PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a club that started some 83 years ago and its legacy continues to blossom. We introduce you to some of the members of the Garden Club of Philadelphia and Vicinity. It’s brightening lives one floral arrangement and gardening experience at a time.
Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious, fueled by their friendship and passion for gardening and horticulture, as members of the historic Garden Club of Philadelphia and Vicinity.READ MORE: Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Allowing States To Ban Abortion
“I start out almost any time I’m having a conversation with anybody and they’ll say she loves garden club and I do. I love being part of something that was started in 1939 and we are still carrying that legacy along,” club member Lorraine Moore said.
The all-Black Garden Club’s legacy began during segregation when Black people weren’t allowed to join white garden clubs.
Dr. Wilfreta Baugh is one of the longest-standing members of the oldest continuously active Black garden club in the country.
“I joined in 1972 and I’ve been a member ever since,” Baugh said.
These proud members will tell you that African Americans have always had a deep-rooted history in gardening, often born out of necessity.
“My mother always had a garden and with many Blacks, they took care of their yards. They grew vegetables, oftentimes that was how a lot of Black people got food. You had to grow it,” Baugh said.
“I love being the part that I can sit here and say that we are Black history and I have a lot of pride about it,” Moore said.READ MORE: Roe v. Wade Overturned: These US Companies Will Cover Travel Costs For Employees Who Need Abortion
Over the years, commendations abound coming from as high up as the White House and then-President Barack Obama.
Every year, members participate in the world-renowned Philadelphia Flower Show with beautiful displays of award-winning floral arrangements and horticultural exhibits.
“My first exhibit in the Philadelphia Flower Show was in 1974 and I got a blue ribbon and I a best in show for my exhibit,” Baugh said.
The group is heavily involved in the community, supplying arrangements for the Ronald McDonald House and senior centers, also going into schools teaching students the art of gardening.
“We actually have about 28 members currently and our main objective is basically to learn about and to promote ways of gardening, all kinds of gardening,” Denise McDaniel Henderson said.
A quick glimpse of Baugh’s home brings life as only well cared for plants and flowers can, continuing a legacy with a little-known club that’s a big piece of Black history.
“We’re not doing this because we’re Black women, we’re doing this because it’s something that we’ve always enjoyed doing,” Baugh said.
“If we weren’t good we’d still be in the shadows,” Moore said.MORE NEWS: Driver Arrested In Hit-And-Run That Left 21-Year-Old Dead In Germantown: Police
The Garden Club of Philadelphia will be participating in this year’s flower show in June. It also has its own flower show as well, and they say they are always looking for new members to participate.