Our History

The Portland Garden Club was founded in 1924 by nineteen women and men. We became a member of The Garden Club of America in 1928.

Our mission is: To stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, to aid in the protection of native trees, plants, and birds, to encourage civic beauty and to improve and protect the quality of the environment through programs and action in the fields of conservation and education.

Throughout the years, we have supported our mission in various ways. In 1925, we funded the curator’s salary for the American Rose Society’s Rose Test Garden in Portland to ensure its certification. In 1926, we acquired nineteen acres of land and donated it to the city for an entrance at Macleay Park into Forest Park. In 1927, we sponsored a bill in the Oregon legislature to protect native lily bulbs in the Cascade foothills from commercial pilfering. In 1936, we created and then donated the Lilac Garden in Duniway Park, to the city of Portland.

More recently, in 1976, the club developed the Heritage Gardens in Aurora. In the early eighties, the PGC worked with the GCA to establish the Columbia River Gorge as a National Scenic Area in the National Park Service. In the nineties, the PGC propagated and then planted native wildflowers along the Columbia River Gorge and planted dogwoods along Macadam Avenue to honor the first Earth Day.

The Wood Family donated property in 1943 on which we built a clubhouse. The clubhouse was designed by Portland architect, John Storrs, and was completed in 1954. The garden was designed by Edith Schryver and Elizabeth Lord, who were the first female landscape architects in Oregon. The clubhouse has enabled us to offer monthly educational programs to a larger audience.

Current mission activities include restoring the Lilac Garden, maintaining the dogwood trees along Powers Marine Park, grants to non profits that support our mission, and scholarships to graduate students in Oregon colleges/universities who are studying Botany or Botany related fields.