Fortuna Garden Club celebrates 100 years


The Garden club of America’s mission is to be a leader in horticulture, conservation and environmental protection. 

But some people join to learn about Native plants. 

I got involved in the garden club primarily to find out what would grow in my yard. 

“I live in Eureka, but the Fortuna Garden Club was very special and had some very special people. I’ve just continued to stay here and make the drive down. Although we are a gardening club, I think the fellowship and the friendships that we built among us are probably even more important than any knowledge you pick up”, says Donna Pace, President of the Fortuna Garden Club. 

Beyond meeting and talking about plants, the Fortuna Garden club does a lot to keep fortuna beautiful. 

“All the work is volunteer work. We do have some help from the city on some of the projects that need muscle, because we’re a bunch of ‘old ladies’, basically. And we maintain the gardens up and down Main Street and on 12th Street that the city has, and we spend between 4 and $5000 a year on that, but luckily we are able to get several grants to help with that, plus our money for the club”, says Judy Solma, former president of the Fortuna Garden Club. 

They may be volunteers but they’re also plant experts who love to talk about – plants! 

“Any person in this garden club will share any information they have. They’re happy to. And it’s fun to say ‘that’s a great rose, mine died, what did I do?’ And there’s people there that are going to help you figure that out”, Solma says. 

Originally founded by 8 women back in 1924, the Fortuna Garden Club now has 120 members.

“The one thing about this club that’s unusual for most clubs is it’s gaining in membership, and scope of what we do. I have seen several other gardening clubs and rhododendron clubs and the Rose club, they struggle to get people and the Fortuna Garden Club. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re gardening out of two pots in your backyard or you’ve got two acres”, Pace says.

They also give back by providing scholarships. 

“Every year we give two scholarships to Fortuna Senior High, that’s usually awarded to kids who are in the AG program. But the main criteria is that they are planning on going into something that has to do with agriculture, horticulture, floral design, something related to gardening”, says Solma. 

The Garden club is open to anyone who wants to join regardless of how green your thumb is. It’s 20 dollars a year and you can find more information at 

Story by Tucker Caraway