The Little Garden Club of Birmingham, Alabama A Brief History 1928 - 2011     The Little Garden Club of Birmingham, Alabama 1928 – 2011   The following history of The Little Garden Club’s 83 years tells the story of the combined efforts of dozens of members to improve and make more beautiful the community in which we live. Less obvious perhaps is the fun we have had in the process. Friendships have blossomed and camaraderie developed through countless projects and programs; through lunches shared and ideas discussed; and on trips we have taken together. We hope that you will find in these pages much to celebrate and much to grow on. We wish a Happy 100th Birthday to The Garden Club of America in 2013, which we mark by telling our story now, and as we look forward to our own centennial in 2028!   Mrs. R. Waid Shelton, President 2010 - 2012

The Little Garden Club of Birmingham, Alabama

A Brief History 1928 - 2011

 

 

The Little Garden Club of Birmingham, Alabama 1928 – 2011

 

The following history of The Little Garden Club’s 83 years tells the story of the combined efforts of dozens of members to improve and make more beautiful the community in which we live. Less obvious perhaps is the fun we have had in the process. Friendships have blossomed and camaraderie developed through countless projects and programs; through lunches shared and ideas discussed; and on trips we have taken together. We hope that you will find in these pages much to celebrate and much to grow on. We wish a Happy 100th Birthday to The Garden Club of America in 2013, which we mark by telling our story now, and as we look forward to our own centennial in 2028!

 

Mrs. R. Waid Shelton, President 2010 - 2012

Award-winning arrangement from Spring Flower Show  Birmingham Federation of Garden Clubs, 1931     The LGC history was published in booklet form in May 2011  by The Little Garden Club of Birmingham  Alabama Member of The Garden Club of America since 1950  National Council of State Garden Clubs The Garden Club of Alabama Federated Garden Clubs of the Third District

Award-winning arrangement from Spring Flower Show 

Birmingham Federation of Garden Clubs, 1931

 

 

The LGC history was published in booklet form in May 2011 

by
The Little Garden Club of Birmingham 

Alabama Member of The Garden Club of America since 1950 

National Council of State Garden Clubs
The Garden Club of Alabama
Federated Garden Clubs of the Third District

Arrangement by Linda Vann and Laurie Allen, in-club flower show, April 2010   This account of activities of The Little Garden Club was taken from historical reviews written by past and present members Mrs. Alfred M. Shook, Mrs. Arthur B. Durkee, Mrs. Lee McGriff, Jr., Mrs. Temple W. Tutwiler, III, and Mrs. John N. Wrinkle. Information was compiled with recent club events added by Mrs. James S.M. French, Mrs. Henry S. Long, Jr., and Mrs. R. Waid Shelton. Photographs are from the club archives. The logo and art, as published in Southern Roots Garden Guide, 2004 and 2005, are by Mrs. Keehn W. Berry, III.     The Early Years The Little Garden Club (LGC) was organized June 7, 1928, at the home of Mrs. Leroy Percy. Founding members were Mrs. Frank Y. Anderson, Mrs. Robert F. Brooke, Mrs. Beach M. Chenoweth, Mrs. James L. Davidson, Mrs. Robert B. Evins, Mrs. Leroy Percy, Mrs. Miles A. Watkins (later Mrs. Jelks Cabaniss), and Mrs. James D. Willcox. After assembling other friends for the first meeting, a name for the club was decided upon, the number of members set (25), and officers were elected: President, Mrs. Chenoweth; Vice President, Mrs. Theodore Swann; and Treasurer; Mrs. Frank Miller. Dues were set at $2.00 per year, and it was decided that meetings would be held the first Thursday of the month. However, at the following meeting, the date was changed to the first Wednesday and has remained so ever since.

Arrangement by Linda Vann and Laurie Allen, in-club flower show, April 2010

 

This account of activities of The Little Garden Club was taken from historical reviews written by past and present members Mrs. Alfred M. Shook, Mrs. Arthur B. Durkee, Mrs. Lee McGriff, Jr., Mrs. Temple W. Tutwiler, III, and Mrs. John N. Wrinkle. Information was compiled with recent club events added by Mrs. James S.M. French, Mrs. Henry S. Long, Jr., and Mrs. R. Waid Shelton. Photographs are from the club archives. The logo and art, as published in Southern Roots Garden Guide, 2004 and 2005, are by Mrs. Keehn W. Berry, III.

 

 

The Early Years

The Little Garden Club (LGC) was organized June 7, 1928, at the home of Mrs. Leroy Percy. Founding members were Mrs. Frank Y. Anderson, Mrs. Robert F. Brooke, Mrs. Beach M. Chenoweth, Mrs. James L. Davidson, Mrs. Robert B. Evins, Mrs. Leroy Percy, Mrs. Miles A. Watkins (later Mrs. Jelks Cabaniss), and Mrs. James D. Willcox. After assembling other friends for the first meeting, a name for the club was decided upon, the number of members set (25), and officers were elected: President, Mrs. Chenoweth; Vice President, Mrs. Theodore Swann; and Treasurer; Mrs. Frank Miller. Dues were set at $2.00 per year, and it was decided that meetings would be held the first Thursday of the month. However, at the following meeting, the date was changed to the first Wednesday and has remained so ever since.

