Ninety years and growing

Since 1928, the Garden Club of Georgia continues its mission of ‘beautification, conservation, and education’ –

Jane Hersey is a “dig-in-the-dirt” type of gardener. She works hard to keep her garden pretty, yet practical, and then moves on to work on community projects with her local garden club, The Town & Country Garden Club of Eatonton. Town & Country is one of about 400 members of The Garden Club of Georgia, the statewide organization of which Hersey now serves as president.

Jane Hersey, of Eatonton, is the current president of The Garden Club of Georgia.

She is preceded by a long line of women, dating back to when the club was first organized on June 8, 1928 at the Biltmore Hotel in Atlanta. These women were looking for less of a social group and more of an action group from their organizations.

And so, they got their hands dirty.

Over the past 90 years, The Garden Club of Georgia has established educational programming, scholarship programs, and youth activities. It has gotten involved in conservation advocacy and historic preservation.

This year alone, the GCG awarded $75,000 to 31 students majoring in garden-related areas.

Each year, its Historic House and Garden Pilgrimage raises funds for restoration of historic, public landscapes and gardens in Georgia. To date, 68 landscapes have received matching grants totaling more than $115,000.

The Club reaches nearly every community through its countless beautification projects and touches hearts through its Garden Therapy Program. Education remains a constant during the year with symposiums and study courses on everything from floral design to native plants.

The GCG enjoys an idyllic headquarters at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens where many of its programs are based.

Today, more than 12,000 gardeners are active within the GCG – a lovely bloom from a seed well planted.

To find out what else is growing, visit gardenclub.uga.edu.

The first annual meeting of The Garden Club of Georgia was held at Augusta’s Bon Air Hotel in 1929. Since then, the club has grown from 29 member clubs to close to 400.

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