The idea for this garden club sprouted in 1940 when several enthusiastic gardeners were volunteering for the Fairfax County Chapter of the American Red Cross, making dressings for the war effort. After multiple admonitions to “not talk so much,” the ladies soon decided to form a garden club where they could pursue their botanical interests. The members took Latin in order to ensure that they would use correct nomenclature. They elected themselves as officers and recruited friends as members. Members of the Great Falls Garden Club are dedicated in their pursuit of knowledge and its application to improve their corner of the earth. Among its members, the Club has Accredited Flower Show Judges, Landscape Design Consultants, Gardening Consultants and Environmental Consultants.
Since its inception, the Club has taken on varied civic projects. One of our members wrote a history of Georgetown Pike, which was well received and sorely needed. Awards were received for helping to establish the Great Falls Nature Trail and, more recently, for designing, planting and maintaining the Great Falls Library Garden.
For many years, membership remained small so that meetings could be held in members’ homes, but over the past few years we have begun holding our meetings in the community room of the Great Falls Library and we recently increased the maximum number of members to 45. Refreshments have evolved from full luncheons to high tea to brown bag lunches to simply beverages and dessert. The length of the meetings also varies from a few hours to an all afternoon affair or field trip. By having meetings at the library, we also now have access to audio visual equipment, a large screen and plenty of seating and parking.
A comprehensive selection of programs has been presented over the years, with speakers ranging from Club members to local experts on topics as diverse as landscaping with dwarf evergreens to designing hardscapes for the garden. The Club also stages judged flower shows every other year. Originally held at members’ homes, the Club ventured forth with a public show at the Great Falls Library in 2002 and has continued to hold biennial flower shows there ever since.
The Club was a founding member of National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc. (NCAGC) in 1951, shortly before NCAGC joined National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC) in 1954. Today NGC has over 200,000 members in 6,500 clubs. It is represented in all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as in several countries in South America and it is considered the largest volunteer gardening association in the world. Several Great Falls Garden Club members serve on the Boards of NCAGC and NGC.
Click on the following line to read the Minutes of very first meeting October 2, 1941. To return to this page, use the “back” arrow on your browser.