History 1970-2001

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In January 1970 Mrs. Albert Farwell gave a lecture at a joint fund raising meeting with the Ladue Garden Club. The subject was "Herbs and Organic Gardening". Proceeds were used for the 1971 Annual Meeting of the G.C.A. Two special meetings were held for newer members with knowledgeable members demonstrating bulb forcing and greenhouse maintenance. The Club supported the Governor's Youth Conference on Environmental Quality, and distributed G.C.A. Conservation packets to all who attended.

Throughout the years of 1969, 1970 and 1971 members met weekly at the house of Mrs. Garneau Weld to make paper flowers, shadow boxes, and various decorations for the 1971 Annual Garden Club of America Meeting. Mrs. George Pettus, the Annual Meeting Chairman had constant committee meetings covering all aspects of the convention. In the fall of 1970 the Club sponsored a Needlework Exhibit-"Keep In Stitches" benefiting the St. Louis Art Museum. Mrs. John Tobin was chairman, assisted by Mrs. Thomas Collins, Mrs. Tom K. Smith, Jr. and Mrs. William Spivy. Nearly 200 items were displayed at Lammert's in Clayton, ranging from rugs, large wall hangings, to furniture and eyeglass cases. Mrs. William McDonnell's collection of 17th and 18th century framed embroidery pictures were a focal point. One of our members won second place in Zone XI G.C.A. Landscape Design contest. A silent Auction of Antiques and Collectibles was held to raise funds for the Annual Meeting. The Silent Auction made $2,026.44, and the Needlepoint Show made $1,212.25.


1971 was the big year of the G.C.A. Annual Meeting  in St. Louis jointly sponsored by our Club and the Ladue Garden Club, May 3,4,5,and 6. Our Club was in charge of a dinner at the St. Louis Art Museum the first night. Cocktails were provided by two anonymous members. The Tour Gardens from our Club were those of Mrs. M. M. Jenks,Mr. and Mrs. Henry Keeler, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Charles Allen Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene F. Williams, Jr. and a luncheon was given by Mrs. Joseph Desloge at "Vouziers" the lovely estate on the Missouri River. Our Club was also responsible for a luncheon at the Floral Display House at the Mo. Botanical Garden. The Art Museum Dinner featured huge paper flower bouquets dominating each of the side galleries where delegates dined. The center fountain featured topiary, pink geraniums and ivy.

"Hidden Treasures", the shadow box arrangements of paper flowers paired with old paintings, were displayed in one corner of Sculpture Hall. These decorations were the culmination of all the hours put in by Mrs. Garneau Weld's committee. The luncheon at "Vouziers" was served in the ballroom and adjoining terraces, and was enjoyed by everyone who appreciated the generosity of Mrs. Desloge and the late Mr. Joseph Desloge. The Missouri Botanical Garden Luncheon featured cocktails provided by anonymous members of the Club. The picnic in the greenhouse around the Floral Display House had decorative cabbages as centerpieces and bugs made of felt pipe cleaners and sequins designed by Mrs. E.R. Culver and Mrs. Neal Wood for every delegate to wear as corsages. The private dinners were split up between the Ladue Garden Club and the Garden Club of St. Louis. The meeting appeared to be a great success. Over a thousand letters were received afterwards. 

we again hosted the Annual Meeting of The Garden Club of America, an event highly praised by GCA members around the country. In 1979, we sold 5000 chances to win a needlepoint rug designed and made by Dian Schock. $3,000 was given to the St. Louis Art Museum for planting in the new Sculpture Terrace. The rug was delivered by John McPheeters, who when he arrived at the St. Louis Country Club was told by Hubert, the club manager: “Deliveries are made in the rear.”


