Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity Papers
Scope and Contents
The collection includes newspaper clippings, photos, newsletters, yearbooks, member artwork, and information about the programs held by various organizations that make up the Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity. The bulk of the collection consits of scrapbooks created carefully by members of the Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity. Reports within the scrapbooks include information on horticultural and events concerning the Norfolk area, as well as social events and personal interests of members. Some of the scrapbooks are fragile and need to be handled with care.
- 1932-1995, undated
- Other: Date acquired: 04/16/2013
- Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity (Organization)
26.60 Linear Feet
Conditions Governing Access
Open to researchers without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.
Biographical or Historical Information
Since the end of the nineteenth century garden clubs in the U.S. have been an integral part of environmental and beautification achievement. Originally formed as a group for women to share plants, information, and advice about their gardens; garden clubs quickly spread to include educational pursuits and preservation of all aspects of wildlife. Separate garden clubs joined together in alliances and organizations to share ideas. The Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity, Inc. was formed as one such group in the Virginia Tidewater region.
In 1932 The Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity, Inc. was founded by the Garden Club of Norfolk. Previously a separate organization, the Garden Club of Norfolk wished to include other clubs in the surrounding cities in order to broaden their span of work and influence. The mission of the Federation, as stated in their pamphlets is to “bring about a closer co-operation between the Garden Clubs belonging to the organization, form new clubs and work together for the beautification of our community, encouraging the knowledge and love of gardening. The Federation aids in the conservation and protection of our native trees, wildflowers, birds and fish, and strives to promote civic planting.” The Federation came together for Regular Meetings, Flower Shows, Schools concerning horticulture, and social events held by or decorated by the garden clubs.
The Federation was a part of the Tidewater District of the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc., Garden Club of Virginia, and the Garden Club of America. As the Federation grew, members and officers began plans for a permanent location to ensure their collaboration with the community. In 1957, The Federation opened the Garden Center Educational building as its home and held the first Regular Meeting. In 1966 the mortgage of the building was paid off and the Federation held the Burning of the Mortgage on May 4th under the Federation President. Guest speaker Norfolk Mayor Roy B. Martin Jr. commented that due to the Federation, Norfolk “takes a back seat to no other city in beauty”.
Many of the Federation’s members belong to prominent families within the community and their assistance in the betterment of the area has been notable. The Federation has accomplished work within the area’s tourism and agronomic stature; such as preserving historical sites and landscaping in public domain. For example, Historic Garden Week in Virginia which aids in the restoration and conservation of historic gardens and homes. Many clubs in the Federation help with Historic Garden Week by hosting the Norfolk Home and Garden Tour held annually every April.
The Federation not only promotes horticultural events, but establishes them as well. In 1951 several of the Federation garden clubs along with the Women’s Club of Norfolk helped create the first annual Norfolk Crape Myrtle Festival to promote the greenery and floral beauty of Norfolk ; an idea by Frederic Heutte, Norfolk’s Superintendent of Parks and Forestry and founder of the Norfolk Botanical Garden. In 1954 the festival was renamed the International Azalea Festival when moved from summer to springtime and to the Azalea Gardens. In 2009 the festival was once again changed to the Norfolk NATO Festival when the festival’s mission was to promote not only horticulture, but also to recognize Norfolk NATO Command’s influence on international affairs.
With the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, the Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity began work with the Virginia Department of Transportation on the Virginia Wildflower Program in 1976 and is still alive today. This program was created for the beautification of Virginia’s roadsides, accomplished by planting wildflowers and trees donated by various civic organizations. In 1960 the Virginia Federation began publication of a quarterly newsletter, Old Dominion Gardener, in which the Federation of Norfolk and Vicinity, Inc. continue to contribute.
Today, the Federation continues to aid in beautification and city planting. Other projects include contributing to youth programs, providing educational grants to students and workers in the horticultural field, holding conferences to address environmental concerns, and aiding in the preservation of memorial sites and parks. The Federation also provided funding for the healing garden in the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA.
 Garden Club of Norfolk Homepage (accessed July 15, 2013).
 Pamphlet, Scrapbook, Mortgage Burning, 1966
 Scrapbooks, Minutes, 1932-1934; Minutes, 1941-1944
 "About Us." Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs (accessed July 15, 2013).
 Newspaper clipping, Scrapbook, Mortgage Burning, 1966
 Whichard, Rogers Dey. The History of Lower Tidewater Virginia. New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1959.
 "About Us, Garden Club of Virginia." Historic Garden Week in Virginia (accessed July 15, 2013).
 "Homes & Gardens." Norfolk Home and Garden Tour (accessed July 15, 2013).
 "Plant Societies." Norfolk Botanical Garden (accessed July 15, 2013).
 "About." Norfolk NATO Festival (accessed July 15, 2013).
 "About Us." Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs.
 "Publications." Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs. http://www.virginiagardenclubs.org/VFGC/Publications.html (accessed July 23, 2013).
 "Tidewater District." Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs. http://www.virginiagardenclubs.org/VFGC/Tidewater.html (accessed July 15, 2013).
Note written by Sonia Yaco
Language of Materials
The Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity, includes scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, photos, newsletters, yearbooks, member artwork, and information about the programs held by the garden clubs. Reports within the books include information on horticultural and events concerning the Norfolk area, as well as introspection into member’s lives and influence, social events, and personal interests.
The collection is organized into two series: Series I: Business Scrapbooks; and Series II: Personal Scrapbooks.
Physical Access Requirements
Some of the scrapbooks are fragile and need to be handled with care.
Source of Acquisition
Dolores Sabisky, President of Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity
Method of Acquisition
Gift. Accession #A2013-14
The collection was processed and the finding aid was created by Sonia Yaco, Special Collections Librarian, in 2013.
- Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity (Organization)
- A Guide to the Federation of Garden Clubs of Norfolk and Vicinity Papers
- Sonia Yaco
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.