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Schools and Programs

Environmental Studies Schools

Environmental Studies Schools are a series of four courses in environmental studies. Students completing the courses may become NGC Environmental Consultants.

The Federation completed its first course in Environmental Studies in September of 2007, with 55 students attending for classroom work and a field trip.


Flower Show Schools

The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc., through its Flower Show Schools program, provides excellent opportunities for study of horticulture and floral design. Any interested person, garden club member or non-member, may attend these schools by registering and paying the nominal fee.

The horticulture curriculum consists of basic general information on proper gardening techniques from seed/plant selection to plant culture and control of problems. Information is also presented on cultural needs of specific perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs, as well as fruits, vegetables and nuts and how to grow superior container plants.

Design instruction covers traditional floral arrangements through contemporary styles and even designs incorporating lights and motors. Many attendees are particularly interested in table setting designs showing coordination of floral centerpiece, linens and dishes. Vignettes, small segments of rooms, also give ideas on interior decorating.

While the primary purpose of these courses is to train those wishing to become flower show judges, many people attend for information only and those people are not required to take the examinations.


Gardening Study Schools

Gardening Study School (GSS) provides continuing education in the study of horticulture. Courses are designed to:

  • Stimulate interest in the growth of plant materials
  • Teach how and why a plant grows
  • Teach soil structure and modification for more productive soils
  • Explore growing techniques for garden plants, vegetables, fruits, houseplants, trees, shrubs, houseplants and specialized styles of gardening
  • Teach what effect weather has on plants and how to modify conditions for optimum growth
  • Give an understanding of fungicides, pesticides, and growth regulators

Course content is established by National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC). Four sequenced courses comprise a series. Each course consists of ten hours of instruction. Optional exams are offered for those wishing to become NGC Accredited Gardening Consultants. Those who have become Consultants are eligible to judge contests and displays as representatives of the GSS program in events participated in by Councils.

Landscape Design Study School

The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc., welcomes all to its educational program in landscape design, under the guidance of the state garden clubs and international affiliate garden clubs. The purpose of the study program is for students to develop an appreciation of the environment, both natural and built.

The curriculum, in a series of four courses, covers a wide range of subjects: from landscape design history to current landscape architecture trends and issues. Courses are held once a year, usually in March. The high standards of this program have been maintained through the use of professional instructors. Students acquire the tools for making their own gardens, or civic garden projects, more beautiful and easier to maintain. Many students have been motivated to serve in political decision-making capacities, where awareness of the impact of a well-designed landscape can enhance the beauty and enjoyment of life in the public arena.


Course II
March 22-24, 2016
Jones Auditorium, CAES, New Haven

The Landscape Design Study School was developed by the National Garden Clubs, Inc. in 1958 and has been offered by The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc.  since 1978. The stated purpose of this four-course study is “to educate garden club members and the public to know good landscape architectural practice and to serve as guardians and critics of the natural and man-made landscape.” Anyone is welcome to attend who wishes to familiarize themselves with the principles and practices of landscape design as stewards of the outdoors.

The curriculum of the program is divided into four courses; one course is given each year. Courses may be taken in any order. Each course can stand alone to increase your knowledge and appreciation of landscape design, but students are encouraged to attend all four courses to complete the series. Material is presented in lecture format over two days by licensed landscape architects and other professionals.

Topics in this excellent program include design process and principles, plant materials, public and private spaces, land development, environment and natural resources, and history of landscape design. Most lectures include visual presentations.

Students are urged to take the optional exam offered on the morning of the third day to get the most value from this study. Examination questions are primarily based on the required reading. Garden clubmembers qualify for aLandscape Design Consultant Certificate by attendance at all four courses and scoring grades of 70 or better on the examinations. The four courses must be completed in not less than two years and not more than seven years. Garden Club members are invited to join the Landscape Design Council, as an Associate Member, upon successful completion of two courses.  The Council is a group that meets regularly for additional programs related to the field of landscape design and to visit and evaluate public and private gardens.

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Last updated
October 5, 2015