 The fall of 1971 and the year 1972 was a time for everyone to catch their breath, and put the emphasis back on gardening. Mrs. Charles Lamy, the new President, together with her committees, planned interesting programs including a meeting with the Ladue Garden Club where Mrs. Lawrence McClure of Chicago spoke on "Flower Arranging for the Harried Housewife". Mrs. J. Pancoast Reath from Devon, Pa. spoke on "Pot Gardening", Mrs. Austin Zimmerman, Zone XI Horticulture Chairman, spoke on plant materials native to this area, and Mrs. Beatrice Trum Hunter, writer for the New York Times Garden page, spoke on "Gardening Without Poisons". The Garden Club of America Annual 1971 Meeting netted $3,900 for the Art Museum and $16,260.60 for Shaw's Garden. This was due to our various fund raising events. Under the chairmanship of Mrs. J.J. Carnal, Club members made and decorated an American Victorian Christmas tree for Christmas Round the World in the Shaw House. 


 In March a Garden workshop was held at the Mo. Botanical Garden. The Club sponsored Countess Patricia Jellicoe's lecture at the St. Louis Art Museum together with the Friends of the Museum. Three of our members were named officers of the Board of Trustees of the Mo. Botanical Garden, 3 other members serve on the Board. Work made possible by our donations continues on the labeling of plant material at the Garden, and directional signs on the streets now aid visitors in finding the Garden. Six Seth Eastman watercolors have been purchased by the St. Louis Art Museum through the Club's donations and those of other donors. 


 1973 Fall - 1974. This year featured several different workshops. A six session Topiary Workshop was held at the Mo. Botanical Garden under Bob Dangwall. Members made everything from turtles to whales and giraffes! The lead flower workshop was ably led by Claire Keeler and Noddy Whitelaw. A flower arranging course with Ken Miesner and Kikue Atkins attracted many members. George Pettus won the Helen Field Fischer Award from the American Hemerocallis Society. Four especially good programs during the fall of 1973 and spring of 1974 were: Charles Schwartz from the Mo. Conservation Dept. with his film on the Canada Goose, John Baumgardt on "Wildflowers of the Prairie", Dr. Walter Lewis on the "Uses of Plants", and Carleton B. Lees, author of "Garden Plants and Man". 


1974 fall - 1975 spring. The emphasis was again on learning through workshops. At the Mo. Botanical Garden we learned from experts about ferns, care of azaleas, St. Louis soil and lawns, vegetable growing, hanging baskets, and a spring wild flower tour of Mr. Cherbonnier's place near St. Charles. The annual Christmas wreath and decoration workshop was held to make things for ourselves and the Home of the Friendless. Members volunteered help in the Botanical Garden Greenhouses, and through the year made flower arrangements for the Art Museum using flowers grown in members' gardens and greenhouses. One of our male members is again serving as President of the Board of Directors of the Botanical Garden. $2000 was pledged as a Bicentennial Project toward establishing a garden for one of the restored buildings, the Powder Magazine, at the Jefferson Barracks County Park.

The fall of 1975 - There were programs on "The Nature Conservancy", the Harvard Heckers' film on the Galapagos. Several members under the leadership of Mrs. Neal Wood made quill ornaments for the White House Christmas tree. ·A workshop was held by our members to teach volunteers at the Shaw House to do quilling. Christmas found the members busily decorating the Shaw House from stem to stern, making ornaments, pomander balls and quilling.  


 In April we sponsored with the Ladue Garden Club a lecture by Mrs. Frances Perry, only woman member of the Royal Horticultural Society, at the Mo. Botanical Garden. Programs in the spring and fall included Mr. Edward Gildehaus, President of the St. Louis Horticultural Society, speaking on "Growing Plants under Lights". and Mrs. Peter Raven with a slide lecture on "The Gardens of Persia" 


 An interesting walking tour of the Soulard area in St. Louis. The Jefferson Barracks Garden was planted by a group of members. 3000 Euonymus fortunei were used as ground cover, 16 pink dogwood trees purchased by the club were planted by the Park Dept. 4 stone benches purchased by the Club are to be installed in the spring. We were given a personally conducted tour of the Japanese Garden by Dr. and Mrs. Peter Raven. 2 money making projects were planned - a trip to Williamsburg and the James River Estates, in April 1978, and a Needlepoint Rug was designed by Mrs. William Schock and stitched by members. Chances will be sold to benefit the St. Louis Art Museum.


