Six Hundred and Twenty-second Meeting
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
WEDNESDAY June 8, 2011
GCA HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK CITY
The President, Joan George (Mrs. Harris, J.) called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.
Margot Paddock, Director, Zone I, delivered the invocation.
Recording Secretary: Karen Meyer
Present: Mesdames: George Hill
Purple Meyer Copenhaver
Barrow Morris Stewart
Absent: Brugger Petri
Present: Mesdames: Paddock Serrell Metz
Larson Bagley Trimble
Gregg Oliver Hall
Absent: Boyce Davis Klunder
Present: Madames: Bissell Johnsen Thomas
It was moved, seconded and passed to approve the minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting on March 9,
Elise Smith Lapham, New Canaan GC read by Wendy Serrell, Director Zone II
Elise Smith Lapham died of natural causes in late March at the age of 99. Mrs. Lapham was an ardent
conservationist, philanthropist, active community member and loving mother and grandmother.
She grew up in Grosse Pointe, MI, attended Vassar College and married David Lapham in 1933, settling in New
Canaan, CT, where they raised four children. An active member of the New Canaan Garden Club since 1939, she
served as its president for two years and later served as a Garden Club of America Director from 1965 to 1967.
In the 1950’s, Mr. and Mrs. Lapham fell in love with Block Island, a small jewel off the coast of Rhode Island.
David Lapham, who was in the shipping business in New York, turned to his wife at one point and said, "You
know, I've never had to go to a cocktail party on Block Island. I think this is the island for me." They bought a
couple of lots to build a house in 1960 and circumstances allowed them to purchase another 135 acres. They began
to cut trails and plant trees, eventually ending up with nine miles of trails, including a mile along the bluffs at the
north end of the island. They also planted thousands of daffodils, which continue to blanket the fields with yellow
every spring. To quote Mrs. Lapham, "Dave would go along -- he'd take a posthole digger, stick it in the soil and
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wiggle it back and forth," Elise said. "And then I'd come along on my hands and knees, put a handful of bulb food
in the bottom, put the bulb in, and then David would come back and stamp it into place."
Walkers were welcome on the trails, which became known locally as “the maze”. In 1979 they donated
conservation easements on most of the land to the State of Rhode Island and the Nature Conservancy, protecting it
from future development. This donation helped to trigger matching federal funds that enabled local organizations to
purchase additional open space on the island for permanent protection.
Mrs. Lapham became interested in bird banding in the early ‘60s, and several years later obtained her banding
license. In 1967 she set up a banding station on her Block Island property where with the help of family and
volunteers, migrating birds have been banded in the spring and fall every year since then. She gave hundreds of
demonstrations to Block Island school children and to the Audubon. She provided money to have more than 40
years of banding records entered into a database, now available to researchers. In 1995, she received the Block
Island Bayberry Wreath award for outstanding service to the island in conservation and in 2006 she received the
Distinguished Naturalist Award from the Rhode Island Natural History Society.
Among survivors are her son Peter, who upon his father’s death in 1991 said his parents planted more that 10,000
trees and 7,000 daffodil bulbs. He said they made their love for their land permanent when they deeded away the
development rights and opened it to the public. Peter’s wife Emilie is a member of the Wissahickon Garden Club.
Memorial donations may be made to the Waveny Care Center in New Canaan or the Nature Conservancy in Block
Elsie Bellingrath Stebbins, Little Rock GC read by Marilyn Gregg, Director Zone IX
The Little Rock Garden Club lost its beloved member Elsie Bellingrath Stebbins on March 1, 2011. Elsie was 97 at
the time of her death. Throughout her life she was involved in a variety of activities relating to art, nature,
gardening, and conservation. She took a leadership role in all of her endeavors. She was president of the Junior
League of Little Rock, the Fine Arts Club, the Arkansas Arts Center, and the Little Rock Garden Club.
Of all of her interests, she was most devoted to gardening, which came naturally considering her family heritage.
Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Alabama, was created by her uncle, Walter Bellingrath. Elsie was especially
inspired by nature's color and beauty. She was an expert needlepoint artist as well as a floral designer and gardener.
She and her husband, A. Howard Stebbins III, gardened together. They were considered boxwood specialists
and grew 15 varieties of boxwoods in their lush gardens at their former Little Rock home in Edgehill. They were
charter members of the American Boxwood Association and willing participants in varietal tests for Blandy
Elsie was a devoted member of the Little Rock Garden Club. She was invited for membership in 1956. Her
sponsors were Rebecca Moore and Louise Hall. Elsie served as president of the Little Rock Garden Club from
1963-1965. She served the Garden Club of America at the regional and national level. She was the Southern Zone
Chairman for the GCA from 1964-66; Zone IX Director from 1968-70 and a member of the GCA Nominating
Committee from 1971-72. In 1974 she received the GCA Medal of Merit.
Elsie remains an inspiration to us all, and we will not forget that sparkle in her eye or her kind, friendly, and
outgoing personality. The Little Rock Garden Club and its members are fortunate to have been the beneficiary of
her energy, enthusiasm, and generosity.
TREASURER’S REPORT – June Smith Brugger read by Nan King
Last Monday the Finance Committee met Dan Fleck who is GCA’s financial advisor from OXFORD Financial
Group which is headquartered in Indianapolis. Usually Dan conferences in by phone for the quarterly meetings but
always in June he flies in to meet face-to-face with the Committee.
OXFORD, in consultation with the Finance Committee continues to manage our portfolio with prudence and with
an eye to the future. On Monday we talked about some of the future key risks to the global economy such as the
rising European debt situation, rising commodity prices, global supply-chain disruptions such as the nuclear
disaster in Japan, continued housing weakness, Middle East unrest.
Despite these less-than-rosy scenarios, our portfolio continues to grow and it is now over 26 million dollars. This is
in very large part because the portfolio is very diversified and because we always look to rebalancing when
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necessary – for example, we might reduce an equity position if there is some concern about maintaining the current
position in one of the equity areas and transfer those monies into another investment like commodities.
The other very important work of the Committee at its June meeting is the solidification of the Preliminary
Operating Budget for the upcoming fiscal year which starts July 1st.
The preliminary budget for the FY 2011-2012 has been approved by the Executive Committee and ratified by the
Board of Directors.
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY – Katie Stewart
As Corresponding Secretary 2009-2011 I have reported to the BOD once each year in March 2010 and June 2011.
Six Executive committee meetings each year and a total of less than 300 letters in this term have kept me busy.
With a note to self, saying ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ and do not take yourself too
seriously, I have spent time on my computer, the GCA Calendar and the telephone.
Just like holding a book or a newspaper or the GCA Bulletin in your hands GCA believes a real letter of thanks
arrives in your mailbox on the street where you live to have and to hold and reread and perhaps save in your own
archives. These letters are written on stationery with a letterhead and then posted in a timely fashion from New
York by our invaluable Anne Butler.
Each letter begins with “On behalf of the executive committee it gives me great pleasure….” And then the
appropriate words bubble to the top or come to mind for the occasion of thanks. Some of these words are:
Approval, appreciation, attention to details, planning ahead, energy, knowledge, diligence, sharing and networking,
skills, organizational skills, LISTENING, caring, understanding, flexibility, enthusiasm, team spirit, accessibility,
kindness, positive attitude, contagious, laughter, humor, joy, encouraging, selfless and generous which leads me to
a letter recently written to the Chairman of the 2013 Centennial Committee, Ray Thompson and her committee and
staff liaisons. Each of you sitting here today can insert your names as well in this letter of thanks.