Mrs. Frank Dixon, RMGC President, left, and Mrs. Rucker Agee, LGC President, 1954   The format for meetings quickly took shape. Members took turns giving programs on gardens, flowers, and shrubs, and each brought the most interesting specimen from her garden to share. Following the program, refreshments were served and a tour of the hostess’s garden capped off the day. These serious gardeners held flower shows regularly with the membership acting as judges of the show.   In 1929 The Little Garden Club assisted in forming the Birmingham Federation of Garden Clubs and became a member of the Garden Club of Alabama and the National Council of State Garden Clubs. Over the years, several members of LGC have served as President of the Birmingham Federation and have been active at the state level as well.  

Mrs. Frank Dixon, RMGC President, left, and Mrs. Rucker Agee, LGC President, 1954

 

The format for meetings quickly took shape. Members took turns giving programs on gardens, flowers, and shrubs, and each brought the most interesting specimen from her garden to share. Following the program, refreshments were served and a tour of the hostess’s garden capped off the day. These serious gardeners held flower shows regularly with the membership acting as judges of the show.

 

In 1929 The Little Garden Club assisted in forming the Birmingham Federation of Garden Clubs and became a member of the Garden Club of Alabama and the National Council of State Garden Clubs. Over the years, several members of LGC have served as President

of the Birmingham Federation and have been active at the state level as well.

 

Cover from the 1938-39 Yearbook   In 1930 the President of the Birmingham Federation of Garden Clubs asked the Little Garden Club to be in charge of the first large flower show which was held at the Municipal Auditorium.  All the garden clubs in the city participated. This was a huge undertaking, particularly given the onset of The Depression.  Throughout the next few years The Little Garden Club continued to enter flower shows, share gardening tips and work toward conservation and ways to beautify our city. Members funded efforts to clean up our highways and parks by eliminating unsightly signs. Also, the club donated funds and shrubs to Hillman Hospital and other medical centers.   With the onset of World War II, LGC held meetings at the Red Cross Station where members made surgical dressings. We donated funds for an ambulance, put money in war bonds, and provided shrubs and flowers to army and air force hospitals. The Little Garden Club planted Victory Gardens and formed committees to visit schools to interest students in Junior Victory Gardens too. Members also contributed to a fund for planting an aboretum at Auburn University as a memorial to veterans of World War II.

Cover from the 1938-39 Yearbook

 

In 1930 the President of the Birmingham Federation of Garden Clubs asked the Little Garden Club to be in charge of the first large flower show which was held at the Municipal Auditorium.  All the garden clubs in the city participated. This was a huge undertaking, particularly given the onset of The Depression.  Throughout the next few years The Little Garden Club continued to enter flower shows, share gardening tips and work toward conservation and ways to beautify our city. Members funded efforts to clean up our highways and parks by eliminating unsightly signs. Also, the club donated funds and shrubs to Hillman Hospital and other medical centers.

 

With the onset of World War II, LGC held meetings at the Red Cross Station where members made surgical dressings. We donated funds for an ambulance, put money in war bonds, and provided shrubs and flowers to army and air force hospitals. The Little Garden Club planted Victory Gardens and formed committees to visit schools to interest students in Junior Victory Gardens too. Members also contributed to a fund for planting an aboretum at Auburn University as a memorial to veterans of World War II.

Mrs. Edwin Hatch, left, and Mrs. Thomas Gearhart at the Children’s Hospital garden     On February 9, 1950, The Little Garden Club received notification that the club had been unanimously elected to membership in The Garden Club of America (GCA). Our sister club in Birmingham, Red Mountain Garden Club (RMGC), and Lookout Mountain Garden Club of Chattanooga, had sponsored our club for membership the previous May. In 1954 The Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs were asked to co-host the GCA Southern Zone Meeting, when a club in Texas was unable to do so. This was quite an undertaking, since the Southern Zone included what we now know as Zones VIII and IX, and both clubs rose to the occasion. Just as now, the meeting included horticulture and conservation sessions, as well as a flower show, open to the public. The two clubs have co-hosted several meetings and supported each other’s projects for decades.   The 60’s and 70’s The Little Garden Club has always taken on an ambitious variety of projects. In 1961 our members designed and installed a garden at the Children’s Hospital. It was located in the atrium of the hospital and had seasonal plantings, statuary, fountains, and garden benches for patients and hospital personnel to enjoy. Soon after, a second garden was installed, a pebble court, where patients and their families could walk and rest. A whimsical wall mural was designed and painted by a LGC member and delighted all who visited. The Little Garden Club maintained the hospital gardens for twenty years until the space was needed for expansion of the hospital. The project was nominated twice for a GCA Founders Fund Award.   In 1965, inspired by a club member, LGC presented a herbarium of several hundred specimens to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG). Today the herbarium is housed in the Gardens’ educational complex for which The Little Garden Club helped to raise funds, and it contains samples of most plants native to Jefferson County.   In the late 1960s two LGC members envisioned an abandoned sandstone quarry as the perfect spot for a wildflower garden at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Bolstered by other enthusiastic gardeners from our club and Red Mountain Garden Club, they engaged the noted Swiss landscape designer Xenon Schreiber to transform the quarry and eroded stream bed into a harmonious hillside garden, accessible by paths throughout. Many club volunteers worked in the garden during the 1970s, and others developed and presented a slide program on native plants for schools and community groups. This special area of the BBG was dedicated in 1986 as the Kaul Wildflower Garden and today stands as a collection of over 400 trees, shrubs, vines and flowers native to Alabama woodlands.

