If you love gardening and wildlife, if you desire to know more about our natural environment and its preservation, this Garden Club is the organization for you.
Attend a meeting.
Then join us.
WHAT WE DO:
Since 1931, the Bethlehem Garden Club has been actively improving the Southeastern Pennsylvania environment—both indoors and outdoors. Men and women join the Bethlehem Garden Club to learn many aspects of gardening, and they willing share their experiences. We also encourage civic planting to beautify Bethlehem’s tomorrow. The protection of native plants and wildlife is a major objective.
We currently have about 140 members—the second largest club in PA. We are members of National Garden Clubs, Inc., and the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania.
We meet at noon on the third Thursday of the month at Advent Moravian Church, 3730 Jacksonville Rd., Bethlehem PA 18017—that’s in Hanover Township. We don’t meet in January, February, and August. Our annual dues are $50 (Members 80 Yrs. & Older pay – $25). We always have delicious refreshments!
In addition to fascinating speakers at our monthly meetings, we hold a variety of educational and social activities. The BGC maintains a scholarship program for horticultural students. We have workshops and classes in Design and Horticulture—and tournaments in both. We maintain three large civic gardens in Bethlehem where members congregate on workdays. We have classes in Ikebana, and invite the public to our flower shows to benefit our scholarship program.
Members decorate the two branches of the Bethlehem Area Public Library for the holidays. Some members also decorate the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites.
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Bethlehem Garden Club History
>85 years of Service to Our City>
In Bethlehem, in the mid-1880s, a horticultural association held its first floral exhibit, thus beginning a long history of displays of fine plants, cut flowers and floral designs. Fifty years later, in May of 1930, the Bethlehem Garden Club was organized. A year later, the Club became a charter member of the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania, and assumed the dedication to become deeply involved in community beautification, conservation, volunteer services, and philanthropic projects.
Through the decades that followed, it has made its mark on dozens of projects that have brought honor and beauty to the city and its surroundings. In 1938 the Club adopted the Star of Bethlehem as the Club flower; it added the Iris in 2012.
In the l940s a Junior Garden Club was initiated, and the Club was invited to provide hostesses for the Philadelphia Flower Show. During World War II, the Club planted Victory gardens and trees to honor servicemen, and raised funds for mobile kitchens for the Red Cross.
The Club first entered an exhibit in the Philadelphia Flower Show in March, 1952. In 1956, the Club became a charter member of the National Council of State Garden Clubs.
In 1970 the Club awarded a friendship citation to Yoshnga Sakon, landscape architect from Japan, who designed the Garden of Serenity that now lies next to the Bethlehem Public Library. By 1979 the Garden had fallen into disrepair, and BGC members volunteered to restore it to its original glory. BGC has continued to maintain the Garden, and over the years has twice restored and redesigned it following major acts of vandalism. In 2006, the Garden won the Suburban Greening Award of the PA Historical Society.
In 1983, the Club designed and planted—and continues to maintain–an 1870s-period garden near the Miller’s House in Historic Bethlehem. For this work, BGC received the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania’s Preservation of Beauty Award in 1990. In addition, the Miller’s House garden was featured in The Herb Quarterly in 1995, and in 1996, Garden Design presented the Club with its Golden Trowel Award. The garden in front of the Bach Choir Offices was added in 2012.
The Governor’s Trophy was awarded to the BGC for the first time in 1958 in recognition of the Club’s performance and exceptional achievements. That Trophy was awarded the Club again in 1962, 1966, 1970, 1979, and 1995.
BGC continues to participate actively in the community by stimulating the love of gardening by amateurs promoting the art of flower arranging through exhibition and study; aiding in the protection of native trees, plants, and birds; and generating interest in enhancing the community environment through conservation and recycling.