The Executive Committee is full of heartfelt praise for the entire 2013 Centennial Committee. You have reached an
amazing milestone in a short period of time as we look forward to the GCA Centennial Celebration in 2013 in
Philadelphia. You have reached your goal of 100% participation from all 200 GCA clubs for the 2013 Founders
Fund Project in Central Park.
Your committee never dreamed it was going to be asked to raise $500,000 and more to name this project. With
enthusiasm and diligence you have done it. How do we begin to thank each and every one of you as you set the
example for giving at the highest level? Each club has taken a look at itself and realized they are celebrating their
own grassroots as well and the value of their association with the GCA. Individuals have contributed generously,
and are continuing to do so, thanks to your efforts.
All the best to you as you continue to cheerlead for the individual zones and the Garden Club of America.
With deep appreciation and affection,
Cc: The entire committee
Finally, I applaud each one of you for giving your Executive Committee so many reasons to write sincere letters of
thanks and now Margaret Hall will ably inherit my pen.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT- Joan George
During my presidency, I have been singularly blessed to have served with 2 extraordinary Executive Committees
and am deeply grateful for their wisdom, support, tireless service and, most especially, their friendship. My
gratitude extends to all the National Chairmen, who answered in the affirmative, when I called and went on to bring
extraordinary leadership to all the GCA committees.
Thank you also to the Zone Chairmen for their talent and dedication as they took on the job of shepherding the
clubs with dedication and loving care.
For last night’s unforgettable party - what an incredible finale!!! Thank you so much Marian, Katie, Leslie and all
who helped create so many memories – memories of a lifetime.
I am honored beyond what words can express.
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SPECIAL CITATION – Leslie Purple
Alice Goltra, Ann Price Davis and Amy Nowell, our fabulous AAA team, were each presented with a Certificate of
Appreciation from the Executive Committee for their perseverance and hard work on the new GCA website.
SPECIAL COMMITTEE REPORTS
CENTENNIAL – Ray Thompson
It was very exciting to announce at the Annual Meeting that we have 100% club participation for the 2013 Central
Park Founders Fund Project. A plaque listing all clubs will be on display at Headquarters.
Please plan to come celebrate the Ground Breaking of the Central Park Founders Fund Project right after lunch on
Wednesday, October 5. You will soon receive more information on this historic event.
Now that the project goal has been reached, donations to the Centennial will go towards a Centennial gift to GCA.
We hope that all of you, who have not already done so, will want to participate. A book listing all donors will have
a permanent place in the Library.
We look forward to the publication of the GCA History by William Seale. The book will be available in the fall of
2012. All 200 clubs will be given a copy for their archives. And I am sure each of you will want a copy for your
library. Soon preorders will be available. Look for more information in eNews and on the GCA web site.
William will speak after dinner during meeting week in October, tentatively planned for Tuesday night October 4th.
ROYAL HORTICULTURE SOCIETY - Sarah Carey
The GCA has a unique partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society in England, established when GCA
Honorary Member, Sir Kenneth Carlisle, successfully negotiated a change in funding and administration for the UK
side of the Interchange Fellowship, formerly the Martin McLaren Scholarship, to the RHS. The new name is The
Garden Club of America and Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellowship. An annual review meeting is
held each spring that I attend as the liaison for the GCA. Collaborations regarding visa entry, program
development, funding, and publicity are conducted throughout the year by email and conference calls.
Marian Hill and I spent a whirlwind week in England in late May with the RHS. Meeting with RHS President,
Elizabeth Banks, Sir Kenneth Carlisle, and members of the RHS senior staff and Council was productive,
congenial, and full of enthusiasm as we considered future plans for 2013, our Centennial year as well as the 100th
year of the Chelsea Flower Show. We have a solid relationship with the RHS and will continue to find ways to
strengthen it through visits on both sides of the "pond", increasing visibility of the student's achievements, and
encouraging GCA members to visit RHS gardens and shows. While at the RHS office, Marian and I were shown
the historic Board Room and were given an extensive tour of the Lindley Library, home to over 50,000 books
dating from 1514, and 22,000 rare and prized botanical drawings and illustrations.
The RHS Head of Horticulture, Jim Gardiner, planned a full day at RHS Garden Wisley, just outside of London.
Head Curator, Colin Crosbie lead a "behind the scenes" tour of each aspect of the garden, such as seed collection,
propagation, fruit production trials, and the famous 100 year old rock garden.
As ever, the highlight of the trip was attending the Chelsea Flower Show. Despite months of drought and unusual
heat in the spring, the large show gardens were filled with lush plantings, vertically planted walls, unusual water
features, expert design, all with an educational intent ranging from water conservation, biodiversity, to the use of
recycled materials. One garden we particularly enjoyed was the Australian Garden, which told the story of the
journey of water from Australia's arid outback, through rivers and gorges to the urbanized east coast of Australia.
All plants had to be sourced and grown in the EU. Have a look at the winning gardens on the RHS website! As
guests at the RHS President's Lunch, we were delighted to meet Brian Duncan of Northern Ireland and Jan
Pennings of Holland, who were respectively the hybridizer and grower of the GCA Centennial daffodil. A quick
introduction, a photo op, and fast friends were made!
Under sunny skies, we also toured a few gardens with Katherine Astor, English garden expert and historian. We
visited Exbury Gardens, the famous Rothchild collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees, the
Isle of Wight, Osborne House, Kirby House, and an exquisite Palladian style home and garden. Katherine lectured
here at GCA HQ in March, and we would definitely recommend her tours.
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The last night was an opportunity to gather Interchange Fellowship alumni living and working in the London area.
The network of these talented young people is strong, many of them now leading landscape architects and
horticulturists in the UK. The Interchange Fellowship program continues to be a jewel for the GCA Scholarship
program and a source of pride for us all.
ZONE CHAIRMEN REPORTS
“Shades of Green” or a Recent Zone Meeting
All Chairmen Reported
Zone I - Elizabeth Meyer
In hosting, the Zone I Annual Meeting at the Sheraton Commander in Cambridge, MA, May 17-18, the Cambridge
Plant & Garden Club focused on the Club’s “City Roots” and many civic projects. Cambridge’s Plant Club was
founded in 1889, the Garden Club in 1938. They merged in 1966 and joined the GCA in 1968.
*At the Business Meeting, the 19 Zone I Presidents gave updates on their Centennial Tree Projects, some trees
thriving, others saplings struggling. All loved.
*The Scholarship Speaker at the Business Meeting was Leanna Heffner from the University of Rhode Island, who
spoke on ‘Salt Marshes, Nitrogen, and Mud.”
*The GCA Flower Show, a CP&GC first, was held at the Sheraton Commander and Longfellow House and
Garden Carriage House. In concert, CP&GC members Ann Kania and Jill Honor sponsored a Victorian Tea.
*The site for the Conservation and Horticulture talks was the Cambridge Boat Club. The Conservation Speaker
was Renata von Tscharner, CP&GC member and founder of the Charles River Conservancy. Afterwards on a
Charles River tour boat, Karl T. Haglund, author of Inventing the Charles River, elaborated on the River’s history.
Fog and overcast skies did not dampen spirits.
*The Horticulture Speaker was Jane Hirschi, creator of CitySprouts, a school garden program now in all of
Cambridge’s elementary schools.
*The Awards Dinner was held at Harvard’s Faculty Club. Nine were honored. Among them: Creative Leadership
to Connie Oliver, GC of Dublin, and the Zone I Kitty Ferguson to Timmy Shapiro, GC of Buzzards Bay.
Zone II – Fleur Rueckert
Joan George made a remark in Indianapolis that resonated with me then and again as I read through the 20 Zone II
Club newsletters. “How lucky are the communities that have the fortune of a GCA club.”
