History of Fairfield Garden Club

In December, 1915 during the midst of World War I, twenty-five visionary women met to organize what was to become Fairfield Garden Club. Their mission was to create an organization "for the pleasure and profit of amateur gardeners, where ideas could be exchanged and interest stimulated in the proper care of flowers and vegetable gardens". This effort was spearheaded by Mabel Osgood Wright, who believed that the key to gar´┐╝den education Mabel Osgood Wright

Photograph Courtesy of
The Fairfield Museum and History Center
and conservation was to recognize the value of nature and preservation. Dues were set at fifty cents. By the end of the first year, the membership list had reached one hundred. In 1923, Fairfield Garden Club was voted into The Garden Club of America.

Within the first decade, members were visiting gardens, holding flower arranging classes, staging cultivated and wild flower exhibits, decorating public areas of town with flowering bulbs, trees and shrubs, and taking flowers to shut-in residents. They were also instrumental in eliminating billboards throughout Fairfield. To showcase their talents, members exhibited annually at the prestigious New York Flower Show.

With the advent of Dutch Elm disease, Fairfield Garden Club organized a program to protect 1,200 at-risk shade trees. The club initiated a plan to compensate for the loss of the blighted trees — replacing nearly two hundred new trees each year. By 1957, Fairfield Garden Club had attained its goal of planting 1,396 flowering Japanese Cherry and Crabapple trees.

Since 1935, the membership has been involved with the property at Fairfield's historic Ogden House. In the spring of 2011, the club embarked on a major restoration of the Ogden House Kitchen Garden and established an intense program of revitalization.

In 2013, in response to the "Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder", Fairfield Garden Club started an apiary near the herb garden. This initiative was made possible in partnership with The Fairfield Museum & History Center and the Oak Lawn Cemetery Association.

As a participant in a nationwide all-club program to celebrate the Centennial of The Garden Club of America, Fairfield Garden Club partnered with the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station, New Haven, in an effort to reintroduce the American Chestnut to Fairfield. One hundred hybrid Chestnut trees were planted in eight specific locations with the help of club members and Town of Fairfield staff in celebration of Arbor Day, 2012.

In the spring of 2013, in response to the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy, Fairfield Garden Club organized a panel of experts in a public forum to provide community residents with information to help restore their own backyards.

Each year Fairfield Garden Club holds floral design workshops at the Grasmere Eldercare Center. These events offer the opportunity for Fairfield Garden Club members to share their design expertise with enthusiastic groups of clients.

Since 2011, Fairfield Garden Club has planted over 2000 daffodils annually in Brookside and Roger Ludlow parks. This beautification effort has become the harbinger of spring to Fairfield. In the next year, this program will be expanded to include additional locations in Fairfield.

Each year, Fairfield Garden Club jointly endows a Garden Club of America Scholarship with the Garden Club of Darien. Throughout its history, the club has generously supported the endeavors of other Fairfield non-profits with contributions of floral designs. In 2014, funds raised from flower shows and other events have been specifically reserved to support ten local and regional organizations that share Fairfield Garden Club's ideals.

Fairfield Garden Club is proud of its legacy. Today, the club has a renewed spirit of activism dedicated to promoting education, sustainability, bio-conservation and beautification. As the club celebrates its Centennial, it looks forward to the future and its commitment in fostering the importance of stewardship.