The AHS Book Awards
The Book Awards will be presented at the Great American Gardeners Awards Ceremony and Banquet at River Farm on Thursday, June 8, 2017.
The American Horticultural Society honors outstanding garden-related books published in North America through its annual Book Award Program, which began with a list of 75 Great American Garden Books as part of the Society's celebration of its 75th anniversary in 1997.
Each year since then, a distinguished committee of garden communicators selects the award recipients from among the year's new books submitted by publishers. A list of previous AHS Book Award winners is available here.
All the Presidents’ Gardens by Marta McDowell
"Thoroughly researched prose and fascinating, historic images tell a refreshingly non-partisan story of how the White House grounds have grown with America,” says Anne Marie Van Nest. “This sort of storytelling and history of one place, one relatively small garden, helps us understand how much gardens do—and should—change with every generation, every family, every new desire of what we need and want from our outside spaces,” says Jenks Farmer.
The Bee-Friendly Garden by Kate Frey and Gretchen LeBuhn (Ten Speed Press)
Filled with “practical information that any gardener can use, this book does an excellent job of focusing on a specific, sufficiently narrow subject,” notes Brian Thompson, especially one that has increasing significance to pollinator health. Mary Ann Newcomer appreciates the “wide range of plant recommendations by region, making it a useful resource anywhere in North America.” From its in-depth, insightful discussions to its “layout and photography, it’s a well done book all the way through,” says Doug Oster.
Garden Revolution by Larry Weaner and Thomas Christopher (Timber Press)
Deb Wiley declares this book “has it all: inspirational personal anecdotes and photographs, a deep understanding of horticulture, a fresh take on how to garden ecologically and beautifully.” Thompson praises it for “explaining complex ecological concepts in an easy-to-understand, encouraging way that is applicable to home gardens.” Farmer notes that “it’s more than pie-in-the-sky dreams of naturalistic landscapes,” it’s one he would put to use when making decisions about his own garden.
PLANT by the editors at Phaidon Press (Phaidon Press)
“Not only is this book a stunning visual feast,” says Oster, “but it also brims with fascinating details about the botanical art which graces its pages.” Susan Hines describes it as “an art exhibit in book form that provides tidbits of knowledge without being the least bit pedantic.” Newcomer notes that by showcasing different ways of approaching botanical art through various eras, the book also fosters an “appreciation for plants through this art.”
Rock Gardening by Joseph Tychonievich
Spectacular photography, colorful writing, and detailed plant information combine to bring rock gardening to life for modern audiences that are increasingly interested in diminutive gardens. “The author takes readers through some of the most amazing gardens around the world and shares his own epiphanies from each,” says Oster. “Tychonievich’s enthusiasm shines throughout the book,” says Van Nest, “and readers just can’t help but fall in love—or in love again—with this style of gardening.”