Perennial Planters GC includes “energy greens” in their newsletter. A column filled with tips on methods for home
energy savings, recycling and environmentally clean living as well as explanations about conservation issues
currently under legislation. CT Valley GC has started a blog called “The Ugly Tomato” devoted to sites where we
can buy local farm produce. The Stamford GC wrapped up a successful Flower Show, “Time Scapes” where under
the title “From White Gloves to Garden Gloves,” they included a conservation exhibit “The Beauty and The
Bounty: Incorporating Edibles into Our Landscapes” and an education exhibit “You’re Never Too Young or Too
Old to Play in the Dirt!” Newport GC’s Flower Show “Entertaining Newport Style” along with their renowned
gardeners’ boutique and two fabulous lectures is set for June 24th. And the Fairfield GC is preparing for
“Coloratura” a Flower Show on September 30th that will include an educational exhibit on successful methods to
control invasive plant species. In June the Stonington GC followed by the Litchfield GC will open their members’
gardens to the public for tours. And all clubs are busy photographing in all seasons to document their gardens for
Learning, educating, spending resources on Civic Projects, planting trees, restoring and maintaining public spaces,
revitalizing neglected areas, advising on community boards, club members are proof of Joan’s statement. We do
make significant contributions to our communities.
Zone III– Marilyn Donahue
The 22 clubs in Zone III are some of the greenest clubs around, ranging from such shades as tea green, to lime
green to forest green.
Noted author Dr. Joan Dye Gussow spoke on “Life and My Garden” at the Ulster Community College Foundation,
Inc.’s inaugural presentation of the Elizabeth Gross Lecture Series at SUNY Ulster on April 26. The lecture series
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is supported by a charitable gift received by the Foundation from the Ulster Garden Club, made possible through a
bequest from the estate of Mrs. Gross, long-time member and Kingston resident. The annual series will present
expert lecturers from the fields of horticulture, floriculture, landscape design, forestry, city planning, land
management, botany, conservation and environmental studies. The lectures are free and open to the public.
Bedford and Rusticus GC’s partnered with Bedford 2020 to sponsor’ Environmental Action Day’. Their goal was
to engage all members of the community in a full day of education, discussion and networking. Workshops were
offered and vendors were there to show participants how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to create a
sustainable community that conserves its natural resources.
The seven clubs on Long Island together with the NY Committee have formed a Tree Consortium, offering lectures
to the public for the past two years on the importance of trees to our environment. This October, the topic was
“Trees for our Future, Selecting and Maintaining Healthy Trees in a Changing Environment” with Todd Forrest,
VP of Horticulture at NYBG.
The overriding theme this past year for Zone III clubs has been to educate the public on important ‘green’
initiatives and ideas, in our communities and beyond.
Zone IV – Milly King
The 12 presidents of Zone IV did a remarkable job on their reports at our Mini Zone Meeting. For 7 of the 12, the
Presidents’ Council and Zone Meeting were first-time experiences and though they had been warned via copious
emails, they did not really grasp the concept of “themed” reports. Long live the incredulous looks cast my way
when I explained that their reports must incorporate the theme Foxes and Frogs, Harbingers of a Sound Eco-
System. They forged ahead. Some excerpts:
I was intrigued by today’s meeting theme until I was informed that I had to speak to it. After reading the definition
of harbinger: one that pioneers or initiates a major change; I instantly knew how the theme applies to GCE. We
could save dozens of trees if we stored future reports electronically. WE NEEDED A WEBSITE!
Aristophanes’ play “The Frogs” is no longer widely read. Stephen Sondheim’s version is even less well known. The
highlight, other than seeing Nathan Lane perform, was watching the actors portraying frogs jump joyously around
the stage on bungee cords… reminiscent of our “cow pond” converted into a wildlife habitat teeming with hundreds
of happy frogs.
We wear our “foxgloves”, the best kind for delicate deadheading and seed collecting. I love the elbow length;
makes me feel very genteel. When I wear them, there’s quite a contrast with the rest of my muddy self – it’s a good
day in the garden when I get mulch in my cleavage.
In spite of the elegant theme of Foxes and Frogs, which evoked such beauty; evil temptation crept in and I was
tempted to make my speech about who were the frogs and foxes in my club. Then, I realized into which category I
would fall, so I have chosen the high road instead today.
From Short Hills: I am pleased to bring you news from the SHGC pad. It is shaping up to be an un ‘frog’ getable
Zone V – Jane Moore
Stayin’ Alive in Shades of Green
Beginning this job as a GCA greenhorn, my emotional well-being was rather yellow green, as in, ‘What have I
gotten myself into?’ I have passed through the following shades of green to emerge on the bright green side.
Inch worm green – crawling along that first year as zone chairman trying to avoid the pot holes and land
Endurance green - weathering the resignations of 5 Zone Reps during my term.
Environmental green – knowing how to send an attachment without consulting my children.
Sea green - trying to keep my head above water as I dog-paddled through 2 zone meetings, 3 presidents’
council meetings and the swine flu epidemic.
Jungle green – swinging from club to club, visiting 13 out of 14.
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Pea green - learning that the zone chairs must speak in front of 500 people at the annual meeting and
ending up a public speaking table leader!
Screamin’ green – when the annual meeting in Indianapolis was over.
Envious green - of members who live in Manhattan and can walk to Headquarters.
Natural green - not forgetting to plant my seeds.
Emerald green – working with GCA gems in Zone V and beyond.
Lucky green - that I got this job in the first place.
Zone VI – Margaret Chanin
Three perfect days in May were the backdrop for the Zone VI meeting in Baltimore, hosted by Amateur Gardeners
Club and St. George’s Garden Club. The night before the meeting early arriving guest were entertained at dinner
parties in the homes of members of the host clubs. While I know that each guest thinks she attended the best party,
I know that I was lucky enough to be at the one that was the most fun.
The business meeting the next day was held at Cylburn Arboretum in a building that was state-of-the-art in
technology and sensitivity to conservation and ecology issues. Reports by Zone reps and presidents were followed
by a panel discussion about the resources of the GCA with President, Joan George, and Vice Presidents Diana
Barrow, Anne Copenhaver, Angel Morris, and Dede Petri, followed by a question and answer session. Buses took
ferried us to the glorious Ladew Topiary Gardens and the private Hingham Farm, which will be featured in the June
issue of Sothern Living.
The gracious Elkridge Club was the site for the evening’s entertainments. Guests at the cocktail party honoring
Joan George could admire the beautiful entries in the Flower Show. The awards dinner sparkled. Announcements
of flower show winners had the guests cheering. When judging awards were presented to two of the most loved
and respected members in Zone VI the room erupted in a standing ovation. When Dede Petri was awarded the
Creative Leadership Award it was apparent that no one was going to sit down again. At that point, Ginny Kopp,
Chairman of the GCA Scholarship Committee took the podium to announce that the GCA Summer Fellowship in
Urban Forestry had been fully funded by 100 % participation of the clubs of Zone VI in honor of GCA President
Joan George. There is only one word for the reaction of the guests – uproarious.
We were back at Cylburn the next morning for the Hort meeting. Bill Vondrasek, Chief of Parks of Baltimore gave
a fascinating illustrated talk about the truly advanced conservation aspects of the Cylburn building. He was
followed by Kent Russell, who kept the room laughing while exhibiting beautiful and unusual plants for our
There were moments of high drama and low comedy, but I’ll save those until the statute of limitation on telling
tales out of school has run out.
Zone VII - Mary Denny
The first sentence in the Zone Chairman’s Manual reads, “The job of zone chairman is described as the best job in
GCA,” and after two years and 18 club visits, I heartily agree. I am so proud of my clubs and wish I could brag on
each of them, but in the interest of time, and in keeping with our green theme, I want to talk about a few….
