In 1929 Los Altos held a garden show under the oaks on the former Costello property, located on University Avenue, adjacent to what is now Milverton Road. The event was organized by the Rev. Thomas E. Landels and the Los Altos Men's Club, together with a small group of local women. Ribbons and silver cups were awarded to participants. The Rev. T.D. Landels presided over the first meeting in 1929 and Mrs. Paul Shoup was first vice-president.
The group reorganized in 1930, as The Los Altos Garden Club, in order to give the show more substantial backing and guidance in the growing community. The minutes stated, "One of our activities will be informing newcomers on plants that will thrive in Los Altos, since many people from other California cities and the East are beginning to move into our community." At this time membership was limited to 50 people.
Among the members were Josephine and Frank Duveneck and Frank Marini and guests included Senator Phelan, Mrs. Herbert Hoover, Mrs. Fremont Older and Princess Ghika of Romania.
By 1934, meetings had turned into round-table plant discussions led by Albert Wilson, newspaper columnist, author and a well-known Peninsula radio commentator. His radio show, "Dig it with Albert" ran for 40 years. Wilson became the first life member because of his unfailing enthusiasm for the club. He died in 1996 at the age of 93.
The 1935 Garden show was opened by Mrs. Herbert Hoover who cut a broad pink ribbon across the entrance to Shoup Park.
Garden Club members designed and landscaped gardens around the Los Altos Southern Pacific train station, the public library (then housed in an old power station on First Street), and helped create a Japanese tea garden in Shoup Park with assistance from the Furuichi family of Los Altos Nursery.
The Depression and the War years ended Garden Club meetings for a time.
The 20th Anniversary celebration in 1949 was a noncompetitive show for local gardeners and included non-members. The Club was again reorganized, and the name was changed to The Garden Club of Los Altos. Open membership was adopted, and monthly meetings were held in the homes or gardens of the 125 members.
By 1951, the club's annual Flower Show reached an attendance record of 10,000 visitors over a three day period. The show was held at the Pink Horse Ranch in Los Altos Hills, then a huge resort with swimming pools and public picnic areas.
In 1999 the club held its 70 year anniversary. As a salute to the Los Altans of the 1920s and '30s members dressed up in hats, gloves and high heels and celebrated by serving tea in a grand manner.
In 2004 the club celebrated its 75th anniversary with a tea which honored all former presidents. In addition the club contributed to an arbor at the Los Altos History House.