Club History:

The GCSL was founded in1916 by Mr. Eugene H. Angert, his wife Vera, and five other couples deeply committed to gardening and horticulture. The Club was admitted to the Garden Club of America in 1921. In 1928 Mrs. Edward Simmons became the Club's first woman president after eight men had previously held the position. In 1932 the Club began a five-year experiment with the St. Louis Parks Department to study the effects of air pollution on plant material. In 1947 the Club created nine miniature gardens of different seasons and periods for the Greater St. Louis Flower and Garden Show that were later put on display at the St. Louis Art Museum. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden was so taken with them that it put them on display for ten years.The Club has hosted the Annual Meeting of the Garden Club of America (which takes five years of planning) in 1937 and 1971.

Consistent with its traditions, the Club is committed to conservation causes and civic improvement. We have worked in the gardens of the Butterfly House, Earthways House, and the City Academy, and created decorations and floral arrangements for Gateway Greenings Harvest dinners, St. Louis Art Museum's Art in Bloom event, and the Repertory Theatre's Antique Shows. We have won the GCA Founder's Fund award for the Climatron Mist Forest at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and sponsored many other fund raisers for Tower Grove Park, Missouri Botanical Garden and the sculpture park at the St. Louis Art Museum. We have many other community partnerships with local cultural institutions such as Washington University, St. Louis Science Center, Center of Creative Art, Forest Park, the City of St. Louis and Earth Dance farms in Ferguson, MO.

 

We have an online publication called The Grapevine, and we continue our commitment to our series of lively evening programs on a wide range of topics, featuring local and nationally prominent speakers. We have a Pop-Up Garden program in which members can informally share their gardens with other members.

 In honor of our Centennial in 2016 the Club recently raised more than $250,000 to sponsor a dedicated garden at the north entrance to the St. Louis Gateway Arch grounds, a part of the current renovation project on the St. Louis riverfront.

In recent years we have seen an exceptional revitalization of theClub - an increase in workshops, field trips and opportunities forurban community partnerships, including Washington University, theCity of St. Louis and EarthDanceFarms in Ferguson. Our recent Pop-Up Garden program has eight dedicated summer evenings in whichmembers informally share their gardens with other members. We haveresurrected online our monthly newsletter, The Grapevine, enhancingcommunications between the Club and its members. The Clubcontinues to participate actively in GCA conferences and initiatives aswell as its commitment to evening programs on a wide range of topics,featuring local and nationally prominent speakers.Consistent with its traditions, the Club has also committed to conservationcauses and civic improvement. We have collaborated with numerouslocal cultural institutions, including the Missouri Botanical Garden,Butterfly House, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center, Center ofCreative Arts, Tower Grove Park and Forest Park.One of the most significant of the Club’s recent civic initiativeshas been its Centennial Project, a dedicated garden at the St. LouisGateway Arch. To realize this goal, while simultaneously honoring one of our most stalwart members, the Club created the Patty Bush Society, recognizing members who have donated $1,000 or more. More than 60 percent of our members have made this commitment. Aided by a generous challenge grant from two members, the Club has donated nearly a quarter million dollars to this dramatic transformation of St. Louis’ Riverfront. In 2016 the Club began organizing the celebration of its Centennial with the the theme:
“Rooted in Tradition, Growing into the Future.” A Special Centennial Reception for member of The Garden Club was held at the 2016 Orchid Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden, hosted by MoBot President Peter Wyse Jackson and his wife Diane, Honorary and Active members of our Club, respectively. Other special events were conducted in 2016, and the Club continued to streamline communications with the members. The Grapevine, a marvelous combination of information and beauty, was published once a month, supplemented by Grapevine Newsflashes to report on matters and events of immediate interest. Today, the Club flourishes with a total of 171 members, including 3 Provisionals and 5 Honorary members.