I am green with envy over the success of the Garden Club of Lexington’s two cookbooks. The revenues generated
by these books allow the club to support the garden at Ashland (which has been repeatedly voted the #1 public
garden in Lexington) and other philanthropic endeavors.
I am green with envy that The Warrenton Garden Club’s Natural History Day Camp is now in its 27th year.
Activities are based on exploration and discovery of the natural world. The camp is held on the farm of one of the
club’s members and counselors are often children of club members.
I am green with envy over the success of the Virginia Beach Garden Club’s annual fundraiser, The Fall Flower
Festival, a one day sale that nets over $20,000. Members presell pansies in the summer and offer pansies and a
large number of vendors on the day of the sale.
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I am green with envy over The Augusta Garden Club’s long-time involvement with Lewis Creek, which runs
through Staunton and Augusta County. The club was involved with the initial cleanup of the creek and since then
has initiated an educational sign project that emphasizes the importance of clean water and healthy waterways.
I am green with envy that the James River and Tuckahoe Garden Clubs have partnered with two other clubs to
create Capital Trees, a public/private partnership with the City of Richmond to restore its downtown tree canopy.
And finally, I am green with envy that Marie Thomas is stepping into my job. Thank you, Joan, for giving me this
unbelievable opportunity! It’s been a blast!
Zone VIII – Debby Melnyk
The Garden Club of Halifax Country chose the magical water world of Poseidon for it’s theme for the 2011 Zone
VIII meeting in Daytona Beach, Florida. Poseidon’s Treasures began with dinner at a private home on the beach
overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and continued the next day with a business meeting followed by round table
discussions with Zone Reps and National Committee chairman.
The flower show was splendid in reflecting the gifts of the sea. A cocktail party in the flower show was followed
by the awards dinner. The Garden Club of the Halifax Country left no detail to chance as the beautiful sunset
happened just as the guests were seated for dinner.
Holly Greening, Executive Director of Tampa Bay Estuary Program was the conservation speaker. Her topic was
“Our Coastal Oceans: Progress and Challenges”. “The Climate Friendly Garden” was the subject of our
horticulture speaker, Robert E. Bowden, Executive Director of Leu Gardens in Orlando, Fl.
After tours of the Sensory Gardens and Window in the Forest at the Museum of Arts and Sciences we regretfully
departed Poseidon’s Treasures with gratitude to the Garden Club of the Halifax Country for a wonderful meeting.
Conservation Commendation Steve Emmett for the town of Beverly Beach
Conservation Award Jane Whitaker, Cherokee GC
Civic Improvement Award Betsy Matthews, Palm Beach GC
Historic Preservation Commendation Tally Swear for Olmstead Linear Park
Historic Preservation Award Jenny Reynolds, Palmetto GC
Judging Award Susie Plimpton, Halifax Country GC
Flower Arranging Award Mary Webster, Palm Beach GC
Photography Award Pat Hartrampf, Peachtree GC
Communications Award Carolyn Patton, Grass River GC
Horticulture Award Liz Hermansen, Halifax Country GC
Creative Leadership Award Diana Barrow, Trustee’s GC
Zone IX – Donna Vaughan
The Ladies of the Laurel Garden Club (MS), all 40 of them, demonstrated why they are so proud of their GCA
association during the zone meeting. Among the highlights coordinated by Phyllis Johnson and Lisa Thames:
• Presidents’ round table discussions with Joan George, Marion Hill, Anne Meyers and Angle Morris in attendance.
• A photography workshop for delegates and judges.
• A business meeting in the state of the art Howard Technology Center.
• An outdoor luncheon with the Blue Rangers singing about the 10 invasive plants of Mississippi.
• A Walk in the Woods in the DeSoto National Forest complete with 4 stations manned by the Chickasawhay
Rangers who gave information regarding the Caudated Woodpecker, controlled forest burning for conservation, the
gopher turtle and habitat, and their association with the Laurel Garden Club and Partners for Plants.
• Ron Morgan designed eight fabulous table arrangements right before our eyes!
• The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art hosting the Awards Dinner where the zone meeting chairmen, Phyllis Johnson
and Lisa Thames, and all the Laurel Ladies received a spontaneous standing ovation for their attention to detail and
gracious southern hospitality. Nancy Thomas, Past GCA President, received the Alice Kain Stout Mentoring
Zone X – Mary Jo Beck
As the popular singer, Cher, would croon – “The beat goes on.” And so it does for all the clubs of Zone X.
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Playing host for this year’s Annual Meeting was on our front burner for many months you might say, but, never
fear, that strong Midwestern work ethic runs deep in our collective veins and many of our zone clubs continue
doing some remarkable “green” activities.
For example, not one week went by after our “little Indianapolis gathering,” that GC of Cincinnati and Cincinnati
Town & Country GC joined forces once again to produce a flower show, ‘The Jewels of Cincinnati,’ in a charming
turn-of-the-century converted dairy barn. Now how’s that for recycling?
Not one to rest on their laurels - Indianapolis GC will hold their 16th annual garden walk in June. Bay City GC
follows suit with a June Garden Walk fundraiser and White Elephant Sale. Clever recycling ladies – from my
house to yours at a price - for your coffers!
As good conservation stewards and in honor of their club’s 2012 Centennial, GC of Cleveland will fund a project at
Cleveland’s Lakefront Nature Preserve. GC of Dayton is also financially supporting a unique woven sapling
sculpture at an area MetroPark. Akron GC’s Partners for Plants and their Wildflower Rescue Committees are going
green by teaming up to plant native seedlings in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Zone “EX” you say? No “green” moss grows under these feet and hands!
Zone XI – Lulu Lubbers
Last time we were together, Kermit the Frog sang how easy it is to be Green in Zone XI. This report comes to you
from the: "Ho, Ho, Ho, Green Giant”!
I am referring to the tallest living things on Earth, The Garden Club of America Grove of ancient redwoods.
This was the topic of the first Joint Meeting of the Wisconsin Council held May 17th in Milwaukee. Over
125 club members and GCA guests joined together for this historic gathering. Our speaker, Fran Wolfe, flew in
from Zone XII and gave a "Historical and Hysterical" slide presentation about GCA's first-ever national
conservation effort in 1921; the purchase of The GCA Grove, which is at the core of the largest contiguous old-
growth forest in the world, located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California. Fran's program helped raise
awareness and funds for GCA's continuing financial obligation to the “Save the Redwoods League”.
The Wisconsin clubs and guests enjoyed the speaker, delighted in meeting each other, shared luncheon
conversations while seated at “Topic Tables” and purchased Bonsai Dawn Redwood centerpieces to go!
Elsewhere in Zone XI – the Ladies are being slightly "risqué":
This weekend in Chicago, the six clubs are running around saying: "I'll show you mine… if you show me yours!"
Of course I am referring to their major Flower Show "Show of Summer - Botanica" at the Chicago Botanic
Garden. These bodacious babes have put together a fabulous schedule and welcome you to experience them
“showing it all”!
In mid-July, Ladies from the Lake Minnetonka GC are exposing themselves – Of course I mean at their flower
show: Northern Exposure: "What a State We're In!"- Join them at the University of Minnesota Landscape
Arboretum for this revealing event.
The ladies of Westport GC just had an "Ooh là là” French experience and you can imagine that their Flower Show:
Joie de Vivre, certainly appreciated of all things French! - It was Cʼest Magnifique! Merci beaucoup mes amis
Zone XII – Sally Broughton
Most of Zone XII has experienced the wettest and coldest spring on record. No worries!!! Our clubs energized to
come out of the weather induced “funk” and enhanced spring with flower shows and fund raising events.
