The Tucson garden Club was organized and became affiliated with AFGC and NGC on March 21, 1935 and was incorporated in 1948.
From 1935 to 1946 meetings were held in the Fiesta Room of the Santa Rita Hotel on Scott Street. Methods of gardening in the desert area have always been a high priority, but during the WWII years the members became very involved in civic projects: bond drives, creating a Patriotic Garden at the Southern Pacific Railway Station and many others.
The Tucson Garden Club moved its’ meetings to the YMCA in 1946. It was then that a Club House of Our Own became the members’ goal. Through the efforts of many members, land was donated by the City of Tucson at the corner of 6th and Campbell Avenue. Funds were then raised for a club house. The Tucson Garden Club moved into their building in 1958 and members continued their many fundraising events to furnish and care for the building. Unfortunately the club house had to be sold in 1974, when the City of Tucson made plans to widen Campbell Avenue.
For the next year the meetings were held at the 1st Congregational Church before coming to the Tucson Botanical Gardens in 1976. We have met there, once a month, September through May and since that time, have supported TBG in many ways. We donated the row of Crepe Myrtle Trees along the wall facing Avernon Way. We donated a portable professional sound system to the gardens. We also, provided the bulk of the finances for the installation and completion of the permanent foundation in the herb garden in 1994. More recently we made a generous donation to the new educational building.
Due to rising costs the Tucson Garden Club meetings were moved to Atria Valley Manor in 2017. We have a good relationship with the senior living community and invite their residents to attend.
We use to celebrate Arbor Day by planting trees. We have planted trees honoring members along the west bank of the Santa Cruz River Park between Ajo Way and Irvington Road. In 2004, we planted a rare tree at the University of Arizona Arboretum. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, we planted Patriot Trees at the University of Arizona Arboretum. We also planted a Patriot Tree at Davidson School in 2007.
In 2006, we reinstalled a Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker that had been removed (1958-1961), stored and forgotten by the AZ Highway Department for many years; to Southern Arizona Veterans’ Cemetery in Sierra Vista.
We award an annual scholarship of $1,000.00 to a suitable recipient in the field of horticulture, landscape architecture or allied fields at local universities or colleges. In 2007, we gave two $1,000.00 scholarships.
We use to stage a Flower Show every two years at the Tucson Botanical Gardens that coincided with their Garden Tour. In 2007,we participated in a Southern District Flower Show at La Encantada Mall. We now hold a Flower Show in the even years in a Tucson Library. We started out at the down-town library but have moved to the Murphy-Wilmott Library.
In 2007, we also participated in the AFGC Environmental Education of our youth by selling the AFGC Calendars and distributing the AFGC Trees, Tracks and Trails books.
In 2007, we were asked to plant some of the courtyards at Peppi’s House, a hospice at UMC. We planted the two large courtyards and two small courtyards as a club project. We planted another small courtyard and Desert Garden Club planted the other one as part of the Southern District. In 2013, we installed the Chapel Garden at Peppi’s House. We continue to work with Peppi’s House and finished the front entrance in 2017.
In the springs of 2010, we installed a Birds, Bees and Butterfly garden on the fourth floor of St. Mary’s Hospital for staff restoration and relaxation. In the spring of 2011, we went back and replaced some of the plants and put in some trees.
In 2015, we donated to the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Assoc. for the up keep of the San Pedro grounds. We were able to assist them in better understanding what was needed in terms of topographic changes to create a more directed flow of water that would prevent or reduce further erosion to the walkway and driveway in front of the San Pedro Chapel.
In 2017, we applied for the AFGC Award for Million Dollar Pollinator Contest and received $1,000 to continue work at Peppi’s House. This project involved a workshop to make bee habitats and involve all members of Tucson Garden Club in a National On-line registration of member’s gardens.
In 2019 the Tucson Garden Club played a major role in hosting the AFGC Convention at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson. We had last hosted it in 2009.
Tucson Garden Club supports and works for the community helping where needed. We donate money to help pay for the water for the Community Gardens of Tucson, We have donated to the Habitat for Humanity and the Community Food Bank.
Two of our members (Virginia Hoyne and Carol Mossholder) are former Arizona Federated Garden Club, Inc. Presidents and many have served on the AFGC Board of Directors. We support AFGC and NGC by giving to the AFGC Scholarship Fund, attending NGC Schools and giving to the NGC Penny Pines Program.