Mrs. Edwin Hatch, left, and Mrs. Thomas Gearhart at the Children’s Hospital garden

 

 

On February 9, 1950, The Little Garden Club received notification that the club had been unanimously elected to membership in The Garden Club of America (GCA). Our sister club in Birmingham, Red Mountain Garden Club (RMGC), and Lookout Mountain Garden Club of Chattanooga, had sponsored our club for membership the previous May. In 1954 The Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs were asked to co-host the GCA Southern Zone Meeting, when a club in Texas was unable to do so. This was quite an undertaking, since the Southern Zone included what we now know as Zones VIII and IX, and both clubs rose to the occasion. Just as now, the meeting included horticulture and conservation sessions, as well as a flower show, open to the public. The two clubs have co-hosted several meetings and supported each other’s projects for decades.

 

The 60’s and 70’s

The Little Garden Club has always taken on an ambitious variety of projects. In 1961 our

members designed and installed a garden at the Children’s Hospital. It was located in the atrium of the hospital and had seasonal plantings, statuary, fountains, and garden benches for patients and hospital personnel to enjoy. Soon after, a second garden was installed, a pebble court, where patients and their families could walk and rest. A whimsical wall mural was designed and painted by a LGC member and delighted all who visited. The Little Garden Club maintained the hospital gardens for twenty years until the space was needed for expansion of the hospital. The project was nominated twice for a GCA Founders Fund Award.

 

In 1965, inspired by a club member, LGC presented a herbarium of several hundred specimens to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG). Today the herbarium is housed in the Gardens’ educational complex for which The Little Garden Club helped to raise funds, and it contains samples of most plants native to Jefferson County.

 

In the late 1960s two LGC members envisioned an abandoned sandstone quarry as the perfect spot for a wildflower garden at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Bolstered by other enthusiastic gardeners from our club and Red Mountain Garden Club, they engaged the noted Swiss landscape designer Xenon Schreiber to transform the quarry and eroded stream bed into a harmonious hillside garden, accessible by paths throughout. Many club volunteers worked in the garden during the 1970s, and others developed and presented a slide program on native plants for schools and community groups. This special area of the BBG was dedicated in 1986 as the Kaul Wildflower Garden and today stands as a collection of over 400 trees, shrubs, vines and flowers native to Alabama woodlands.

Mrs. John Cobbs, left, and Mrs. Parker Evans at the Children’s Hospital garden   Throughout our history, Little Garden Club members have planted public spaces and contributed to the wildlife preservation in our community.  In the mid 1960s we developed a program to educate children about trees native to our area. During the centennial of Birmingham and in a joint venture with Red Mountain Garden Club, members landscaped the Village Promenade in Mountain Brook. A circle of islands was planted with shrubs; walkways and a permanent Christmas tree were installed. The LGC established a wildflower trail at Samford University and worked with local Boy Scouts to place bluebird houses in several locations around the city. This conservation endeavor helped to reestablish thebluebird population, which had been waning due to lack of proper nesting places.

Mrs. John Cobbs, left, and Mrs. Parker Evans at the Children’s Hospital garden

 

Throughout our history, Little Garden Club members have planted public spaces and contributed to the wildlife preservation in our community.  In the mid 1960s we developed a program to educate children about trees native to our area. During the centennial of Birmingham and in a joint venture with Red Mountain Garden Club, members landscaped the Village Promenade in Mountain Brook. A circle of islands was planted with shrubs; walkways and a permanent Christmas tree were installed. The LGC established a wildflower trail at Samford University and worked with local Boy Scouts to place bluebird houses in several locations around the city. This conservation endeavor helped to reestablish thebluebird population, which had been waning due to lack of proper nesting places.

Mrs. Beverly Head, left, Mrs. Elmer Bissell and Mrs. Hugh Kaul are among members of Little Garden Club making plans for the meeting of Zone VIII of GCA. Mrs. Kaul’s wildflower garden was one of the gardens visited during the two-day meeting.     In 1973 the Little Garden Club co-hosted the Zone VIII meeting with Red Mountain Garden Club. Members planned horticulture and conservation lectures, a flower show open to the public, and they opened their homes and gardens to visiting Zone VIII members. In response to GCA’s interest in The Center for Plant Conservation, LGC selected the Cahaba Lily, Hymenocallis coronaria, as our club’s featured endangered plant and published the postcard pictured below.   In 1978 The Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs co-hosted the Annual Meeting of The Garden Club of America. It was quite a production by all accounts, as it was the first time that the GCA Annual Meeting had been held in Birmingham. Lots of careful planning ensued ......but some things can’t be planned for! Airport taxis were on strike, a downtown water main broke, and hotel accommodations provided for only one double bed for two delegates! However, southern hospitality, interesting meetings, and a gorgeous flower show made for an otherwise flawless GCA Annual Meeting.

Mrs. Beverly Head, left, Mrs. Elmer Bissell and Mrs. Hugh Kaul are among members of

Little Garden Club making plans for the meeting of Zone VIII of GCA. Mrs. Kaul’s wildflower garden was one of the gardens visited during the two-day meeting.

 

 

In 1973 the Little Garden Club co-hosted the Zone VIII meeting with Red Mountain Garden Club. Members planned horticulture and conservation lectures, a flower show open to the public, and they opened their homes and gardens to visiting Zone VIII members. In response to GCA’s interest in The Center for Plant Conservation, LGC selected the Cahaba Lily, Hymenocallis coronaria, as our club’s featured endangered plant and published the postcard pictured below.

