Museum Celebrates 90th Anniversary of The Garden Club of Los Altos

By February 19, 2019Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (February, 19, 2019) What do the Pet Parade, the Japanese tea garden that once graced Shoup Park, and those daffodils along Main and State Streets have in common? They were all seeded by The Garden Club of Los Altos. The accomplishments of the club is the subject of Los Altos History Museum‘s exhibit, “90 Years of Flowers: Celebrating The Garden Club of Los Altos“, on display in the J. Gilbert Smith House March 7th – April 28, with an opening reception March 10th from 2-4 pm.

“We’ve gathered a lot of material from the archives that showcase the history of the Garden Club from the start until today,” said club president, Jean Gillette. “We’ll have on display photos and articles about the Japanese tea garden and about Albert Wilson, the radio personality who had the show ‘Dig it with Albert’ and was the Garden Consultant from 1929 until he passed away.”

The Los Altos Men’s Club established the Garden Club in 1929 for the purpose of organizing flower shows in Shoup Park, which became an annual event. “People came from all over to this sleepy little town and brought flowers for the show, including Mrs. Lou Henry Hoover,” said Gillette.

The Garden Club has contributed to civic beautification projects downtown for the past 80 years. They started the first Pet Parade, set up a garden at the Veteran’s Hospital, and developed scholarship funds for high school and college students interested in a career in horticulture.

The Museum and Garden Club have had close ties for many years. The Museum houses an archive of the Club’s original documents and photographs, and supports their annual Plant Exchange. J. Gilbert Smith’s wife, Margaret, was active in the club in its early years, and served as recording secretary. The Garden Club provides volunteers weekly to tend the grounds at the Museum, and gave funds for the installation of the gate and arbor at the Smith House entrance to the patio.

The exhibit is free to the public, Thursday-Sunday, noon-4 pm. The Museum will host additional programming in the main gallery around the theme of April in Bloom, including workshops on flower arranging and horticulture.

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collectionspermanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, go to:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact:

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,