The Elizabeth River Garden Club was organized in 1927 by about thirty women from downtown Portsmouth for
the purpose of helping to beautify the city. The present fifty-five members live in Chesapeake, Suffolk, and
Isle of Wight as well as Portsmouth. The Club has been a member of the Portsmouth Area Council of Garden
Clubs for many years.
In May of 1975, the Club became the forty-fifth member of the Garden Club of Virginia and presented its first
home tour as part of Historic Garden Week. Annual home and garden tours have been held almost every year
since then. The Garden Club of Virginia, in 1980, chose the 1846 Court House grounds as one of its projects
for restoration and preservation, a selection based on the efforts of the Elizabeth River Garden Club. The
Club hosted The Garden Club of Virginia Daffodil Show in April 1982, the Regional Meeting for the
Chesapeake Bay Symposium in January 1984, the Annual Meeting of The Garden Club of Virginia in May
1993, and the Board of Governors Meeting of The Garden Club of Virginia in October 2008.
In 1991 members produced and published a guidebook titled Styles of Flower Arranging - A Primer, which is
now in its third printing. A second guidebook, Styles of Flower Arranging – Contemporary Designs, was
published in 2006.
The Club was incorporated in the state of Virginia in 1992, and was granted its federal tax exempt status
under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code in 1993.
Since its founding in 1927, The Elizabeth River Garden Club has supported a number of beautification efforts
in the Portsmouth area including the Friendship Garden at Portsmouth City Park and the Portsmouth
Museums and in more recent years has also supported conservation efforts in the city and region including
Hoffler Creek Wildlife Refuge and the Elizabeth River Project.