Ridgefield Garden Club donates archives to Smithsonian

The Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens recently accepted the Ridgefield Garden Club’s donation of glass lantern slides and diaries from its club archives. The Smithsonian will digitize, transcribe and make these materials available to educators, researchers, and the general public on its website.

The 129 glass lantern slides are photographs of English gardens taken by Louise Newton, a founder of the Ridgefield Garden Club, on her 1930 trip to England with the Garden Club of America. The club recently worked with archivists at the Garden Club of America and Hidcote in England to identify the gardens depicted on the slides.

The 15 years of diaries donated by Gertrude Farrington, a longtime member of the Ridgefield Garden Club, include gardening activities at Ballard Gardens and her home gardens, as well as daily weather reports and prices of food, gas, and gardening materials. Gertrude and her husband, Wesley Farrington, were longtime Ridgefield residents.