For information on membership in Garden Club of Ohio, please contact:

Virginia Schmidt, Executive Secretary
(216) 310-7413

Guidelines for Starting a New GCO Garden Club

1. A member or members from a GCO Garden Club that wish to sponsor a new club should gather at least 10 interested people for a meeting.  It may take several attempts to get 10 people to come together.  Explain the benefits of a GCO Garden Club.
2. Once a vote to organize as a Garden Club is done.  The following officers should be elected:  President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  They become the club’s Executive Committee.
3. Vote on all the member’s suggestions for a club name and place and time to hold regular meetings.
4. The President should appoint a Bylaws Committee.  They should meet along with representative(s) from their Sponsoring Garden Club to draw up the club Bylaws.
5. Once the Bylaws are prepared, a vote must be taken on  each section with lots of discussion until all is approved.
6. Discuss with members what they want for programs, project, tours, etc.  The VP should begin planning programs, trips, etc. for the club yearbook.  The sponsoring club’s representative(s) can help the VP create the club ‘s first yearbook. 
7. When it is decided on the amount of dues each member will pay, remember to include $5 to cover the cost of dues for each member in Garden Club of Ohio, Inc. (GCO) and National Garden Club, Inc. (NGC). 
8. Once the treasurer has collected all the dues for at least 10 members, obtained the EIN number for the club, the application with all required information filled out and checked by the Sponsoring Club and the District Director.  Once all corrections are made the application and dues can be submitted to the GCO Executive Secretary.
9. Once the club application is approved and voted on, a welcome letter will be sent to the Club President, the list of members will be forwarded to the NGC and GCO Chairmen responsible for adding them to the member list to receive the publications:  The National Gardener from NGC and The Garden Greetings from GCO.
10. The Sponsoring Club will be available to help and guide for at least the first year.  After that the District Director and First VP of GCO will be the go to people for help and information.
11. It is highly recommended that as many members as possible attend district events.  That is a time to meet and talk to other garden club members and share what goes on in other clubs.  We learn from each other.  Education is a key part of the purpose of NGC/GCO and the programs are very good.
12. Attending any or all of the four schools offered by NGC/GCO are an excellent way to learn about gardening, landscape design, environmental concerns and how to show your plants and/or floral designs in a Flower Show, if you so choose. 

Benefits of Garden Club of Ohio, Inc. (GCO) Membership

As a member of GCO, you will also become members in National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC), which includes a complimentary copy of the national publication The National Gardener for each club president.  Members can order a subscription from the National Headquarters.  The NGC website is:
As a member of NGC you automatically become a member of the NGC’s Central Atlantic Region (CAR).  CAR consists of seven states: DE, MD, NJ, NY, OH, PA and the National Capitol Area.  The CAR website is:
Club dues must include the per member dues ($5.00) that the club must send to GCO.  Out of that money GCO must send the per member dues of $.50 to NGCThe GCO dues is $4.50 and covers three issues of the official GCO publication called Garden Greetings for each member.  Clubs and members can place advertising of club events in the Garden Greetings publication.  The GCO website is:
Other Benefits:
1. Can attend meetings, lectures, floral demonstrations, tours, conferences and      conventions and tours at the District, State, Region and National  levels.
2. Club members at lectures and district meetings receive informative materials,    brochures, bulletins, speakers list, etc.
3. The GCO Nursery Dealer’s Certificate is available to clubs who have plant sales  outside of their club meetings.  This is required by the State of Ohio for plant sales.
4. Assistance of the District Director and other GCO Officers & Chairmen for advice and consultation.
5. Opportunity for members to attend four Schools for Consultant Certification in:
  • Environmental Studies School
  • Flower Show School
  • Gardening Studies School
  • Landscape Design School
6.   Lifelong friendships develop among active members at all levels of the organization.