 

In 1978 The Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs co-hosted the Annual Meeting of The Garden Club of America. It was quite a production by all accounts, as it was the first time that the GCA Annual Meeting had been held in Birmingham. Lots of careful planning ensued ......but some things can’t be planned for! Airport taxis were on strike, a downtown water main broke, and hotel accommodations provided for only one double bed for two delegates! However, southern hospitality, interesting meetings, and a gorgeous flower show made for an otherwise flawless GCA Annual Meeting.

The Cahaba Lily, Hymenocallis coronaria.   The 80’s and 90’s In these decades a number of LGC members gave programs on flower arranging or offered classes in the community to spread their expertise. Some had studied under Mrs. Beth McReynolds, a local flower arranger trained in the Japanese style, and they were also influenced by the large mass arrangements of English flower designer Constance Spry. Their talents became well known as they created distinctive flower arrangements for weddings and other special occasions. Characterized by the use of cut flowers with long lines of greenery often culled from a backyard garden, these loose, lovely arrangements eventually led to the descriptive term “Birmingham style”. Mrs. McReynolds had always advised her protégés on two key points: to leave room for the butterflies to fly through their designs and always to find the best material possible, keeping clippers close at hand. Many were known to stop the car along a highway for Queen Anne’s Lace or to “borrow” bittersweet from a nearby country club!  

The Cahaba Lily, Hymenocallis coronaria.

 

The 80’s and 90’s

In these decades a number of LGC members gave programs on flower arranging or offered classes in the community to spread their expertise. Some had studied under Mrs. Beth McReynolds, a local flower arranger trained in the Japanese style, and they were also influenced by the large mass arrangements of English flower designer Constance Spry. Their talents became well known as they created distinctive flower arrangements for weddings and other special occasions. Characterized by the use of cut flowers with long lines of greenery often culled from a backyard garden, these loose, lovely arrangements eventually led to the descriptive term “Birmingham style”. Mrs. McReynolds had always advised her protégés on two key points: to leave room for the butterflies to fly through their designs and always to find the best material possible, keeping clippers close at hand. Many were known to stop the car along a highway for Queen Anne’s Lace or to “borrow” bittersweet from a nearby country club!

 

Virginia Bissell (later Spencer), left, Lula Rose Blackwell and Beverley Dunn prepare for the Williamsburg Seminar.   In 1985 Oxmoor House, Inc., Book Division of Southern Progress Corporation, published Elegance In Flowers, based on the Birmingham style and featuring the talents of many members of LGC and RMGC.  John Floyd, editor of Southern Living Classics, wrote the forward to the book and said that the arrangements were “true to the nature of the materials as living, growing things.” We are proud that our members were recognized for their floral accomplishments and in the next several years many were invited to participate in the Williamsburg Symposium, the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Chelsea Flower Show.   The Little Garden Club held a series of flower demonstrations and lectures at the BBG as a means of fundraising for community projects. In the early 80s Norman Johnson, a noted landscape designer, presented a symposium on home landscapes. A few years later, he spoke on “Bulbs in the Landscape” in conjunction with a LGC bulb sale. In 1988 we hosted a lecture by interior designer Alexandra Stoddard. Beginning in 1989, along with the Birmingham Botanical Society, now called the Friends of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, LGC offered a series of flower arranging classes taught and assisted by our members. These workshops included four sessions and were held October through April for four years. LGC sponsored English flower arranger Sheila Macqueen whom many members knew from attending her workshops in England. Later, we invited Mrs. Macqueen’s colleague Fred Wilkinson of the Constance Spry School in England for a lecture and demonstration.   As an entry in the 1985 GCA Horticulture Committee’s competition, LGC designed and financed a holly border at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. When the newly designed Gatehouse Gift Shop opened at the BBG, one of our members assumed management, expanded the inventory, and took the shop to new heights. Several members of The Little Garden Club volunteered hours to help staff the shop. Many gave tours of the Gardens putting in place a successful docent program. One of our members served as education director for the BBG and several LGC members have served on the board of the Botanical Society, with three having served as President.   In the fall of 1985, LGC hosted the Zone VIII meeting held at the Sheraton Perimeter Hotel. The theme of the meeting was “Back to Basics in Birmingham” and included a Pot en Fleur workshop for delegates. Private dinners, a flower show, and educational horticulture and conservation meetings rounded out the event.   In 1986 The Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs co-sponsored a flower show at the Birmingham Museum of Art, where members interpreted or complemented works of art in the collection. The success and public enthusiasm for this show inspired members of the Museum Art Education Council (MAEC) to sponsor a similar flower show the following year as a fundraiser for education programs. Calling on members of the two garden clubs for advice, MAEC volunteers presented their first Art in Bloom in 1987 and their ninth and most recent event in 2006. Members of LGC continued to participate as planners or by entering their interpretive arrangements in the exhibitions.

Virginia Bissell (later Spencer), left, Lula Rose Blackwell and Beverley Dunn prepare for the Williamsburg Seminar.

