Conservation, Civic Improvement and Horticulture
The Garden Club of Palm Beach was founded in 1928, and held its first Flower Show in 1929. The following year, the club commissioned a nationally renowned firm to create a formal Town Plan which was enthusiastically accepted by the Town Council in 1930.
In 1931 The Garden Club of Palm Beach was admitted to membership in The Garden Club of America. In the early years the club members planted palms along Royal Palm Way, replanted the Lake Trail after severe hurricane damage, addressed the problems posed by the proliferation of billboards, and advocated for more green spaces within the town. Members also created and have maintained the Demonstration Garden at The Society of the Four Arts. The Demonstration Garden is located on the same block as the Maurice Fatio-designed Four Arts Library.
After World War II, Garden Club members rallied to enforce strict zoning regulations in Palm Beach, including height limitations on new buildings. The beauty of the rare and exotic trees on the island prompted The Garden Club to urge the Town Council to propose legislation that would preserve and protect them. The Historic and Specimen Tree Ordinance Act (Ordinance No 2-73) was passed in 1973.
The Garden Club of Palm Beach continues to focus its attention on conservation, civic improvement and horticulture. On the national and state level, we have supported legislative action toward the restoration of the Everglades. On the local level, we continue to provide financial and board support to The Pine Jog Environmental Education Center. In fact, Pine Jog was founded by Mrs. Alfred Kay who was a member of our club. In 1973, we received the Founders Fund Award from The Garden Club of America for the creation of the "Teaching Marsh" Program at Pine Jog. The three-acre teaching marsh serves students from the Palm Beach County School System and Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. In 1981 The Garden Club of America gave its Zone VIII Conservation Award to The Garden Club of Palm Beach for its continued vigilance and support of The Pine Jog Environmental Education Center. We were honored to again receive that award in 2006 for our club's efforts towards the restoration of the Everglades.
Garden Club members attend town meetings and participate in the discussion whenever the Town Council's agenda addresses conservation or town beautification issues. Our club supports The Mounts Botanical Garden, The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and The Flagler Museum. We continue to maintain the Demonstration Garden at The Society of the Four Arts. We designed an Arbor Day Celebration which includes visits to local schools where we present a program on the significance of Arbor Day. Students from these schools also participate in a tree planting ceremony at Bradley Park. Our club sponsored the creation of the landscaping for the kaleidoscope circles along the the medians of Royal Poinciana Way, and the Oasis Traffic Circle at Southern and South Ocean Boulevards.
The club took a leadership role in the inspiration, creation and funding of the Living Wall on Worth Avenue. This vertical garden contains eleven species and over ten thousand plants. It transforms a stark wall into a lush waterfall of plant material in various shades of green.
Club members take part in horticulture and flower arranging workshops as well as field trips. Our monthly meetings include speakers who address topics of interest to the club's membership and mission. We have published The Garden Club of Palm Beach Cook Book (1967) and a horticulture book entitled Gardens by the Sea (1999). A monthly newsletter, The Green Sheet and our website help to keep our members informed about our activities and projects.
The Garden Club of Palm Beach cherishes its past and continues to be actively involved in our present community while it works to plan for the future.