After a 5 year hiatus, the 5 clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area pulled together to produce the major flower show
“Visions 2011 - California on the Cutting Edge”. This spectacular, well organized and fabulous show was hosted by
Carmel-by-the-Sea. The Sunset Cultural Center was a perfect venue with free admission. Carmel enjoyed having
the GCA Board of Associates and a prestigious group of judges.
Seattle staged a beautiful GCA Flower Show “Welcome Aboard - Celebrating Maritime Seattle”. They invited
entries from Portland and Tacoma in addition to their members.
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Denver's GCA Flower Show, “The Power of Flowers” held at the Denver Botanic Garden. Featured was a class
“Kid Power – Grow Your Own Salad”. 3-5 year olds from a local Montessori school grew veggie seeds to enter.
The class celebrated the opening of the Children's Garden.
Container gardens and luncheons topped the list of fundraising events with most of the proceeds supporting
community projects. Diggers was looking to make the “perfect Digger pot” to auction. Hancock Park held its
annual plant sale. Santa Barbara raffled off beautiful floral arrangements, and centerpieces plus a small boutique at
the Montecito Country Club. Portland held its third “Gardens to Go” sale with member donated pots, garden art,
and auctioned celebrity pots. Broadmoor held “Challenging Floral Designs II” plus hold an in-club flower show at
their annual meeting.
Pasadena's spring benefit “Doorways and Dining Rooms - A Floral Exploration of Crown City Jewels” was a huge
success with more than 400 guests.
NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN REPORTS
Admissions – Connie Oliver
The mentoring process of a new club is off to a great start since Marin GC was accepted as the 200 th GCA member
club in December. Zone XII leaders as well as the 2 sponsoring clubs have been involved in helping Marin become
more familiar with GCA. Two of their members attended the Washington NAL conference in February and Marin
was well represented at Annual Meeting 2011 by their past, their current, and their incoming President.
In addition to member clubs in the United States, we have 8 Foreign Courtesy Clubs, each of whom received a
letter from GCA this last year hoping they could tell us more about their history and contact information. Thus far
our club profiles are sketchy - if any of you could expand on what we already know, please do be in touch with
Jessie Shelburne, wonderful Nominating Rep from Zone IX and incoming Mother-Hen of the Admissions
Including our four new Honorary Members introduced at Annual Meeting, the total count stands at sixty four of
which five are Foreign Honorary Members. At this time we operate under a limit of seventy five Honorary
Members and it is suggested that no more than four be invited each year.
Archive – Edie Loening read by Ellen Morris
When I was told by Marian Hill four years ago that the Archive Committee was a “stand alone committee”, it was
music to my ears.
We have fulfilled that title, as we are a free ranging committee – a veritable SWAT Team of dedicated members
who have repeatedly risen to the occasion.
Almost all of the Lenden papers have at long last been filed – we have had a field day reconstructing the lives of
early distinguished members, resulting in brief but succinct and often surprising biographies heretofore
2008 brought William Seale onto the scene. We were happy to be able to supply additional information to his
riveting rendition of the 100 year history.
In addition, we were able to find an excellent photographer who enhanced and restored the vintage photos that were
chosen to illustrate the book. Captions were written that added additional information to the text.
Sally Cummins, vice chair, dedicated many hours to researching the various G.C.A. committees from their
inception to the present. This has proved to be a big bonus for the 2013 chairs who are writing the histories of their
Work on the book has been an unexpected pleasure – requiring intense scrutiny straight along. The last chapter
gives a great overview of the subtle but wise ways this organization has added to and affected the future growth of
our country, a fact that should make the entire membership proud
Awards – Theodora Gongaware
The 2011 medalists are an amazing group of individuals. It was my pleasure to introduce them. Another stellar
group has been chosen for 2012 in Savannah. Jane Goedecke, my successor, will have the honor of introducing
them. Thank you for your diligence in recommending candidates to your clubs. All of you understand the scope
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and level of prestige for these medals. It is not too early to think about 2013 and to whisper your thoughts to others.
You will be heard. The deadline for the letter of intent is February 1, 2011.
We have focused on revising out dated certificates. A new national certificate was given for the first time this year
and the horticulture commendations certificates have gotten a fresh look. We are also happy to announce the
approval of another new award. Next year a Club Communications Award will be available for presentation.
In addition to work with the national medalist proposals, the Awards Representatives have encouraged and
facilitated nearly 400 zone and club awards. I think that is quite remarkable and appreciate the hard work of the
clubs, the reps and especially the staff.
I have loved being the Chairman of Awards. What could be better than telling people how much you appreciate
them! Thank you.
Bulletin – Jennie Reynolds
The Bulletin offers clubs a means for nationwide publicity and recognition for their cultivation of projects and
reflects the organization at its basic root level.
A major goal of ours is to develop a magazine which reflects the GCA itself: Will it be relevant, will it be a coffee
table book, will all our members read it cover to cover with a catching enthusiasm? As I have said before our
organization is so worthy of recognition for conservation and horticulture, so proficient in the art of photography
and flower arranging, so involved in preservation and restoration of fine gardens for the future, these attributes
should energize our message and drive our magazine.
What’s more we might have dueling competitions with answering questions like: Do birds kiss? Can we eat
mushrooms found around the old oak tree? Can we do yoga while weeding?
In Santa Barbara for our March meeting we were fortunate to have friends and GCA members show us the best of
the succulents, the history, perennial gardens and the characters of the area. Much was accomplished in casual
manner meeting in my room – on beds, chairs and floor asking questions and candidly getting answers, ideas we
may not have heard otherwise. And, of course, it was fun as well as productive with no charges for “meeting
Annual Meeting was such a treat!
The Communications Committee, having absorbed the website and AAA team into the committee, has been busy
getting information ready to go on the new members’ area for the mid to late June launch on the GCA website. We
have sent club presidents a Google Doc form asking 28 questions about their clubs plus one 100-word paragraph
describing a highlight or highlights of their year. When the presidents answer the questions, the results go into a
spreadsheet that can then be used to get totals such as volunteer hours, money raised, flower shows held and so
forth. These totals will then be used in the GCA annual report. If any of you hear of issues, please have them
contact me for assistance. Also sent out was a questionnaire asking for their new club committee chairmen. This
information will be put in the member’s records manually this year and in the future will be input directly by club
The Communications Committee is also pleased to announce the approval of a club communications award.
These are exciting times for GCA communications!
Conservation– Susie Wilmerding
I end my term as Chair of Conservation with such great admiration for the wonderful women who I have worked
with in GCA. Our conservationists are absolutely dedicated towards making our world a better place. They, and I,
have found that once we learn about the environmental issues of our times, we can never let up. Understanding the
issues involves reading, talking, listening and reading some more. With the endless list of problems that we face as
civilization grows and takes over more and more of our natural world, it is really heartening to spend time with a
group of people who are making such a difference in their own communities and in our nation. I think we all find
that we can share our concerns here, as nowhere else!
As clubs struggle with their projects, invasives, plastic bags, public lands, and endangered plants, the community
that forms, is strong and empowered. I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me and thanked me for our
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NAL meeting, which Nancy has so able managed for 2 years. The power of that meeting rubs off on 300 women
every year and gives them to the courage to fight for the environment in their own towns and states.
This has been an amazing experience for me and I thank you all for your support and consideration as we all forge
our way into a very scary future.
Flower Show – Alice Farley
Life on the Flower Show Committee is an exercise in traveling the speed of light. When Isaiah in the Bible said
“there is no rest for the wicked”, he knew what he was talking about.