January 1978- A lecture supported by our Club and the Ladue Garden Club featured Mary Means, Regional Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In the spring Colt Adams of the Lake Forest Garden Club gave a workshop on flower arranging, Paul Stark of the Stark Nursery talked on pruning and espaliering of orchards. At the 1978 Annual Meeting of the, Garden Club of America in Birmingham, Dr. Peter Raven, Director of the Mo. Botanical Garden and a Member of our Club, received the G.C.A. Achievement Medal in recognition of his achievements in research, education, and horticultural display. October, 1978, Sheila Macqueen gave a lecture and workshop at the Mo. Botanical Garden. A joint fund raising effort with the Ladue Garden Club. Proceeds from the lecture, trip to Williamsburg, and the projected trip to Normandy, Brittany, Paris in May 1979 will net $5500 for the Garden.

See below for the link to a photo of the East Central District, Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri 1978 Flower Show at Floral Display House.


In January chances for the Needlepoint rug were drawn. 5,000 chances were sold, and $3000 was given to the Art Museum for planting in the new Sculpture Terrace. Interesting programs included lectures on birds, vegetable gardening, dahlias and herbs.

Mrs. Timon Primm  is the  recipient of the Zone XI Conservation Award, presented at the 1979 Zone Meeting in Evanston, IL.

A very successful trip was conducted through the Brandywine Valley, including Philadelphia,  May 8-11.

The Garden Club of Florence Italy was entertained by our members at the Missouri Botanical Garden for a day of touring the gardens and luncheon in the member's garden.

Seven of our members opened  their houses and gardens for a tour in May. This produced  a nice nest egg for our 1981 Zone XI Meeting.

We co-sponsored an Interchange Fellowship student with the St. Louis Chapter of the English Speaking Union. A year at kew University.

The St. Louis Horticulture Society sponsored a show at the Missouri Botanical Garden in May, our three members won four blue ribbons.

The Endangered Wildflower project features  the Missouri Prairie White Fringed Orchid.

Our Lipstick plant brought home from Evanston, IL Zone XI meeting, won first prize at this year's meeting in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

The American Horticultural Society  met in St. Louis in September. One of our members did all the flowers for the banquet and two of our member gardens were on the tour.

Tower Grove House, The historic home of Henry Shaw, founder of the Missouri Botanical Garden were decorated by invitation the dining  rooms for the Christmas season. A flower workshop  at the Clark's Home (a home for elderly ladies) culminated in a carefully produced flower show with judging. 


Our major thrust this year was working and planning for the Zone XI Meeting' held in Et. Louis in September, and Co-hosted with the Ladue Garden Club. The theme of the meeting was the Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden, every garden, sma11 or Large , should give  one the feeling of pure harmony and peace. Pat Carnal was our Chairman and we all applaud her three years of planning. The Ladue City Hall was the scene for the Flower show, St. Louis Country Day School allowed us to have the Horticulture and Conservation Meetings there, a box luncheon was held on the grounds of Missouri Botanical Garden, and Saint Louis Country Club was the gorgeous setting for The Awards Dinner. The last day was the tour of six private gardens. Ruth and Bert Blanke's house and garden were so special. An optional luncheon at Old Warson Country Club and a city bus  tour concluded three good days. Rosemary Very, author of "The Scented Garden" came from England in October and spoke on gardening in the Cotswolds. Nini James, a friend of many of our members, carne from England in November and spoke on "Royal Parks, The Hunting Ground Of Kings". The annual meeting was held in May, a beautiful dinner at The Robert McK. Joneses, at which time Mrs. Warren Lammert, Jr.  succeeded Mrs. Landon Jones as President.


