Category Archives: GCA Events

You are Invited to GCA in the City Houseplant Happy Hour

You and your young family members and friends in the New York City area are invited to a special GCA event on Thursday evening, April 18

Eliza Blank and plant educator/designer Paris Lalicata of The Sill — with plant shops in NYC, Chicago, and Bethesda that offer plant styling ideas, propagation workshops, and plant swaps — are hosting a fun event with cocktails and conversation as they dive into the world of houseplants.

The event, at the Upper West Side shop, is for seasoned plant enthusiasts and for those just getting started. There will be special plant prizes valued at more than $100. All attendees will receive a plant cutting and a future consult appointment with Paris.

Please invite your young NYC family members and friends to sign up here to get an event invite. Or contact [email protected].


GCA in The City reaches out to young non-members living in urban areas and provides opportunities to socialize, learn from exciting speakers, and experience all that we love about The Garden Club of America.


Filed under Family Event, GCA Events, Horticulture, Indoor Plants

Plant Sale Sells Out!

Our annual pre-Mother’s Day Plant Sale and Garden Fair was Saturday, May 13. Members arrived at Greenburgh Nature Center on Friday morning to set up. Perennial plants were carefully arranged on tables and benches by growing condition: sun, shade, or both. All native plants were marked.

In the greenhouse, our growers arranged and priced the annuals they’d lovingly tended all winter.

The buyers arrived promptly at 9 a.m. Saturday, as advertised.

They bought by the wheelbarrow-full.

Happy to tote their purchases to their cars.

They bought by the boxful.

Plants, of course, were for sale, and bespoke Garden Club of Irvington aprons and Garden Journals, too, featuring original photography and botanical art by our members.

Should coleus be planted inside or outdoors? What about on a sunny windowsill. At our plant sales, customers always get expert garden advice from members including Renee Shamosh, club co-president (left) and Dori Ruff, greenhouse chair (right).

Customers brought their children.

Who helped them choose native and shade-loving perennials outdoors and colorful annuals from the greenhouse.

Some kids painted a special pot for their lucky Mom.

The cashiers carefully rang up the purchases.

The Greenburgh Nature Center staff was incredibly gracious and helpful.

And just like that… the whole greenhouse was empty. And so were the tables and benches that had displayed so many beautiful perennials.

We’re already planning what went fastest and what to grow for next year. Remember, be here the day before Mother’s Day at 9 a.m. sharp. In the meantime, keep visiting this site for news of our activities and public events, including illustrated talks by experts on conservation and horticulture designed to benefit you, your garden, and our communities.

Kudos to the committee, who handled all aspects of planning and setup—everything from ordering unusual native perennials to ensuring that credit-card processing would go smoothly. L-R: Deb Flock, Cena Hamptden, Alix Dunn (executive director of the Greenburgh Nature Center), Cathy Ludden, Anne Myers.


Filed under Family Event, GCA Events, Greenburgh Nature Center, Irvington Garden Club Events, Plant Sale

Our 2022 pre-Mother’s Day Plant Sale & Garden Fair Sells Out!

GCI members Dori Ruff, Cathy Ludden, Cena Hampden, and Nora Galland with annual plants they are readying for the sale.

Raindrops and chilly weather did not keep our members from setting up and managing our Plant Sale and Garden Fair at Greenburgh Nature Center on Saturday, May 7. Shoppers came to enjoy and buy. We were totally sold out by 2:00!

The annual flowers in the greenhouse were exceptionally beautiful. Just outside, there were  Sun Perennials, Shade Perennials. Sun and Shade Perennials, and Native Plants. All in fabulous condition and exceptionally well priced.

Garden Club members helped everyone choose the right plants for their personal garden needs and offered expert advice. “Our goal is to help you make your garden a  more beautiful and environmentally friendly place,” said event co-chair Cena Hampden. “And we loved helping children pot up a flowering annual to decorate and take home for Mom.”

We also offered a Garden Journal filled with garden tips for each month, plenty of space to write, with original photography and botanical art by Garden Club members.

Our annual plant sales are the perfect place to get gifts for Mom as well as plants for your borders and containers. We always have many varieties of coleus and pelargoniums (geraniums), plus annuals you may not find everywhere — like hyacinth bean vine, plectranthos, streptocarpella, and cleome — all in beautiful condition, at great prices.


Event co-chair Dori Ruff is one of the many members who worked in the greenhouse to grow these healthy annuals.


Nora and Cena demonstrate the TLC that each plant is given.


Healthy perennials under the Greenburgh Nature Center tent.


Get inspired and keep track of your garden triumphs and tribulations in the new 74-page Garden Club of Irvington Garden Journal. It’s packed with garden tips and photographs and botanical drawings by Club members. There are four lined pages per month to write notes, scribble drawings, or paste photos. At $20 per copy it’s a perfect gift, plus get one for yourself.


In addition to the annuals, each Garden Club member donates at least five perennials from her own garden. Here, new Club co-President Renee Shamosh digs Sedum ‘Autumn Joy.’


Each perennial offered is potted and ready to transplant into your garden. Watch the 3-minute VIDEO on our Horticulture Tips tab!


AND… there is always bountiful selection of pollinator perennials — like this echinacea — produced by the same professional grower who supplied the plants at the Greenburgh Nature Center pollinator garden.

The Garden Club of Irvington is delighted with our new collaboration with the Greenburgh Nature Center, located at 99 Dromore Road, Scarsdale, just off Central Avenue (north of Ashford Avenue).

Watch for announcements for the 2023 sale on local town and village websites and on NextDoor.



Filed under GCA Events, Horticulture, Plant Sale

GCI Makes Good Showing at ‘Country Life’ Show

"June in the Country," the Cut Specimens class, included perennials, biennials, bulbs, corms, rhizomes, tubers, roses, woody plants in bloom, and plants grown for foliage.