 

In 1985 Oxmoor House, Inc., Book Division of Southern Progress Corporation, published Elegance In Flowers, based on the Birmingham style and featuring the talents of many members of LGC and RMGC.  John Floyd, editor of Southern Living Classics, wrote the forward to the book and said that the arrangements were “true to the nature of the materials as living, growing things.” We are proud that our members were recognized for their floral accomplishments and in the next several years many were invited to participate in the Williamsburg Symposium, the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Chelsea Flower Show.

 

The Little Garden Club held a series of flower demonstrations and lectures at the BBG as a means of fundraising for community projects. In the early 80s Norman Johnson, a noted landscape designer, presented a symposium on home landscapes. A few years later, he spoke on “Bulbs in the Landscape” in conjunction with a LGC bulb sale. In 1988 we hosted a lecture by interior designer Alexandra Stoddard. Beginning in 1989, along with the Birmingham Botanical Society, now called the Friends of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, LGC offered a series of flower arranging classes taught and assisted by our members. These workshops included four sessions and were held October through April for four years. LGC sponsored English flower arranger Sheila Macqueen whom many members knew from attending her workshops in England. Later, we invited Mrs. Macqueen’s colleague Fred Wilkinson of the Constance Spry School in England for a lecture and demonstration.

 

As an entry in the 1985 GCA Horticulture Committee’s competition, LGC designed and financed a holly border at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. When the newly designed Gatehouse Gift Shop opened at the BBG, one of our members assumed management, expanded the inventory, and took the shop to new heights. Several members of The Little Garden Club volunteered hours to help staff the shop. Many gave tours of the Gardens putting in place a successful docent program. One of our members served as education director for the BBG and several LGC members have served on the board of the Botanical Society, with three having served as President.

 

In the fall of 1985, LGC hosted the Zone VIII meeting held at the Sheraton Perimeter Hotel. The theme of the meeting was “Back to Basics in Birmingham” and included a Pot en Fleur workshop for delegates. Private dinners, a flower show, and educational horticulture and conservation meetings rounded out the event.

 

In 1986 The Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs co-sponsored a flower show at the Birmingham Museum of Art, where members interpreted or complemented works of art in the collection. The success and public enthusiasm for this show inspired members of the Museum Art Education Council (MAEC) to sponsor a similar flower show the following year as a fundraiser for education programs. Calling on members of the two garden clubs for advice, MAEC volunteers presented their first Art in Bloom in 1987 and their ninth and most recent event in 2006. Members of LGC continued to participate as planners or by entering their interpretive arrangements in the exhibitions.

Beverley Dunn’s interpretation of “Tulip Field on the Outskirts of Leiden” by George Hitchcock, Birmingham Museum of Art, 1986   In 1988, the Little Garden Club constructed an award-winning reading garden, designed by one of our members, at the Emmet O’Neal Library. LGC maintained the garden with seasonal plantings until that section of the library was demolished for expansion eleven years later. Plans of The Little Garden at the Emmet O’Neal Library were submitted to Autumn in Atrium (NYC, 1988) for competition in the Vest Pocket Park category, and the project won an honorable mention.

Beverley Dunn’s interpretation of “Tulip Field on the Outskirts of Leiden” by George Hitchcock, Birmingham Museum of Art, 1986

 

In 1988, the Little Garden Club constructed an award-winning reading garden, designed by one of our members, at the Emmet O’Neal Library. LGC maintained the garden with seasonal plantings until that section of the library was demolished for expansion eleven years later. Plans of The Little Garden at the Emmet O’Neal Library were submitted to Autumn in Atrium (NYC, 1988) for competition in the Vest Pocket Park category, and the project won an honorable mention.

Sally Worthen working at The Little Garden, Emmet O’Neal Library.   Among other horticultural contributions to the community and to conservation, The Little Garden Club assisted with the American Horticulture Society’s annual meeting held in 1991 in Birmingham, where the club provided a conservation display. LGC also co-sponsored with RMGC the endangered Alabama Clematis, Clematis socialis, in perpetuity at the Center for Plant Conservation. The club has supported The Student Conservation Association for years and consistently encourages the efforts of various local environmental groups.   In 1994, LGC provided birdhouses and hung them in the Alabama woodlands area of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a project designed from a habitat program by the National Wildlife Federation. Club interest was such that 85% of LGC members had their own backyards certified as a natural wildlife habitat! Several years before that, the club had funded a nature trail and outdoor learning space at Mountain Brook Elementary School. In 1996, using that project as a model, LGC implemented an outdoor classroom and nature trail at an inner city elementary school, Dupuy School. LGC funded the design at the Dupuy School as well as the selection of native plant material, and many members helped with the installation. The Birmingham Tree Commission held their official Arbor Day Celebration there on completion of the project.   In the spring of 1997, the Little Garden Club hosted the GCA Zone VIII meeting. “Shapes of Southern Style” was the theme of the flower show held at the Embassy Suites Hotel Ballroom, which was open to the public, free of charge. The club engaged an outstanding speaker, Dr Jay D. Hair of Washington, DC, president of The World Conservation Union and past president of the National Wildlife Federation.   A New Century In 2000, responding to environmental needs in our city, the Little Garden Club and Red Mountain Garden Club joined the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern College in an urban renewal project. Using seed money from the two garden clubs, an abandoned lot was purchased, the house removed and the lot cleaned, raised beds were installed and irrigation addressed. Native trees, shrubs and plants were added along with herbs and vegetables, as well as benches to encourage visitors. The Woodlawn Ecoscape became part classroom, part sanctuary for community events and neighborhood festivals. It received the 2004 Urban Garden Award from the Keep Birmingham Beautiful Commission. The director of the Southern Environmental Center was nominated and awarded The Garden Club of America’s Civic Improvement Certificate. LGC has helped fund other urban Ecoscapes with the Southern Environmental Center, among them a healing garden at Baptist Princeton Hospital.   LGC and RMGC partnered again for a small flower show in 2003 held at the Botanical Gardens. The public was invited to see “serious gardeners exhibit bountiful talent” in the areas of flower arranging, horticulture and photography, a new initiative of GCA.

