The Garden Club of Aiken

The Garden Club of Aiken plays an important role in the South Carolina world of garden clubs and South Carolina Women’s history.  The club was established by Mrs. Claudia Lea Phelps in March of 1924 at her home, Rose Hill, which is one of Aiken’s winter colony estates.  In addition, in April of 1930, Mrs. Phelps founded the Garden Club of South Carolina, a statewide federation of garden clubs.  We celebrate our heritage each year by having a founder’s luncheon at the Rose Hill estate, remembering Mrs. Phelps’ passion for gardening, and we enjoy strolling through the paths of her exquisite gardens of camellias, roses, hedgerows, fountains, and terraces.

Because of our distinguished legacy and our dedication to promoting gardening, knowledge of horticulture, community beautification and service, and protection of the environment, we were invited to become a member of the Garden Club of America.  One of only three Garden Club of America clubs in South Carolina, we are extremely proud of this distinction and are growing and improving each day as we benefit from our association with their deep wells of resources and their outstanding members across our country.  We are also still active in the Garden Club of South Carolina as a founding club and participate as part of the West Low Country District.

Through our ninety-eight-year history, we have devoted ourselves to numerous community projects such as landscaping for the Aiken County Public Library, the Claudia Lea Phelps Garden at the Aiken County Museum, the Silver Bluff Audubon Society Nature Garden, and Aiken’s parkways.  In addition, we have held a yearly flower show since 1924, and a very successful Greenery sale that funds our community projects.

For the future, we feel our accomplishments, heritage, and traditions will continue to benefit our community and will inspire future members to continue service, protection of the environment, and a flower-filled future.