Who We Are
HISTORY OF THE SILVER SPRING GARDEN CLUB
In the spring of 1940, a small group of gardeners met at the Jesup Blair Community House to form the Silver Spring Garden Club based in Silver Spring, MD. The first meetings were held in the old County Building or in members' homes. We held our first plant sale, won awards for flower arrangements, our first picnic, and our first garden tour by 1941. The first "Home and Garden Mart" was held in the garden of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Williams, one of our original founders.
From 1942 to 1946, we cooperated with the war effort by planting Victory Gardens, donating money, magazines, and flowers to various war projects, including Walter Reed Hospital's Forest Glen Annex. The Club donated over 30,000 bulbs to Jesup Blair Park to honor Silver Spring's World War II servicemen and women. During the 1940s and 1950s, the Silver Spring Garden Club provided volunteer help to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for small park maintenance, clean-up after storms, and springtime spruce-up.
We participated in the landscaping of schools, hospitals, and libraries during the 1950s and ’60s. We took an active part in the landscaping of the Great Oaks Center by donating trees, planting bulbs and daylilies, and assisting with garden maintenance for fifteen years. Flower shows were held around the area including the then newly opened Wheaton Plaza.
Our Club has supported Brookside Gardens with funds and volunteers since 1969. We have donated funds and plants to its landscape projects including the Fragrance Garden for the Blind, the Winter Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Rain Garden. We have provided funds for the Library and for benches along the walks. In 1969, we began hosting the annual December Holiday Open House in the conservatories. The President of the Club testified several times before the M-NCPPC supporting additional funding for Brookside Gardens. In recent years, we have co-sponsored Brookside’s winter Green Matters symposiums; the annual “Wings of Fancy” butterfly exhibit; and the annual winter “Garden of Lights” show.
The Club has donated funds to Montgomery County Master Gardeners which works with autistic children to grow gardens. The Club has also given support in the past to organizations such as the American Horticultural Society, Audubon Naturalist Society, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Nature Conservancy of Maryland, the U.S. National Arboretum, American Rivers, and various environmental organizations.
The Club has sponsored annual overseas tours to world-renowned public and private gardens. Our travels have taken us to Southern England (1995), France (1996), Italy (1997), Wales, Scotland, and Northern England (1998), France (1999), Southern England (2000), Northern Italy (2001), Great Britain (2002), and Italy and France (2003). The tours have included London's Chelsea Flower Show, The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and the national flower shows of Monaco, France and Scotland. All were guided by a professional garden tour guide.