Sally Worthen working at The Little Garden, Emmet O’Neal Library.

 

Among other horticultural contributions to the community and to conservation, The Little Garden Club assisted with the American Horticulture Society’s annual meeting held in 1991 in Birmingham, where the club provided a conservation display. LGC also co-sponsored

with RMGC the endangered Alabama Clematis, Clematis socialis, in perpetuity at the Center for Plant Conservation. The club has supported The Student Conservation Association for years and consistently encourages the efforts of various local environmental groups.

 

In 1994, LGC provided birdhouses and hung them in the Alabama woodlands area of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a project designed from a habitat program by the National Wildlife Federation. Club interest was such that 85% of LGC members had their own backyards certified as a natural wildlife habitat! Several years before that, the club had funded a nature trail and outdoor learning space at Mountain Brook Elementary School. In 1996, using that project as a model, LGC implemented an outdoor classroom and nature trail at an inner city elementary school, Dupuy School. LGC funded the design at the Dupuy School as well as the selection of native plant material, and many members helped with the installation. The Birmingham Tree Commission held their official Arbor Day Celebration there on completion of the project.

 

In the spring of 1997, the Little Garden Club hosted the GCA Zone VIII meeting. “Shapes of Southern Style” was the theme of the flower show held at the Embassy Suites Hotel Ballroom, which was open to the public, free of charge. The club engaged an outstanding speaker, Dr Jay D. Hair of Washington, DC, president of The World Conservation Union and past president of the National Wildlife Federation.

 

A New Century

In 2000, responding to environmental needs in our city, the Little Garden Club and Red Mountain Garden Club joined the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern College in an urban renewal project. Using seed money from the two garden clubs, an abandoned lot was purchased, the house removed and the lot cleaned, raised beds were installed and irrigation addressed. Native trees, shrubs and plants were added along with herbs and vegetables, as well as benches to encourage visitors. The Woodlawn Ecoscape became part classroom, part sanctuary for community events and neighborhood festivals. It received the 2004 Urban Garden Award from the Keep Birmingham Beautiful Commission. The director of the Southern Environmental Center was nominated and awarded The Garden Club of America’s Civic Improvement Certificate. LGC has helped fund other urban Ecoscapes with the Southern Environmental Center, among them a healing garden at Baptist Princeton Hospital.

 

LGC and RMGC partnered again for a small flower show in 2003 held at the Botanical Gardens. The public was invited to see “serious gardeners exhibit bountiful talent” in the areas of flower arranging, horticulture and photography, a new initiative of GCA.

The Woodlawn Ecoscape, 2001     In 2004, members of the Little Garden Club produced a garden guide and monthly calendar featuring planting, fertilizing, pruning and conservation tips and organic gardening strategies. The Southern Roots Garden Guide provided an educational tool for the community as well as a fundraiser for future LGC projects and was reproduced with updated information in 2005. Many GCA Zone VIII garden clubs purchased Southern Roots for reference and as a model for their own future garden guides.  LGC was proud to receive The 2005 Garden Club of America Public Relations Award for the 2005 Southern Roots Garden Guide.

The Woodlawn Ecoscape, 2001

 

 

In 2004, members of the Little Garden Club produced a garden guide and monthly calendar featuring planting, fertilizing, pruning and conservation tips and organic gardening strategies. The Southern Roots Garden Guide provided an educational tool for the community as well as a fundraiser for future LGC projects and was reproduced with updated information in 2005. Many GCA Zone VIII garden clubs purchased Southern Roots for reference and as a model for their own future garden guides.  LGC was proud to receive The 2005 Garden Club of America Public Relations Award for the 2005 Southern Roots Garden Guide.

Naneita Cobbs, left, Shelley Lindstrom and Lavona Rushton work on a design for “Fun and Games,” a club flower show in April 2006   Following the garden guide sales, The Little Garden Club provided funds towards a publication highlighting Jemison Park, a prototype for natural preservation and wise use of greenways in Birmingham. The Friends of Jemison Park and The Little Garden Club produced a booklet with colorful hand-drawn illustrations of flora and fauna, geological information and maps, and a history of the park. It was made available to the public and was given to school libraries, the Birmingham Botanical Garden library, and to Zone VIII club presidents.   In 2009 The Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs began collaborating on a tree project in celebration of GCA’s Centennial in 2013. Under the leadership of Henry Hughes, education director at the BBG, and in conjunction with the City of Birmingham, the Glen Iris Neighborhood Association and other park stakeholders, the clubs

Naneita Cobbs, left, Shelley Lindstrom and Lavona Rushton work on a design for “Fun and Games,” a club flower show in April 2006

 

Following the garden guide sales, The Little Garden Club provided funds towards a publication highlighting Jemison Park, a prototype for natural preservation and wise use of greenways in Birmingham. The Friends of Jemison Park and The Little Garden Club produced a booklet with colorful hand-drawn illustrations of flora and fauna, geological information and maps, and a history of the park. It was made available to the public and was given to school libraries, the Birmingham Botanical Garden library, and to Zone VIII club presidents.