An especially nice outing was held at Bellefontaine Cemetery.  Bellefontaine, planned and planted in the nineteenth century is nationally known for the Wainwright Tomb and fine mature planting. We have started work on publishing a book, "The Garden Diary", with Patty Bush and Frannie Martin as Editor and design artist. This is a big job and will take months of planning. We are planning to re-landscape the bird sanctuary and area around a pond near the headquarters of Laumeier  Park, planted with hardy native plant material, the pond area would be a graceful transition between the wild areas of the sculpture park and the more formal plantings around the house.


"Jazz In Bloom"! A joint Flower Show venture with the Ladue Garden Club was rewarding - and also proved how much we had to learn. Laclede's Landing was a perfect setting and the officials were most accommodating,   The out of town judges  were most helpful and complimentary.

The GCA three year study of critical issues concerning water supply and control has been a primary topic this year. Missouri Botanical Garden has been very helpful  in structuring this  project and a mini Zone meeting at the Racquet Club presented visual displays of all the club's projects. At the Annual GCA Meeting in Houston, Harriet Bakewell was presented the coveted Mrs. Oakleigh Thorne Metal for distinguished Design. To quote the plaque, -"each of her landscape projects is unique, but they all set a high standard for definition of space, the selection of plants and construction of material. 


We have a man president for the first time since 1928. Mr. C.C. Johnson Spink has guided his club members with a firm and kindly hand. "Jazz In Bloom" proved to be such a catalyst that the two clubs voted  a successor, "St. Louis In Bloom", to be held in September, 1985,  Nancy Primm chairs the project. A highlight of the year was having Janet Poor, National Chairman of Horticulture, speak to a joint meeting of our club and Ladue Garden Club, at the Missouri Botanical Garden, discussing prime components of a successful Flower Show. "The Garden Diary" came off the press, selling for $12.95. Missouri Botanical Garden helped promote it at their Spring Show and there was good media coverage. The San Francisco Annual meeting is coming up and Susan Lammert has designed and mailed a Landscape Design to be displayed in competition. Martha Law, National Chairman of. Flower Arranging will be coming in April for an intensive workshop, intended for serious arrangers. 

We have worked in the gardens of the Butterfly House, the Earthways House, and the City Academy Garden. We have created decorations and flower arrangements for Gateway Greening’s Harvest Dinners, the St. Louis Art Museum’s Art in Bloom Show, and the Repertory Theater’s Antique Shows. And we have traveled to Ireland, Kansas City, MO, Chicago, IL, the Hudson River Valley, NY and Louisville, KY. We have held flower shows at Laclede’s Landing, the St. Louis Art Museum, Forest Park, Tower Grove Park and the Ritz Carlton. And we have sponsored fundraisers for the Bandstand at Tower Grove Park, the Sculpture Terrace at the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Linnean House at the Missouri Botanical Garden.


Dr. Peter Raven received the prestigious Garden Club of America's Frances K. Hutchinson Medal.

Our club voted to commit $30,000 towards projects in Tower Grove Park, a nationally known historic landmark. The projects include the completion  of the Director's Garden, the renovation of the Bandstand Pavilion and the Park entrance renovation.

A very generous monetary gift by our member, Mr. C. C. Johnson Spink will be given to our club in honor of his wife Edith, the long term Mayor of Ladue, Missouri.


Reaching out to the big year 2000 has our members testing new advances in the high tech age. A committee is working on a project to be presented in October 1998, a CD-ROM on Tower Grove Park that will provide background information  for public school field trips. Another experiment had a member devoting hundreds of hours forming Gateway Greening, an organization keeping citizens who reside in the city to convert vacant property in neighborhoods and schools into vegetable gardens and beautification  areas.

It is nice to have been asked the last several years to display our flower skills by creating arrangements for the Annual St. Louis Antique Show benefiting the St. Louis Repertory Theatre, giving of our time and talents and thus maintaining ties with other cultural institutions.