We are in the full throes of the Yellow Book Project. The Flower Show and Judging Committees have combined
forces and have formed working groups by topic. We are negotiating for editorial services, and feel we are well on
track to complete the project during our tenures. With such creative minds, we imagine many wonderful resources
to supplement the YB, and, as ever, our goal is a product that serves the needs of our group and is truly ‘user
In Indianapolis, we hosted an Annual Meeting workshop for the Presidents. It was a ‘demystification’ session:
learning about the things that keep the Flower Show Committee jumping. The two fantastic magazines published
by the committee (Focus, the Photography Subcommittee magazine and ByDesign the Flower Arranging Study
Group subcommittee magazine were presented. We talked about regional workshops offered for beginning
photographers and arrangers and the workshops, national and international, organized for more experienced
photographers and arrangers. The Yellow Book project was discussed, and we performed two skits, a ‘Jeopardy’
introduction to the highlights of the FSC and a skit focusing on the fun and pitfalls of putting on a flower show.
“Kate Middleton” made a brief appearance, en route to her wedding reception. The final segment was spent
practicing in teams to create a show theme and classes that interpret the theme. The creativity and enthusiasm of the
presidents bodes well for the future of GCA flower shows, and there was much hilarity and camaraderie among the
Our spring meeting, last week, held in beautiful Pasadena, was full and successful with much accomplished. Dora
Aalbregtse, the Vice Chairman organized a stunning venue, delicious meals and amazing garden tours. We nicely
balanced the work and the fun which was a happy challenge, and it was a wonderful send off for those committee
members who are departing. I have been blessed with a group of talented women who leave their egos at the door
and buckle down to work. Who could ask for more?
Now, wishing you each a wonderful summer, I must rocket ‘Back to the Future’.
Founders Fund – Kingslea Thomas
You have all heard my big report at the Annual Meeting, so on the topic of Founders Fund, there is not much to
add. Except to say, the Winner - Beyond the Beetle: A Strategy of Diversity - will have a far-reaching affect in
that it is an excellent model of how a modern scourge can be restrained and how the diversity of native plants is a
more desirable, sustainable way to grow.
This report has been written with an attitude of gratitude. It has been my privilege to serve this amazing
organization. I am so grateful to Joan George for giving me the opportunity to be your Founders Fund Chairman,
thereby exposing me to a new aspect of the GCA. My Committees have been outstanding, assuring me that the
future of the GCA is in most capable hands. Dedi Petri and Margot Paddock have been wonderful advisers and
cheerleaders. I must thank my family, especially Nancy Thomas, who has been a huge support to me, a mentor, a
friend and an all-around great mother. Her guidance has been invaluable.
And - What would I have done without Anne Butler? She is corporate mind of the Founders Fund. She has kept
me on the straight and narrow with her knowledge. She has reminded me, been reassuring and kind, and always
patient. Also, I am most grateful to Millie, Munro and Cindy. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated staff.
My special gratitude to Judy Terjen, my Vice Chairman and dear friend. Judy has been so generous, so supportive
and great fun. I am delighted to announce that Judy will be your new Founders Fund Chairman. Judy please stand.
And finally, a heartfelt “Thank You” to all you accomplished women in this room. You are the best! I will always
treasure your friendships and the experiences of working with you.
Garden History & Design–Barbara Kehoe read by Ellen Petersen
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I am sorry I cannot be with you this morning, but right now I am back in Chicago after a successful Garden History
and Design committee meeting and am hard at work on Show of Summer. Many thanks to Ellen Petersen who has
agreed to read this report for me.
The GHD committee continues to reap enormous benefits from its partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.
The Smithsonian staff has developed a process to train new GHD zone reps about documenting gardens for the
Archives of American Gardens, which then serves as a model for workshops for GHD club chairs in their zones.
This spring there was a workshop in Zone VI, and Zone III held one here at GCA Headquarters. At our
Washington DC committee meeting in September we are adding another workshop to train second year reps how to
use the Smithsonian’s resources to put together effective educational exhibits at GCA Flower Shows and Zone and
GCA is funding two Garden History and Design interns to work at the Smithsonian this summer for ten weeks.
Kayla Burns from the University of South Carolina and Savannah Gignac from the Univerisity of Texas will help
with cataloging new garden submissions, in addition to conducting some independent research. Jennifer Strain, a
graduate student at the University of Maryland, is processing the AAG’s Eleanor Weller Collection.
Smithsonian staff also continue to handle inquiries from GCA members and GHD Reps, who need help writing
articles for the GCA Bulletin; putting together presentations, reports, award nominations or exhibits for their clubs
or zone meetings; asking about gardens in the GCA Collection; needing help with searching SIRIS; confirming that
a certain camera model meets the AAG Digital Submission standard; making sure that a public space is eligible for
inclusion in the AAG; or requesting AAG brochures for workshops or lists of gardens in their area that are included
The GHD committee is lucky to have this wonder resource to support its mission.
Historian– Anne Myers
With the completion of two years serving as GCA Historian, I have been reflecting on my progress in gathering,
preserving and bringing to life historical information and memorabilia of our organization and its member clubs.
My days have been full, fun and forever rewarding. I have enjoyed both working in the Archive and attending
Annual and Zone Meetings. My activities have included the following:
Working with member clubs to archive and update their histories;
Fielding questions from members regarding GCA history;
Assisting the National Chairmen in researching their committees’ history;
Researching and presenting with Edie Loening “Seen Behind The Scenes”, a short and light-hearted
historical retrospective, to the Delegates’ Workshops in New Brunswick and Indianapolis;
Reporting on the important accomplishments of GCA clubs and the impact of area committees, such as the
New Jersey Committee;
Providing editorial comment, fact-checking, research, photo captions and marketing ideas for William
Seale and the Centennial book;
Collaborating with the Centennial Historian on the historical video for the 2013 Annual Meeting.
I strongly believe that, since 1913, The Garden Club of America has had an enormous impact in communities
throughout the country. Its illustrious history provides an important connection between member clubs and the
GCA. This history inspires the pursuit of new and beneficial projects and helps clubs to feel a part of something
much larger and enduring than themselves.
I wish to thank Joan George and the Executive Committee for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve as
Historian for the GCA over these past two years. I am most grateful to Marian Hill and Exec for extending my
term because I believe that my work is not yet complete.
Horticulture – Ellen Petersen
At the Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Emmy Seymour announced the GCA Plant of the Year, the Freeman
Medal. The winner was Abies concolor, Concolor fir, a Colorado native submitted by a group of provisionals from
the Akron GC, zone X. Special mention was given to Pinus palustris, Long leaf pine.
The horticulture conference is filling up fast. It will be held at the end of Oct. in San Marino, CA. In 2012, the
conference will be in Austin, TX.
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Check out TRD, The Real Dirt, on the horticulture page of the website. We welcome articles. If any of you want
to submit something, get in touch with the Editor, Kathy VanDevere. Carrie Waterman, currently zone I rep. is
staying on the committee in the new post of Vice-chair of communications, assistant editor and will be a great help
in navigating the new requirements of GCA communications.
The propagation handbook is complete but waiting for art work from Martha Kemp, Piedmont GC, zone XII, who
has kindly agreed to supplement the illustrations she did for the handbook back in 1999. It should come out later in
We’re still looking for pictures of your tree projects! Get in touch with your horticulture rep to find out how to get
them to the appropriate place.
I want to thank my hard working committee; we’ve had fun while accomplishing a lot. Thanks to Joan for giving
me the opportunity to have such a satisfying, worthwhile and enjoyable job.
