Milton Garden Club History
To give you a little history of the Milton Garden Club, we’ve included a few notes taken from yearbooks and
scrapbooks from times gone by. Maybe you’ve had relatives or friends who helped to make history here too!
The Milton Garden Club held its first meeting on May 2, 1948. It started with thirty-three charter members. At first it
was considered the Camellia Club which within a few years expanded to 3 Circles. Membership dues were only
$2.00. A few notable programs included: A Garden of Fragrance, Color Accent in Foundation Planting, Shade
Garden and Shrubs for Birds & Beauty.
The garden club worked in the community leading projects such as: planting Crepe Myrtles along Highway 90; a
Paint-Clean-Fix Up project; beautification of gardens around town; planting of Dogwoods on Highway 90 and
landscaping the Court House grounds.
In 1958, as an education program, the members shared their gardening knowledge to host a ‘Junior Gardener’
program. By 1960 dues progressed to $4.00 and $5.00 for associate members.
In 1970, the club was going strong and decided to build its own club house. A rental program was started to help
offset the building expenses. At a rental fee of $30 (5 hours), they hosted weddings and other gatherings.
By 1972 the club had grown to 75 members and printed the first Bylaws and Yearbook. Other notable events
included landscaping around town and as far away as Floridatown. The Pensacola Junior College opened a
campus on Canal Street in Milton. The club landscaped the grounds.
In 1978, membership had grown to 103 members as they celebrated the 30th Anniversary. The club made their
first road trip, visiting the Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile. It only cost $6.50 for the admission and bus fee in those
days. Another circle (Sarracenia)was added to now give the club four circles.
The club continued projects around town, planting gardens. A few notable landscaping projects included the
Exchange Hotel, the Milton Cemetery entrance, and the Chamber of Commerce grounds.
In 1986 a renovation was performed on the club house. The rental fee had increased to $126. The club
membership had grown to one of the highest recorded members at 126. In 1996, Milton was declared a Bird
In 2004, Hurricane IVAN hit the Pensacola area causing significant damage to homes, and businesses, taking out
many trees and natural landscapes. The club house also suffered significant damage. The circles had to find
other meeting sites for a little more than a year. The club pulled together to rebuild the club house.
In 2006, a Garden District was established in the Milton area, which included the garden club area. In 2009, a
Butterfly Garden was installed along the garden path to the north side gardens. A few months later, the North
American Butterfly Association certified the garden as a National Butterfly Garden. The club became active in
FFGC Awards, with five awards to garden club members.
In 2012, the garden club held it’s first ‘Christmas Tour of Homes’ for the Milton/Pace area. It featured four
beautifully decorated homes and one local church. A welcome reception was held during the tour at the club
house. The tour continues today as the main fundraising event. Since, the membership had started to decline in
the last few years, the club began to consolidate circles. The two existing circles were the Dogwood and the
Morning Glory Circles.
In 2014, the Dogwood Circle hosted a ‘Milton Bridal Show’ while the Morning Glory Circle started a renovation
project on the ‘Blue Star Marker. Its rededication took place in 2015.
In 2015, an ‘Arbor Day Celebration’ was started. The state of Florida celebrates Arbor Day on the third Friday in
January each year. The project continues to grow and includes participation from the local Master Gardeners,
Florida Forestry, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
In 2017, with growing concerns with building maintenance, the club re-negotiated the building contract with the City
of Milton. Our new agreement granted shared use with the City of Milton, intended for a senior center. At this time
the circles were joined as one – the Milton Garden Club
In 2018, the Milton Garden Club celebrated the 70th anniversary!