How to Organize A Garden Club

1.  Getting Started:
Create a flyer to publicize a meeting for people interested in starting a Garden Club.  List date, time and location.  Ask the following:
Are you and your neighbors interested in beautification of your neighborhood or town?
Do you want to learn how to grow your own vegetables, even on your deck or patio?
Are you concerned about environmental issues facing your community and world?
Do you wish you knew how to landscape your yard, plant a container garden or make a floral centerpiece for your dinner table?
 If so, please come to an informational meeting to find out how you can start a Garden Club.  The meeting will be at:
 For more information please contact:
Place your flyer where gardeners hang out:  Nurseries, Garden Centers, Botanical Gardens, Libraries, Book Stores, Parks, Organic Restaurants, Bird Supply Stores, Community Gardens, Community Centers, Bulletin Boards in Restaurants or a classified ad in small local newspapers or neighborhood newsletters.
2.  Selecting a Meeting Place & Time:
Be as flexible as possible to accommodate working people and busy schedules.  Set a place, date and time for the first meeting.  Then let those interested set the place, date and time for the next meeting.  Local libraries, churches, community centers, nurseries or some restaurants might be willing to donate space for meetings.
3.   Determine Club’s Purpose & Goals:
Will the club be singular or multifaceted?  If a singular purpose, what will it be?  Suggestions:  Landscape Design, Floral Design, Community’s Environmental Issues, Horticulture & Gardening.
A church garden club might be interested in designing the worship service floral designs or landscaping the property grounds.
A retirement community garden club might be interested in grounds landscaping, table designs or seasonal wreaths.
A club that would like to work with youth to ensure the next generation of gardeners.
A club interested in creating beauty spots in their neighborhood or town.
A club interested in helping residents create better curb appeal of neglected properties.
 Determine how often the club will meet to accomplish their goals.  Will the meetings be formal or informal.
4.   Organize the Club:
Elect Officers
Determine the amount of dues
Write the Bylaws
5.   Becoming Affiliated with National Garden Clubs, Inc.
The club becomes affiliated with NGC by joining the state garden club, Garden Club of Ohio, Inc. (GCO).
Visit the state garden club website to find the contact information for the membership application process.
GCO website:
NGC website:
6.   Network with Local Resources:
After your club forms, make sure you introduce your club to the community.  Network with local resources like the county extension agencies, colleges and universities and local nurseries and garden centers. Partner with local businesses. Let others know what your club is all about and who can be contacted to answer questions or respond to inquiries.  Find out what resources may be of benefit to the members of your club and what your club can offer to others in the community.
Whether starting your own club or joining one that is already established, you’ll enjoy the encouragement you receive from others, learn better ways to beautify your environment and get acquainted with like-minded members of your community.

How to Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online

 The Internet EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN. Once the application is completed, the information is validated during the online session, and an EIN is issued immediately. The online application process is available for all entities whose principal business, office or agency, or legal residence (in the case of an individual), is located in the United States or U.S. Territories. The principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner, trustor etc. must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (Social Security Number, Employer Identification Number, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) in order to use the online application.
Apply By EIN Toll-Free Telephone Service
Taxpayers can obtain an EIN immediately by calling the Business & Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933. The hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. An assistor takes the information, assigns the EIN, and provides the number to an authorized individual over the telephone. Note: International applicants must call (215) 516-6999 (Not a toll-free number).
Apply By FAX
Taxpayers can FAX the completed Form SS-4 (PDF) application to their state FAX number (see Where to File – Business Forms and Filing Addresses), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information. If it is determined that the entity needs a new EIN, one will be assigned using the appropriate procedures for the entity type. If the taxpayer’s fax number is provided, a fax will be sent back with the EIN within four (4) business days.
Apply By Mail
The processing timeframe for an EIN application received by mail is four weeks. Ensure that the Form SS-4 (PDF) contains all of the required information. If it is determined that the entity needs a new EIN, one will be assigned using the appropriate procedures for the entity type and mailed to the taxpayer.


  • Membership in the National Garden Clubs, Inc. including access to the national publication National Gardener.
  • Receipt by each member of the official publication, Garden Greetings.
  • Attendance of individual club members at lectures, programs and district meetings. Receipt of informative material, brochures, bulletins, speakers’ list, etc. assistance of District Director, and other Garden Club of Ohio, Inc. Officers and Chairmen for advice and consultation.
Opportunity for enrollment in Nationally Accredited Schools
  • Flower Show School is not only for prospective flower show exhibitors and judges, but also for all garden club members and all persons interested in flower design and horticulture.
  • Landscape Design Schools welcomes all interested gardeners to landscape design school whose purpose is to develop an appreciation of the environment, both natural and built.
  • Gardening Study School is designed to provide information on topics of interest to those especially interested in gardening, horticulture and related topics.
  • Environmental Studies School has been in the forefront of the “Green Movement” by introducing recycling, organic gardening, wildflower gardens, elimination of invasive species, and many other ways to protect the environment in their home gardens and their many civic projects.
 Each School offers accreditation and advanced continuing education.