Hospitality Committee - Ruth Diefenbach and Mary Lou Young
On behalf of all the members of the Hospitality Committee, we want to acknowledge the support that we received
from the Executive Committee, the Directors and National Chairmen during the past two years. This support
enabled us to make necessary changes that were needed to bring us into a cost effective mode and still continue to
offer the warm and personal hospitality that has long been a tradition here at Headquarters.
I want to expecially recognize our liaisons who listened to the challenges and offered constant and good
advice. During 2009-2010, Nancy Bone, Exec. Liaison and Katie Heins, Director Liaison supported our efforts and
this past year; Katie Stewart, from Exec. and Kathy Metz, Director continued as mentors.
The co-chairs for the Hospitality Committee, 2011-2013, are Lynn Ryan and Carolyn Schoonmaker both from the
Garden Club of Darien in Zone II.
House Committee – Nancy Ladd
Although our committee has not had a formal meeting since January much has been accomplished by our smaller
sub committees who have logged many hours here at 14 East 60th.
We have completed an inventory of art, antiques and decorative objects in the possession of GCA. This has
involved the documentation and photographing of the appropriate items here at Headquarters. We have turned our
files over to the staff and expect to have a comprehensive package shortly.
As part of a joint centennial project we are also in the process of reframing all of the national medals. The current
plan calls for three separate frames to accommodate and display both sides of our beautiful awards. Hopefully this
project will be completed over this summer.
As usual, we at the house committee continue to provide beautiful flowers and decoration for meetings held at
Headquarters this spring. We hope you have all noticed the containers used for the flowers this week. I recently
spent a few hours here at HQ with Jane Mercer and Lee Lockwood cleaning the treasure trove of dirty silver that
was unearthed from a storage closet during our inventory. We all agreed that there wasn’t much point in owning all
these things that no one ever sees, so please take a moment to check out some of the lovely things that are part of
GCA’s history (and inventory!).
Judging Committee – Diana Neely
The Judging Committee met in Pasadena, May 22nd through the 24th. The Judge Selection Committee met and the
following changes were approved
Flower Arrangement Horticulture Photography
13 new Approved Judges 4 new Approved Judges 2 new Approved Judges
4 new Prospective Judges 5 new Prospective Judges 3 new Prospective Judges
10 new Candidates 13 new Candidates 3 new Candidates
2 participants returned from leave of absence and 4 leave of absences were approved. 6 approved judges went
emeritus. 5 participants in the program resigned (4 flower arrangement and 1 horticulture) The Judging Zone Reps
have been diligent and hard working to do all this work!
In an effort to go green and reduce the volume of paper, many of the zone reps and area vice chairs utilized
scanners and online forms to produce the portfolios and put them in the dropbox for the other members of the Judge
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Selection Committee to review. The process this year was a trial and improvements will be made and procedures
Judging issues and the online FSJG were the main topics for the Spring Judging Committee meeting. The Judging
Committee voted unanimously to discontinue merit judging in all disciplines. It was unanimous that the Judge
Selection Committee will have the discretion to waive the 3 year rule for photography prospectives advancing to
approved judge, if all the other requirements have been met. The waiver will be reviewed in 2013. The Judging
Committee voted that the composition of the 3 person Conservation Judging panel would consist of 2 horticulture
judges and a GCA member or non-GCA conservationist.
The website and online capability at GCA should alleviate the work load of the judging committee, provided all are
Library – Arete Warren
There is nothing the Library Committee enjoys more than showing off unless it is gardening. And showing off we
have done in the last few months to St George’s GC and the Garden Club of Twenty from Zone VI, Rusticus,
Irvington, South Side, Philipstown, Three Harbors in Zone III, and Cohasset and Lenox in Zone I. Stonington in
Zone II had to cancel. And future visits are planned for Tuckahoe GC in Zone VII as well as Zone VIII’s
President’s Council Meeting. Rare Books have been placed on view to the astonishment and delight of all. How
proud these members were of their patrimony.
The Library Committee has taken its “housekeeping duties” to heart: finally we have updated our Handbook of
2005, undergone a complete appraisal of our Rare Books Collection, and will be tackling the complex task of
preparing spine labels according to the Library of Congress system which the LOC admits is not perfect even with
the help of a new computer program.
We have met with a talented and impressive exhibition and book designer for the 2013 Centennial exhibition at the
Grolier Club in New York City and have begun choosing some of our gems for that show.
One book is Flora Danica or the Flora of Denmark, Norway and Europe which was proposed in 1753 and was first
published in 1761; its final volume appeared 123 years later in 1883. We only have volumes 1-12 of the fifty one
volumes and three supplements produced (equaling 3240 plates). The copper plates of volumes 1-10 (Plates 1-600)
were designed by a father-son team from Nurnberg and edited by Georg Christian Oeder, and Volumes 11-15 (601-
900) were edited by O.F. Muller of which we have 11 and 12.
In 1790, the Danish Crown Prince Frederick ordered a dinner set made from these engravings from the Royal
Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory (established in 11775) which was meant for the Russian Empress Catherine II
but she died (1796) before receiving it. But the 18th century tradition continued and we have our own 20th century
example on the sideboard. While most of the plants represented on the tureen appear in the later volumes of Flora
Danica, there are two which do and I would like to point those out:
Tureen Lid: Cytsius Laburnum L. 20/3560 hmx or genista; scoparia;spartium.
Gox #313 (Broom Tree)
Tureen: Aconitum Napello L. 20/3560 wwx aft #1698 (monk’s hood)
Meliotus dentatus Tarz #1883 (sweet clover)
Platter Scabiosa suaveolens desf 20/3561 ddx fg1 #2282 but compare #314
or Scabiosa columbaria L. (pincushion flower)
NAL – Nancy McKlveen
It has been an honor and I have had a wonderfully rewarding experience as chairman of the National Affairs and
Legislation Committee of GCA for the past two years. During that time, my committee continued to be mindful and
action oriented advocates for the protection and sustainability of our dear earth. For the past 28 years, the
Conservation and NAL committees have headed to Washington D.C. in early March to make sure that our
legislators learn that there are well-informed, interested and concerned garden club members in their own states and
congressional districts who passionately care about the quality of water and air, enhanced and expanded national
parks, protection of native plants, the stewardship of public lands, and preservation of the biodiversity that is
threatened by climate change. We are there to tell them that we have come to Washington to be sure the
environmental treasures we value will be around for our grandchildren to enjoy. We want to be part of the solution,
not contribute to the problem. That is the power of GCA and that is the reputation we have earned among our
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elected representatives and environmental organizations around the country. When we return home from
Washington, the work does not end. Throughout the year we continue to communicate with our elected
representatives and keep in close contact with many organizations with which we have developed a close working
relationship. During the past two years, NAL and Conservation have signed on to or written our own letters:
To Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to protect the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area from casino
To Senators Reid and McConnell to seize the moment to pass comprehensive energy/climate legislation
To Senator Robert Casey urging passage of Senate Bill 1816, the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem
To Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, Interior Secretary Salazar, EPA Director Jackson, and Council on
Environmental Quality Sutley to request that our national parks be a component of the Great Outdoors
To President Obama to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a new national monument
To Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to protect the valuable collections of azaleas and boxwood at the National
To mid-west House representatives asking for them to be part of a national sign-on letter requesting full
funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in the 2012 budget
And two letters to President Obama that originated with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and National
Parks Conservation Association for operations funding.
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to work with the very best of women who are passionately
dedicated to carrying out the mission of GCA.