 

In 2009 The Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs began collaborating on a tree project in celebration of GCA’s Centennial in 2013. Under the leadership of Henry Hughes, education director at the BBG, and in conjunction with the City of Birmingham, the Glen Iris Neighborhood Association and other park stakeholders, the clubs

left to right, Jane Goings and Catherine Cabaniss, RMGC, Nancy Long and Trudy Evans, LGC, planting at George Ward Park   engaged in an effort to re-seed a forested area of George Ward Park. Originally designed in the 1920s by the Olmstead Brotherslandscape firm, the park had suffered from no retention of mulch and, thus, no soil in which the original trees could re-seed themselves. Club members potted sprouted seeds collected by Mr. Hughes in the park and, with the help of neighborhood groups, planted Chestnut, Southern Red, White, Post, Blackjack and Black Oak; Shagbark and Red Hickory; Persimmon and Blackgum seedlings in October of 2009 and 2010. We will continue to pot seeds and plant seedlings through 2013. These trees are not available in the nursery trade and their suitability for this site was confirmed when only five seedlings out of approximately 75 planted in 2009 were lost over the course of the hottest and one of the driest summers on record in this area.   In October of 2010 the GCA Horticulture Conference: Shirley Meneice was held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Sponsored by GCA’s horticulture committee, the conference was co-hosted by The Little Garden Club and Red Mountain Garden Club. A steering committee of LGC and RMGC members met weekly for a year to plan speakers, tours and workshops, register 180 attendees and administer the treasury. Members of both clubs served as hostesses during a stimulating meeting, attended and applauded by none other than Mrs. Shirley Meneice herself.   In January of 2011 we produced our first online newsletter, which reminds members of upcoming events and meetings, includes club minutes, and highlights individual achievements at the club level as well as in GCA. In November of 2011 we will sponsor an estate sale, proceeds from which will help fund speakers and exhibits at the 2014 Zone VIII meeting, which we look forward to hosting. As to the future, we plan to keep members informed in our traditional areas of interest - horticulture, conservation and floral design - and to make a difference in the community in these areas, continuing the legacy set forth by our founding members.

left to right, Jane Goings and Catherine Cabaniss, RMGC, Nancy Long and Trudy Evans, LGC, planting at George Ward Park

 

engaged in an effort to re-seed a forested area of George Ward Park. Originally designed in the 1920s by the Olmstead Brotherslandscape firm, the park had suffered from no retention of mulch and, thus, no soil in which the original trees could re-seed themselves. Club members potted sprouted seeds collected by Mr. Hughes in the park and, with the help of neighborhood groups, planted Chestnut, Southern Red, White, Post, Blackjack and Black Oak; Shagbark and Red Hickory; Persimmon and Blackgum seedlings in October of 2009 and 2010. We will continue to pot seeds and plant seedlings through 2013. These trees are not available in the nursery trade and their suitability for this site was confirmed when only five seedlings out of approximately 75 planted in 2009 were lost over the course of the hottest and one of the driest summers on record in this area.

 

In October of 2010 the GCA Horticulture Conference: Shirley Meneice was held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Sponsored by GCA’s horticulture committee, the conference was co-hosted by The Little Garden Club and Red Mountain Garden Club. A steering committee of LGC and RMGC members met weekly for a year to plan speakers, tours and workshops, register 180 attendees and administer the treasury. Members of both clubs served as hostesses during a stimulating meeting, attended and applauded by none other than Mrs. Shirley Meneice herself.

 

In January of 2011 we produced our first online newsletter, which reminds members of upcoming events and meetings, includes club minutes, and highlights individual achievements at the club level as well as in GCA. In November of 2011 we will sponsor an estate sale, proceeds from which will help fund speakers and exhibits at the 2014 Zone VIII meeting, which we look forward to hosting. As to the future, we plan to keep members informed in our traditional areas of interest - horticulture, conservation and floral design - and to make a difference in the community in these areas, continuing the legacy set forth by our founding members.

