Held at: Malvern Historical Commission [Contact Us]Borough of Malvern, 1 East First Avenue, Suite 3, Malvern, PA, 19355
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Malvern Historical Commission. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Club of Little Gardens of Malvern in Chester County, Pennsylvania was established in May of 1930 by a group of twelve women with the goal to "stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening among amateurs, to aid in the protection of native trees, plants, and birds, and to encourage civic interest in horticulture." Membership was initially limited to twenty-four members, as the club met in the homes of members. Meetings were held the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Originally, membership included only those in the Malvern area, but by 1960 members included people from areas such as West Chester, Chester Springs, and the Upper Main Line.
For its first community project, the Club of Little Gardens constructed the Memorial Rock Garden at the recently built Monday Afternoon Club House in 1931. Other early projects undertaken by the Club of Little Gardens included planting trees and flowers throughout the Borough, planting trees on the Malvern school grounds, and sponsoring a Wild Flower Conservation Poster contest in Malvern schools.
The Club held its first flower show in September 1932 at the Malvern Fire Hall, and in 1942, federated with the Pennsylvania State Gardens Club (now the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania). The Club of Little Gardens of Malvern often worked with other local garden clubs in various community flower shows. The Club of Little Gardens also planned trips to various arboretums and other gardens in the area for its members and participated in a number of community activities, including local charity and fundraising events. Participating in flower shows throughout the region has remained a part of the Club's activities over the years, especially the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Christmas Tree Competition at Longwood Gardens. In 1991, the Club of Little Gardens won third place for its Christmas tree entry with the theme of "Silver and Gold."
As of 2015, the Club of Little Gardens of Malvern continues to host programs on gardening hosted by a Master Gardener and open to the community.
Quoted text from: LaRue, Bertha D. "Malvern's Club Of Little Gardens." History Quarterly 10, no. 3 (April 1959): 54-58. Accessed June 26, 2015. http://www.tehistory.org/hqda/html/v10/v10n3p054.html.
This collection consists primarily of scrapbooks and yearly programs of the Club of Little Gardens of Malvern. The collection also includes some awards and administrative records.
There are fourteen scrapbooks, circa 1930-2010, that consist of photographs, newspaper clippings, letters, ephemera relating to events, meetings, and competitions, and other materials. There are also a number of "Program of the Year" books that include the names of officers, by-laws, committees, a calendar, and other information about the Club for that year, 1956-2010 (bulk 1970s-1990s).
Awards materials in the collection include awards from various competitions in which the Club of Little Gardens participated, such as those hosted by Longwood Gardens, the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania, and the National Council of State Garden Clubs. Of interest is a folder of photographs, letters, and clippings about the Club's entry in the 3rd Annual Christmas Tree Competition at Longwood Gardens in 1991 for which it won third place.
Administrative records include a membership book, 1962-1981, board meeting notes, 1960s-1970s, and meeting notes of the secretary and annual reports from board members, 1950s-1960s.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Malvern Historical Commission directly for more information.
- Malvern Historical Commission
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu and Anastasia Matijkiw through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Malvern Historical Commission for information about accessing this collection.