Nominating – Jane Goedecke
You know how people stand up at this podium and say that they have the best job in GCA? Or, sometimes they say
theirs is the best committee in GCA? Well, I’m not saying they are wrong – just that they are misguided and don’t
know what they’ve missed. Now, the Nominating Committee doesn’t travel to beautiful and interesting places. We
meet right here, and alone, in September, locked in for two and a half days. We don’t go to flower shows, look at
gardens, visit museums or study environmental issues. Feeling jealous yet? No?
Well, I’ll try to explain. What I experienced these last two years was the elegance of collegial decision-making in
an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation. The work I did at home at my computer was like putting
together an intricate, mysterious puzzle. When it all came together it was a miracle! The deliberations here in
September were also miraculous. Twelve different personalities, backgrounds and experiences looking for common
ground, practicing active listening rather than talking over each other. Twelve women who rejoiced at achieving
unanimity rather than wanting to win.
You can be sure we laughed a lot. We also dealt with some sadness. In the end, GCA is about people: friends and
close colleagues. We care about the work we do and we care for each other. What more can any of us want in our
So the Nominating Committee takes one out of the mainstream for two years. But it offers so much in return. It has
truly been an honor to serve as its Chairman. I wish Patti Spaght all the best next year. She will definitely make
Policy Research – Katherine Martucci
Over the past year my small committee and I have continued to field your thoughtful questions and researched the
Policy and Information manuals for answers. Occasionally GCA policies were inadvertently not adhered to and that
is why I have tried to stress the importance of familiarizing yourself with the manual and to use it as a research tool
before preceding with whatever endeavor you, your committee, or your club is undertaking.
Many policy statements are clear cut and concise- ie: Use of the GCA Logo- “No portion of the GCA Logo may be
used or written on printed material for commercial purposes”. And “The Executive Committee must approve any
event using the GCA name”.
Straight forward policies- however other policies can be considered “up for interpretation”. With this thought in
mind the Policy Research Committee recommended that the words “Area Committees” be added to the manual
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wherever National Chairman or National Committee policies were described. This was approved by the Executive
committee and added to the policy manual.
The Policy Manual has been given a hard look over the past year and national chairmen have been asked to review
the polices of their committees and submit proposals for changes where they feel necessary. These changes will be
presented to the Executive Committee and only they can give approval for the changes. It is hoped that this will
make the manual more user friendly thus making it easier for all of us to find the answers to questions as they arise.
Program – Kathy Andrews
The Program Committee spent three industrious days in Charleston, SC March 28-30. We divided our time
between productive committee meetings, sampling local culinary arts and enjoying private tours of Middleton
Place, Drayton Hall as well as private homes courtesy of the Historic Charleston Foundation. We were even lucky
enough to be invited into Mrs. Emily Whaley's famed garden when her daughter, Marty Adams, spotted our group
leaving the George Matthews House across the street from her narrow white clapboard house on Church Street.
What a special treat that was!
Among the business items to which we attended was taking a microscopic look at the Program area of the website
and all of the elements and forms needed to be translated to the new system. We devoted time to hearing from each
zone about their progress on updating their Speakers List. And we even voted on adding two National Speakers to
our list, Dr. Douglas Tallamy resident of Zone V, who gives a fascinating talk on the need for biodiversity of native
flora and fauna in America's own backyards and Sal Gilbertie, resident of Zone II, who is a charismatic lecturer on
herb gardening. We covered new means of communication; Dropbox, Skype and gotomeeting.com and how we can
effectively use these technologies in our work. And we viewed a photo DVD, “Glorious Gardens” produced by the
Akron Garden Club which was unanimously supported to be included into our Program Media Library. Since
returning from Charleston, The Akron Garden Club has requested that we postpone adding their work to the library
until they replace the music with approved music and obtain releases from all gardeners whose gardens were used.
They estimate it will take another year before we can add it.
Finally, we are looking forward to welcoming our incoming class of six Reps at our June 8th & 9th meetings where
we will have a full agenda of business and social events.
Scholarship – Ginny Kopp
As announced in my last report, the Scholarship Committee distributed over a quarter of a million dollars to
seventy scholars. The new Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture had two winners, and the Sara
Shallenberger Brown GCA National Parks Conservation Scholarship was awarded to three winners. The original
name of the Sally Brown Scholarship was changed at the request of Sally’s family.
There were more scholarships awarded in Field Botany than in recent years, and I would like to think the
website link with the Phipps Conservatory may have been responsible for more applications than usual.
The 2011 Garden Club of America Interchange Fellow is Alex Summers from London. He will be an intern at
Longwood Gardens. The Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellow is Ellen Woods from New Jersey. She
will spend ten months in Great Britain and plans to study at the Millennium Seed Bank Project.
More clubs are inviting scholars to speak at meetings, realizing that this is the best way to promote and
understand scholarships. Recently, Sarah Mincey, Zone VI Urban Forestry Fellow, spoke at the Annual
Meeting, Caitlin Campbell, two-time SES winner, spoke at the Zone VI meeting in Baltimore, Leanna Heffner,
GCA Award in Coastal Wetlands, spoke at the Zone I meeting in Cambridge, and Rachel Meyer, winner of the
Anne S. Chatham Fellowship in Medicinal Botany, will speak at the Zone III meeting in June. These scholars
captivate the audiences and promote awareness of the importance of the GCA Scholarship programs probably
more than any of us could!
Promotion of scholarships continues to be a top priority. After a few round table discussions, it is amazing to me
how few know very much about the scholarship programs and how they work. Scholarship seems to be low on
the totem pole. I ask all zone chairmen to encourage the clubs in her zone to invite a scholar to speak at a
At the Zone VI meeting in Baltimore, I had the honor of announcing that every club in Zone VI contributed to
fully fund the Zone VI Urban Forestry Fellowship for Andrew Koeser, in honor of Joan George; for her
dedication to the office she has held, for her outstanding capabilities, and for her friendship.
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This is my last report to you as Scholarship Chairman! It has been an honor and a privilege – a memorable time
– and one I shall never forget. I thank Sally Solmssen, Anne Copenhaver, committee Executive liaisons; Margot
Paddock and Marilyn Gregg, Director liaisons, for their loyal support these past two years. And a debt of
gratitude to an outstanding Scholarship Committee, whose dedication and ability to make wise decisions helped
to make this an historical year for Scholarship.
Visiting Gardens – Pam Green
Argentina's Old World Grandeur lived up to its name for our international trip last March. The natural beauty of the
landscapes, mountains, and Patagonia region surpassed our expectations. The Estancias are diverse in their culture
from farming, Arabian horse stud farms, tree preservations, and lodges offering fly fishing to guests.
The majority of the Estancias are thousands of acres and have been in the same families for generations. Our hosts
were most welcoming, charming; and enjoying themselves to showing our group the best of Argentina. Even our
one evening at a tango show was quite an extravagant affair in an elegant, dark, smoke filled room with dinner
served and the wine flowing.
In April, our committee held its spring off-site meeting at Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs. Part of the agenda
was used to restructure our committee as Vice-Chairmen descriptions have changed adding communications and
finance to job duties.
This is also the time when we contemplate our trips that will be offered in the next few years. Maryland's Eastern
Shore will be offered in April 2012 and the international destination is going to be the Cotswolds, England in June
We will be announcing more trips in the future as soon as dates, locations are secure and contracts are signed.
As of this writing, the trip to Middleburg, VA is scheduled for late May. Our second trip to the Lakes of Northern
Italy will be in late June and the Alaska environmental cruise in July.
I will report on these trips in the fall.
Directors – Margaret Hall – no report
Old Business - no report
New Business- no report
There being no further business, Joan adjourned the meeting.
The next meeting of the Board of Directors will take place at GCA Headquarters in New York City
on Wednesday, October 5, 2011.
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