The Millbrook Garden Club, a member of the Garden Club of America, held a GCA Zone III Flower Show at the Interlaken Inn in Lakeville, Connecticut, June 21 to 23, 2011.

The purpose of a flower show—entries are judged by expert teams and various prizes are awarded—is to set standards of artistic and horticultural excellence; to broaden knowledge of horticulture, flower arrangement, and conservation; and to share the beauty of a show with club members and the public.

The theme of the Millbrook show was “Country Life,” and each of the classes, or entry categories, had its own specific requirements related to type of plant(s), growing conditions, ownership time, and size of arrangement or container.

Garden Club of Irvington members entered and won prizes in a number of classes.

Cut specimens from the garden of Barbara Defino included a Hosta 'Big Daddy.'

GCI president Barbara Defino showed several outstanding cut specimens. Her ‘Red Sentinel’ Astilbe (above left) won a First Award, or blue ribbon, as did her achillea milleforium ‘Paprika’ (not pictured), and her Hydrangia x macrophylla ‘Penny Mac,’ (right) won a Second Award.

The lipstick on the glass was a conversation-starter .

GCI Flower Arrangement Chair Richard McKeon received an Honorable Mention for his interpretation of “Breakfast in Bed,” required to be staged on a tray in front of a square European pillow. In addition to the flower arrangement, the composition included props related to the frustrations of designing such a display. The note at the bottom right says, “Before the show… thus fortified…”

All photos are judged according to a number of criteria and must be 100% the work of the exhibitor.

In the “Locally Grown” class of the Photography Division, GCI member Doreen Ruff garnered an Honorable Mention for her portrait of a white anemone (lower left — see a close-up on the Photography tab).

GCI's contribution of spireas for the Plant Exchange, propagated by members under the supervision of Hort Chair Nora Galland.

The Plant Exchanges at Zone Shows give different clubs the opportunity to swap plants propagated by members.

Each entry in certain Horticulture classes must be accompanied by a key card with propagating information

A Live Oak propagated from an acorn by GCI member Bunny Bauer (center, in square green pot) received an Honorable Mention.

Each club was required to enter one tree propagated by a member in the “Walk in the Woods” class.

Guests enjoyed the outdoor display of "Milking Time" mixed container plantings.

Ellen Shapiro of GCI got an Honorable Mention for this "Milking Time" entry of at least three white flowering plants of different genera in a 16-inch terracotta container.

Filed under Flower Arranging, Garden Club Flower Show Categories, GCA Events, Zone III Events

GCI “Gilded Cage” Flower Show a Success

"Anna's Hats in Bloom," a design complementing a hat in Lyndhurst's costume collection.

The Garden Club of Irvington-on-Hudson’s GCA Flower Show last spring honored Lyndhurst and the Victorian era. The show was held at The Carriage House at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, and was open to the public on Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, 2010.

The theme “THE GILDED CAGE,” a play on “The Gilded Age,” was inspired by the Gothic arches of Lyndhurst and its greenhouse, built by railroad tycoon Jay Gould, who made the Tarrytown landmark his family’s country estate in 1880.

“A GCA Flower Show is a competition judged by the rigorous standards of the Garden Club of America and exemplifies artistic and horticultural excellence,” said show chairman Nancy Stoer. “Our members worked for a year to present an outstanding show that included elaborate flower arrangements and horticultural specimens judged against ‘perfection’ as defined by GCA judging standards. Entries were prepared by members of our own club, who live in the River Towns, and GCA garden clubs throughout the tri-state area.”

Visitors enjoyed the "Victorian Wedding" arrangements staged on pedestals. The arrangements were designed as if for the 1913 wedding at Lyndhurst of Helen Gould, daughter of railroad tycoon Jay Gould, to Finley Shepard.

Floral arrangement exhibits included designs using flowers that were grown in the original Lyndhurst greenhouse (now restored and used by the Garden Club to cultivate plants for its annual plant sale in May); large arrangements suitable for a Victorian wedding; table settings for a card party on a Lyndhurst’s terrace overlooking the Hudson; and designs complementing hats in Lyndhurst’s extensive costume collection. Village of Irvington schoolchildren ages 8-12 made an exhibit of “tussie-mussies,” small hand-held bouquets expressing “the language of flowers.”

Cut specimens: Flowering trees and shrubs in bloom

Pot-et-Fleurs featuring Neomarica caerulea (Fan Iris), Phyllitis scolopendrium ‘Undulatum’ (Hart’s Tongue Fern), Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldii’ (Creeping Jenny), Oxalis triangularis (Purple Shamrock), and three kinds of zonal and scented Pelargoniums.

Horticultural exhibits included “Lord & Burnham Presents: Nineteenth Century Favorites,” which featured orchids, ferns and palms and cut specimens of locally-grown nineteenth-century favorites such as rhododendrons, magnolia, prunus, and blooming stems of narcissus and tulip bulbs. The challenge class was to grow from seed a Victorian favorite Pelargonium, ‘Black Velvet Rose.’ “Pot et Fleurs: In the Victorian Style,” featured large containers planted with with a minimum of three different species or cultivars reflecting the Victorians’ love of carefully planned excess. Special classes included topiaries and “glass houses” or terrariums.

Vistors viewed an exhibit of landscape and horticultural photography and a conservation/education exhibit that focused on the London Plane Tree or Sycamore, and showed how this magnificent tree has contributed to the ecology of the lower Hudson Valley.

Filed under Conservation, Flower Arranging, Garden Club Flower Show Categories, GCA Events, Irvington Garden Club Events, Irvington NY, Nature Photography, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY, Zone III Events