcross Garden Club includes membership in the Garden Club of Georgia and the National Garden Club). I saw a very professional convention taking shape and I wanted others to know about it. I had so many questions and so much to learn. That’s when I had the idea to volunteer my time to capture interviews and comments from garden club leaders and annual convention attendees. There was so much information to learn and share that I have produced 4 videos that are included within this blog post.

Images of greeters and attendees at the Garden Club of Georgia Convention

The new Garden Club of Georgia president, Lisa Hall, began her 2023-2025 term at the close of the April convention. At the convention, Immediate Past President, Peggy Tucker was concluding her term. She agreed to share her wishes for the GCG moving forward in the video that follows. Peggy encouraged everyone to participate in the many garden club projects that help promote Beautification, Conservation and Education across the state.  This video also includes photos from the convention along with additional remarks from a variety of convention leaders and attendees as well.

I loved the energy at the convention. It was wonderful to see all the enthusiasm and networking that took place among garden club members from across the state. There were so many different gardening and environmental interests represented by the clubs and individuals. People shared their passion for garden club leadership and various aspects of their gardening interests including horticulture, environmental issues, community and youth education, fund raising, community beautification and support, and of course, flower arrangements.

There were nearly 300 attendees and about 100 Dogwood District volunteers that worked to make the convention run smoothly. The two-day convention included district and state business meetings, officer installations, workshops, excellent speakers, exhibits for various key GCG projects, a silent auction and raffle baskets and there were 12 interesting vendors selling a variety of garden-related items including plants, artwork, jewelry and gifts. Unique floral displays decorated the convention center and tables for every meal.


In the following video, Lee Dunn, described her role on the GCG board as Historic Landscape Preservation Chairman and how the Garden Club awards grants to historic non-profit landscapes and gardens in the state of Georgia. Lee also served as the 2023 Garden Club of Georgia Convention Speakers Chairman. In the video, Lee shares her enthusiasm and describes the quality of presenters and interesting sessions at the convention this year.


Significant work by individual garden clubs was recognized and celebrated as awards were presented at the banquet. Awards represented beautification, conservation and education projects including community beautification, youth education and environmental efforts as well as scholarships. The Garden Club Merit Award was presented to Peggy Riggins, No Ash At All, Wayne County. In the following video, hear Peggy’s description of the significant work that her organization has done along with support from organizations like the Garden Club of Georgia. She brings attention to the environmental dangers of toxic coal ash dumping near wetlands throughout Georgia. Peggy explains that coal ash dumping continues to be a huge problem in Georgia. She urges us to continue to raise awareness, fight to close coal ash ponds safely and to ensure that coal ash is stored in dry places, away from wetlands and fragile ecosystems.


Susan Turner, Garden Club of Georgia Scholarship Chairman spoke with me about scholarship money that members and garden clubs provide.  Her passion is evident for helping youth and students pursue education in garden related and environmental fields. Susan believes that the Garden Club of Georgia scholarship program is one of the best throughout national garden clubs – this year, awarding $70,000 in scholarships to 14 students to help them further their educations at accredited Georgia colleges.

The Garden Club of Georgia (GCG)

The first garden club meeting in the United States actually took place in 1891 in Athens, Georgia. According to National Garden Clubs, members of the “Ladies’ Garden Club of Athens” formed the club to study horticulture and the exchange of plants and ideas for the betterment of their community. As the number of garden clubs grew, they recognized the advantages of joining together to form state federations to address common horticultural and environmental concerns.*

The Georgia state organization was created in 1928 with 29 member clubs. Today, the Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. is one of the largest state garden clubs in the country and is headquartered on the grounds of the Georgia State Botanical Gardens. There are 7 garden club districts in the state of Georgia.** Current members include women and men from a variety of backgrounds and horticultural and environmental interests as well as other gardening societies and affiliates.

National Garden Clubs, Inc

Today, 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. The environmental mission of National Garden Clubs, Inc. is to review the environmental problems and their possible solutions, to promote environmental literacy and to advocate sound environmental stewardship.***

I inherited my love of gardening from my grandmother and my parents. I don’t think my grandmother was a member of a garden club but she was an educator. She taught me and certainly demonstrated her love of gardening, nurturing and caring for others. I think she’d be impressed to see how far garden clubs have come and I think she’d be proud that I have decided to join the garden club.

Maybe Garden Club is for You

I truly enjoyed the process of becoming a Georgia Master Gardener but I also know lots of gardeners that are not Master Gardeners. Unlike Certified Master Gardening programs, Garden Clubs are open to anyone interested in growing and learning together, they do not require a period of study or certification. Consider joining your local garden club, getting to know your community and enjoying great fellowship while you learn together about gardening and care for our environment.

The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc.      https://gardenclubofgeorgia.org/about-us/

National Garden Clubs