The Garden Club of Jax

Lily Snowden

The Garden Club of Jacksonville turned 100 years old on March 25, 2022. The Garden Club of Jacksonville is one of Florida’s oldest and most established garden clubs. Ninah May Holden Cummer founded the club on March 25, 1922 in her home in Riverside. The club was originally comprised of 17 of Cummer’s friends. Within months, the club grew to over 100 members. The Garden Club of Jacksonville was one of the original four clubs in the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. The club continued to grow over the years, and eventually broke ground on a clubhouse. The original clubhouse was a modest slat house located on Riverside Avenue. In 1948 it was replaced by the current club room at the same location. As the club continued to grow, so did the building. After continuing to be built in 1958, the clubhouse consists of an office, library, ballroom and supporting spaces, which still stand to this day. 

From the beginning, the club was determined to help the city’s parks and preservation of the live oak trees in the Jacksonville area. The club also took on many civic projects that helped the community in tremendous ways. Today, the Garden Club of Jacksonville continues to be a self-sufficient club. They are a “self-supporting, non-profit organization dedicated to the education, beautification, and conservation citywide,” according to their website. 

Originally, the club was exclusively for women, the club has expanded its membership. Today, the club has more than 600 members and is open to all genders. There are many opportunities to join the club as well as several membership levels. There are also Garden Circle memberships, which are more localized branches of the club.

The club has many opportunities for local citizens to be involved this month. The club hosts its annual Blooms Galore & More Preview Party on April 8 with a large selection of plants to choose from the day before the actual party. The following day, the 2022 Blooms Galore & More Party will take place at the club. The event will include a sprout sale, green market, kids activities and more. This event is free and open to the public. The club will also be hosting a container garden seminar on April 12 and a special guest demonstration on April 28.