The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.
- To promote interest in and knowledge of horticulture, gardening, garden therapy, and youth gardening.
- To encourage beautification of home, community, and state.
- To encourage appreciation and conservation of wildflowers, wildlife, forests, wilderness areas, and other natural resources and cooperate with other agencies promoting these interests.
Organization: The Garden Club of Kentucky (GCKY) was incorporated in 1931 and is a member of the South Atlantic Region of the National Garden Clubs. The GCKY is divided into five Districts (Audubon, Blue Grass, Dogwood, Limestone and Mt. Laurel) with approximately 50 local clubs and 2,000 members. The state organization has seven elected officers, five district directors, ten appointed officers and 44 state committee chairs to provide help and direction for club development and growth. Committees include arboriculture, birds, butterflies, civic and environmental awareness, roadside development, scholarship, Woodsy Owl and Smokey Bear, and youth.
Membership: You can join a local garden club by paying annual dues. If there is no club near you, you can join GCKY as a member at large, and you can start a club! Each club member receives a quarterly publication, “The Garden Club of Kentucky Bulletin”, which contains information on horticulture, gardening tips, upcoming meetings, reports of officers & chairmen, and more.
Educational Opportunities: GCKY sponsors courses that allow attendees to become nationally accredited flower show judges, landscape design consultants, environmental consultants, and/or gardening consultants. Local Clubs usually hold monthly programs on a wide variety of topics.
Community Outreach: GCKY provides Merit Scholarships in fields related to horticulture, which are available to junior or senior university students. GCKY helps local clubs with their beautification and conservation projects.
Conventions: A state meeting is held each spring and district meetings are head each fall. All members may attend these meetings, which often offer seminars and workshops directed by recognized experts in their fields.
Headquarters: The headquarters of The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc. is the Nannine Clay Wallis House and Arboretum. Located at 616 Pleasant Street in Paris, the circa 1850s house and four acres of property were bequeathed to The Garden Club of Kentucky upon the death of Nannine Clay Wallis in 1971. Mrs. Wallis was the second president of The Garden Club of Kentucky.
The House is on the National Register of Historical Places and is open for tours by appointment and may be rented for weddings, meetings, and other special occasions. The Arboretum, “the largest old tree collection in Central Kentucky” contains fine examples of old and new introductions of trees, shrubs and flowers, is open to the public from dawn to dusk.
South Atlantic Region is one of eight divisions of the National Garden Club. It consists of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The directorship as well as the annual regional meeting is rotated among the states.
National Garden Clubs, founded in May 1929, is the largest volunteer gardening organization in the world. Headquartered in St. Louis on the grounds adjacent to the Missouri Botanical Gardens, National Garden Clubs consists of nearly 9,000 clubs as well as 200 international affiliates with over 235,000 members.
Each club receives the quarterly “The National Gardener” publication with information on events, horticulture, environmental topics, flower design, landscape design and many other topics. Many resource materials are also available to assist clubs in planning programs, publicity, parliamentary procedures, etc. The annual meeting is held in May and is open to all members.