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A Little Flower Show HIstory

The Garden Club of Manchester was founded in 1920 by a group of ten women meeting for the first time in the Burr & Burton Gymnasium. The first Flower Show was held on August 19 and the new Club grew to 87 regular members, plus ten men as associates, by October of 1920.


Civic Beautification was a primary effort of the Club from its early years. In 1924 members worked to “beautify” Adams Park at Manchester Depot. Dusty highways and pig pens along the road were additional pressing concerns.


Today GCM’s Civic Beautification Program includes litter pick-up along the Club’s designated area on River Road in Manchester, maintaining the Manchester Town Green and Dorset Town Green, and providing floral arrangements at the Southern Vermont Arts Center and the Manchester Community Library. Decorated wreaths are donated to town offices, libraries and area churches at Christmas. Flower Shows have also been a joint effort of the Club.

The first show in August of 1920 included 40 exhibits and was attended by 500 persons. Local artist Luigi Lucioni did the backdrop for the 1935 Flower Show at Burr & Burton using a water wheel as a theme. Membership had increased to 172. The 1937 Flower Show at Equinox House marked the founding of the Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont. The Garden Club of Manchester continues to thrive in fulfilling its mission to promote love for, interest in, and knowledge of horticulture.

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