Left to right, Fred Spicer, BBG Director; Shirley Meneice; Ellen Petersen, GCA Horticulture Chairman; Mary Evelyn McKee, conference chairman; and Louise Wrinkle, at the GCA Horticulture Conference: 2010 Shirley Meneice, in Birmingham.   PRESIDENTS OF LITTLE GARDEN CLUB OF BIRMINGHAM: 1928-29 Mrs. Beach Chenoweth  1929-30 Mrs. James L. Davidson  1930-31 Mrs. S. Ravaud Benedict  1931-32 Mrs. Mercer Barnett  1932-33 Mrs. A.C. Montgomery 1933-34 Mrs. Morris Bush  1934-36 Mrs. A.C. Polk 1936-37 Mrs. Earle Drennen  1937-38 Mrs. Charles Caldwell  1938-39 Mrs. John Coleman  1939-40 Mrs. Alfred Shook 1940-41 Mrs. T.M. Joy 1941-42 Mrs. Rucker Agee 1942-43 Mrs. Herbert Tutwiler  1943-44 Mrs. Ravaud Benedict  1944-45 Mrs. Theodore Swann  1945-46 Mrs. J. DeWitt Wilcox  1946-47 Mrs. Glenn Hall 1947-48 Mrs. Morris Bush 1948-49 Mrs. John Coleman  1949-50 Mrs. Francis Sheppard  1950-51 Mrs. Parker Evans 1951-53 Mrs. Alfred Shook 1953-55 Mrs. Rucker Agee 1955-57 Mrs. Joseph T. Hartson  1957-59 Mrs. John Cobbs 1959-60 Mrs. Hugh Comer 1960-61 Mrs. Parker Evans 1961-62 Mrs. Paul Bowron 1962-64 Mrs. William R.J. Dunn, Jr.  1964-65 Mrs. Rucker Agee 1964-65 Mrs. Rucker Agee  1965-67 Mrs. Felton Wimberly, Jr. 1967-68 Mrs. Paul Bowron 1968-70 Mrs. Herbert Ryding, Jr.  1970-72 Mrs. Arthur I. Chenoweth  1972-74 Mrs. John Schuler 1974-76 Mrs. Beverly P. Head, Jr.  1976-78 Mrs. John N. Wrinkle  1978-80 Mrs. Glenn Ireland II  1980-82 Mrs. Frank M. Bainbridge  1982-84 Mrs. William K. Murray  1984-86 Mrs. Elmer Bissell 1986-88 Mrs. William J. Rushton III  1988-90 Mrs. James S.M. French  1990-92 Mrs. James Quarles 1992-94  Mrs. Henry Crommelin, Jr. 1994-96  Mrs. Leo M. Karpeles, Jr. 1996-98  Mrs. Fred W. Murray, Jr. 1998-2000  Mrs. Wyatt Haskell 2000-2002  Mrs. Frank E. Lindstrom, Jr. 2002-2004  Mrs. Temple Tutwiler III 2004-2006  Mrs. Henry S. Long, Jr. 2006-2008  Mrs. A. Philip Cook, Jr. 2008-2010  Mrs. Peter T. Worthen 2010-2012  Mrs. R. Waid Shelton 2010-2012

Left to right, Fred Spicer, BBG Director; Shirley Meneice; Ellen Petersen, GCA Horticulture Chairman; Mary Evelyn McKee, conference chairman; and Louise Wrinkle, at the GCA Horticulture Conference: 2010 Shirley Meneice, in Birmingham.

 

PRESIDENTS OF LITTLE GARDEN CLUB OF BIRMINGHAM:

1928-29 Mrs. Beach Chenoweth 

1929-30 Mrs. James L. Davidson 

1930-31 Mrs. S. Ravaud Benedict 

1931-32 Mrs. Mercer Barnett 

1932-33 Mrs. A.C. Montgomery

1933-34 Mrs. Morris Bush 

1934-36 Mrs. A.C. Polk

1936-37 Mrs. Earle Drennen 

1937-38 Mrs. Charles Caldwell 

1938-39 Mrs. John Coleman 

1939-40 Mrs. Alfred Shook
1940-41 Mrs. T.M. Joy
1941-42 Mrs. Rucker Agee
1942-43 Mrs. Herbert Tutwiler 

1943-44 Mrs. Ravaud Benedict 

1944-45 Mrs. Theodore Swann 

1945-46 Mrs. J. DeWitt Wilcox 

1946-47 Mrs. Glenn Hall
1947-48 Mrs. Morris Bush
1948-49 Mrs. John Coleman 

1949-50 Mrs. Francis Sheppard 

1950-51 Mrs. Parker Evans
1951-53 Mrs. Alfred Shook
1953-55 Mrs. Rucker Agee
1955-57 Mrs. Joseph T. Hartson 

1957-59 Mrs. John Cobbs
1959-60 Mrs. Hugh Comer
1960-61 Mrs. Parker Evans
1961-62 Mrs. Paul Bowron
1962-64 Mrs. William R.J. Dunn, Jr. 

1964-65 Mrs. Rucker Agee

1964-65 Mrs. Rucker Agee 

1965-67 Mrs. Felton Wimberly, Jr.

1967-68 Mrs. Paul Bowron
1968-70 Mrs. Herbert Ryding, Jr. 

1970-72 Mrs. Arthur I. Chenoweth 

1972-74 Mrs. John Schuler
1974-76 Mrs. Beverly P. Head, Jr. 

1976-78 Mrs. John N. Wrinkle 

1978-80 Mrs. Glenn Ireland II 

1980-82 Mrs. Frank M. Bainbridge 

1982-84 Mrs. William K. Murray 

1984-86 Mrs. Elmer Bissell
1986-88 Mrs. William J. Rushton III 

1988-90 Mrs. James S.M. French 

1990-92 Mrs. James Quarles 1992-94 

Mrs. Henry Crommelin, Jr. 1994-96 

Mrs. Leo M. Karpeles, Jr. 1996-98 

Mrs. Fred W. Murray, Jr. 1998-2000 

Mrs. Wyatt Haskell 2000-2002 

Mrs. Frank E. Lindstrom, Jr. 2002-2004 

Mrs. Temple Tutwiler III 2004-2006 

Mrs. Henry S. Long, Jr. 2006-2008 

Mrs. A. Philip Cook, Jr. 2008-2010 

Mrs. Peter T. Worthen 2010-2012 

Mrs. R. Waid Shelton 2010-2012

Crabapples in bloom, Louise Wrinkle’s garden

Crabapples in bloom, Louise Wrinkle’s garden