The Garden Club of New Haven

Celebrating 100 Years — 1924-2024

The Garden Club of New Haven:

Rooted in History, Planted in the Present, Branching into the Future


Since its founding in 1924, the Garden Club of New Haven (GCNH) has promoted knowledge of gardening and an appreciation for the ways in which gardens and the natural world enhance the quality of our lives. The club’s educational work in horticulture, its environmental activism, and its civic engagement aim to secure a future for the Greater New Haven community in which the beauty of nature is both celebrated and preserved. With 118 members, the club was one of the Charter Members of The Federation when it was founded by 30 clubs in 1929. New Haven’s President, Prudence Lee Demarest (Mrs. John R. Demarest) became the first President of The Federation and was also a Treasurer of the then-named National Association of Garden Clubs.


The Club has consistently won both State and National Awards for their work including most recently the 2023 FGCCT Lee Bauerfeld Beautification Award for their work at Quinnipiac Meadows & Edgerton Park. Their ongoing Civics projects include:


New Haven Green & Its Elms: A primary focus of the Club’s work continues to be planting new trees on the Green, in other city parks, and on New Haven streets, and providing for the care of these trees.


Phelps Triangle Park

For decades, Phelps Triangle Park has been a favorite neighborhood relaxation spot in the heart of New Haven. Club members care for the park as needed throughout the year.  Winner of the Landscape Design Critics Council Award from the NGC in 1984, as well as the New England Garden Clubs Cornelia Williamson Watson Bowl Award and the FGCCT Historic Preservation Award.


Holiday Arrangements

Each December, members gather to make holiday arrangements for numerous area nursing homes and charitable organizations nurturing fellowship and a festive holiday spirit.

Upcoming special projects for the 100th Anniversary include:

-The Planting Project: Reinvigorating the club’s involvement with appropriately 40 organizations they have partnered with over 100 years,

-Writing the club history for the website
– Creating a Member’s Garden Book- an online photo journal providing a snapshot of members’ gardens.
– A Celebration: Day on the Green-May 10, 2025 Time: 10-2 pm (on and around the New Haven Green)
-A Flower Show at the New Haven Public Library
-A Botanical Display at Yale’s Beinecke Library
-A Tour of historic Grove Street Cemetery
-A Tour of Phelps Triangle
-En Plein Air- local artists painting on the Green
– Planting and floral design workshops for kids
-A Screening of the film The New Haven Green: Heart of a City- narrated by Paul Giamatti

– The Annual Shaw-Swords Lecture. Open to Public-November 13, 2024
Green Space: An Urban Imperative
A panel on the importance of public green spaces with a focus on looking towards the future, moderated by Coleen Murphy Dunham
Speakers: Sophie van Haselberg, NY Restoration project, Sarah Charlop-Powers, ED of the Natural Areas Conservancy, and George W. Sanderson, inaugural VP of Urban Conservation NY Botanical Garden

To learn more about the club, visit: