A Very Short History of the Tampa Garden Club
While the first Garden Club in the United States was organized in Athens, GA in 1890, it was not until the mid-1920’s that Garden Clubs began to be organized in Tampa. Representatives of those garden clubs met on January 31, 1928 at the home of Mrs. Sheldon Stringer to form the Tampa Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. Azalea, Bayshore, Founders, Garden Gate, Heights, Old Fashioned, and Rose Circles were represented at that organizational meeting. Mrs. Stringer, then President of Founders, was elected the first President of TFGC. Tampa Federation immediately became a member of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. which had been formed in 1925.
The first club house was located at the intersection of Platt Street and Bayshore Boulevard. Around 1948, that house was sold and another was purchased on Bayshore Boulevard. Fifteen years later, this house was demolished to make room for our present building. The new club house, occupied in 1969, was named the Tampa Garden Center. About this same time, additional land was obtained, making room for our spacious gardens.
From the very beginning, our organization has been concerned with making our surroundings a more beautiful and “joyous” place to live. Most of the Garden Circles have projects they strive to maintain. Some of these have been: the Children’s Service Center, the Plant Park grounds and the Hillsborough Community College Campus. TFGC has also been concerned with educating the public and conserving our environment. Members have served on many civic boards.
Joining artistic endeavor with horticulture practices, the Federation has produced many flower shows, including three State Flower Shows.
The members who founded this Federation realized that the small clubs banding together could do more than anyone small club alone. Today, our organization still strives for that goal supporting the individual Circles in their projects and banding together for projects no Circle can do alone.
Virginia S. Green TFGCC Inc., President 1982-1984
The name “Earthly Paradise Garden Tour” is synonymous with gorgeous gardens in beautiful neighborhoods in South Tampa. Rose Garden Circle creates this delight each spring, entertaining tour goers with a tea party in the Park, and chamber music ensemble playing in the gazebo. The funds help maintain Fred Ball Park, beautify the Tampa Garden Club and support other projects.
Garden tours are a good way for Garden Circles and Clubs to fund raise for the many civic projects that they support.The Town ‘N Country Garden Circle’s tour focuses on Northwest neighborhoods and starts at 1:30 at the Town ‘N Country Recreation Center. This tour is special as the Garden Circle has a luncheon buffet, door prizes and a plant sale for you to enjoy.
New Suburb Beautiful Sunset Stroll hosted by Amaryllis Garden Circle, features homes in a four block neighborhood. The home are within walking distance of each other. Refreshments and other delights are on the menu for this fun tour.
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