Member clubs of The Garden Club of America share an overarching purpose “to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening.” Horticulture, conservation, and civic planting projects all contribute. Our knowledge and love of gardening is especially nourished by an appreciation and study of the history and design of gardens.

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the GCA took a step of national significance to advance the study of garden history and design. In 1987, the GCA donated its slide library of “Notable American Parks and Gardens” to the Smithsonian Institution. The collection, illustrates the work of many great landscape architects, is enormous in scope – nearly 3,500 hand-colored glass lantern slides of gardens from the 1920s and 1930s, and some 37,000 35mm slides that date from colonial times to the present. The GCA collection became the core of a new Smithsonian collection named the Archives of American Gardens.

Cambridge Plant & Garden Club has enthusiastically joined the GCA effort to add notable Cambridge gardens to the AAG collection. Over the past 10 years, CP&GC’s Garden History and Design Committee has photographed and documented six private Cambridge gardens to the Smithsonian’s exacting standards; all have been accepted for the Archive. CP&GC is proud of this work – a contribution to the Smithsonian as well as to our own community.