Little Garden Club

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The Little Garden Club is a Birmingham-based affiliate of the Garden Clubs of America. It was organized on June 7, 1928 at the Leroy Percey residence with 25 members. Nouna Chenoweth was the first president.

From its founding the club has hosted meetings at members' houses with discussions of plant specimens followed by refreshments and a garden tour. The club also organized periodic flower shows and participated in regional shows. The club was a charter member of the Birmingham Federation of Garden Clubs when it was created in 1929 and assisted in efforts to beautify the city during the Great Depression by removing unsightly signs from rights-of-way and donating plants to institutions like Hillman Hospital.

During World War II the club actively promoted the planting of Victory Gardens and contributed to the creation of a memorial arboretum at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute in Auburn for those who died in service to the country.

With the Red Mountain Garden Club as one of its sponsors, the Little Garden Club was admitted to the Garden Clubs of America on February 9, 1950. In 1961 the club took on the project of creating a garden in the atrium of Children’s Hospital and later added a paved outdoor courtyard with a hand-painted mural.

In 1965 the club presented several hundred specimens of native plants to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and subsequently helped to raise funds for the Gardens' education facilities which now houses the herbarium. In the next decade the Little Garden Club and Red Mountain Garden Club partnered in the development of what became the Kaul Wildflower Garden in a former sandstone quarry at the Botanical Gardens.

In the 1970s the club helped develop an education program about native trees, contributed to the landscaping of the "Village Promenade" in Mountain Brook Village with a permanent Christmas tree, created a wildflower trail at Samford University, and coordinated with local Boy Scout troops to install Eastern bluebird nesting boxes in the area.

The two clubs co-hosted the 1978 Annual Meeting of The Garden Club of America in Birmingham. Through the efforts of club members to advance the art of flower arranging, a "Birmingham style" developed, which was featured in the 1985 Oxmoor House book Elegance In Flowers. Members became active in leading classes in arranging in Birmingham and at flower shows around the country. In the 1980s the group coordinated with the Birmingham Museum of Art for the "Art in Bloom" event, displaying arrangement inspired by works of art.

In 1988 the club designed and installed a "Reading Garden" at the Emmet O’Neal Library in Mountain Brook and later raised funds for a nature trail and outdoor classroom at Mountain Brook Elementary School, then followed up with a similar project at Birmingham's Anna Dupuy Elementary School in Kingston.

In 2001 the Little and Red Mountain Garden Clubs partnered with the Southern Environmental Center on the creation of the Woodlawn EcoScape adjacent to Grace Episcopal Church, and has continued to participate in other EcoScape projects at Princeton Baptist Medical Center and elsewhere. In 2004 the club produced a "Southern Roots Garden Guide", which won a Garden Club of America Public Relations Award. Later that decade club members participated in native tree plantings at George Ward Park coordinated by Henry Hughes.

In October 2010 the club again partnered with the Red Mountain Garden Club to host the Garden Club of America's national Horticulture Conference in Birmingham with Shirley Meneice as featured guest.


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