Exciting to our club and to St. Louis is the about-to-be completed Butterfly Garden in Faust Park. This will be the recipient of our 2000 gift. The 200 acre Leichester Faust estate is now one of the jewels of the county park system. Mary Faust, a direct descendant of Pierre Laclede, was a beloved member of our club. In building  the estate, the Fausts  chose the architecture of native American Pueblos in the American Southwest and named the estate, "Swastika Farms" after the broken cross pattern found in Hopi  and Pueblo art, but in the 1930s it was changed to "Thornhill". Bu this June 1998, the glass conservatory will house exotics such as the Chocolate Albatross, Orange  Emigrant, Red Helen and thousands of others in free flight and we are delighted  that this project  ties in so closely with the National effort in Washington DC.

One of the loveliest gardens in our area welcomed the Westport  Garden Club from Kansas City, one of our Zone XI clubs, when they came for a weekend  visit of botanical enrichment and fun, to our club Oct 1996. This member's garden appeals not only to the eye, but also to the ear, nose and fingertips; having been fashioned to allow for the owner's visual impairment. The garden Rooms contain  gentle splashes of fountains, wind chimes and fragrant flowers; contributing to sounds of the day, smells of the season and the feel of serenity.  

The past several gardening years have seen workshops for bulb forcing, pruning old fashioned roses, greenhouse plants, and growing vegetables and herbs in containers. In June of 1998 Garden Conservancy, the organization formed in 1989 to help preserve America's great gardens, will meet in St. Louis. Several of our members are assisting with the planning and will open their gardens.

Our annual Holiday Luncheon December 1996 showcased a really inventive in-house flower display. The Twelve Days of Christmas came alive with niches of tiny Cyclamen plants with their slender budded stems forming perfect little swans' a-swimming, many turtle doves etc.

A majestic bandstand was renovated  in Tower Grove  Park, reflecting the efforts of our fund raiser in 1992. It is a stunning addition to this masterpiece of Victorian park landscaping. A   Preston McAdoo rug sale in 1995 enables us to contribute to Scenic Missouri in the fight against billboard blight. Fund Raisers have also led us afar, with trips to France, the Hudson River Valley and to Ireland in September 1998. 

We are honored to have among  our midst, members who have distinguished themselves beyond our club's boundaries. Brian Meilleur our honorary member was elected as Member at-Large from Zone XI at the Philadelphia Meeting.

Patty Bush received the GCA Medal of Merit, recognizing her promotion of the Center For Plant Conservation. Through Robert Kresko's interest and generosity, the Kresko Victorian Garden  was installed and dedicated in 1997 at the Missouri Botanical Garden;  recreating the height of fashionable 19th century garden design.

Dr. Peter Raven was honored with the American Association for the Advancement  of Science Prize in February 1998. Becky Fouke was awarded the 1996 GCA Medal of Merit; David W. Kemper is the newly elected president of the Board of Trustees of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and Dr. Tom Ott was awarded  two awards of Merit in 1997 presented by the American Orchid Society.

In 2001 we will be hosting the Zone XI Meeting. We are already planning a warm welcome to the Gateway to the West.


John McPheeters, president led us through a very busy  year. It was highlighted by our hosting of the Zone XI Association meeting at the Ritz Carlton, chaired by May Reay and Mary Randolph Ballinger in October.

Our Community project, a liaison with Washington University School of Architecture and their second year students has proven very successful.

The Christmas Luncheon was held at St. Louis Country Club, planned and executed by the Provisionals with their advisors.

Our club participated with flower arranging for the repertory Theatre Antique Show in May. Our club again provided outstanding arrangements  for the St. Louis Art Museum's  "Art In Bloom" in March.

The trip committee, John Curby and John Stevenson researched possible destinations for the 2002 trip.

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Photo: 1978 Flower Show

Photo: 1978 East Central District, Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri Flower Show at Floral Display House