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  • 2014 Award Winners

    Meet the distinguished recipients of the 2014 AHS Great American Gardeners Awards. The individuals, organizations, and businesses who receive these national awards represent the best in American gardening, and we applaud their outstanding achievements within their areas of expertise.

    2014 Award Winners

    Celebrating Horticultural Heroes

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    Liberty Hyde Bailey Award

    Paul W. Meyer

    Since 1991, Paul W. Meyer has been the F. Otto Haas Executive Director of the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Meyer, who came to the Arboretum as curator of living collections in 1976, has played a significant role in its transformation from a dilapidated, little-known former private estate into a world-class public garden that welcomes about 125,000 visitors each year. He also teaches urban horticulture at the University of Pennsylvania’s Landscape Architecture Department. Meyer has a bachelor’s degree in landscape horticulture from the Ohio State University, a master’s degree in plant sciences from the University of Delaware, and Diploma in biology and plant taxonomy from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Many horticultural organizations have recognized Meyer’s achievements over the years. The Garden Club of America awarded Meyer a Special Citation in 1997 and made him an honorary member in 2007. He received the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Distinguished Achievement Medal in 1999. Most recently, he was presented the Award of Merit from the American Public Gardens Association in 2013.


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    H. Marc Cathey Award

    Jules Janick

    Among the areas of research that Jules Janick, director for the Center for New Crops and Plant Products at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, has focused on during his long career at the institution includes fireblight resistance, genetics of sex determination, and the production of synthetic seed. Janick has also contributed to several crop improvement programs, including scab-resistant apples, delayed-bolting arugula, and crack-resistant tomatoes. He has received numerous plant patents and utility patents and has served as an editor for several major horticulture journals, including HortScience and Plant Breeding Reviews.


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    Paul Ecke Jr. Commercial Award

    Dale L. Bachman

    Dale L. Bachman is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Bachman's, a Twin-Cities/St. Cloud, Minnesota, chain of floral, gift, home, and garden centers. Founded in 1885, Bachman's is now in its fifth generation as a family-run business. Dale, who started with the company in 1972, has led its growth in an ever-changing marketplace by opening several new garden centers in the Minneapolis metropolitan region, adding services, and diversifying product lines. He assisted in creating a wholesale nursery division, instituting indoor and outdoor landscaping services, and establishing greenhouses and a 600-plus-acre growing range for producing much of what is sold at Bachman's retail stores.


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    Landscape Design Award

    Laurie Olin

    Currently an architecture professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Laurie Olin is also a co-founder of OLIN, an urban-design and landscape architecture firm founded in Philadelphia in 1976. Among the public spaces designed by OLIN are the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., Bryant Park in New York City, and the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles. In 2013, Olin received the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts, which was presented to him by President Barack Obama. Olin has authored several books on landscape architecture, including Transforming the Common Place, and was a co-author of Vizcaya: An American Villa and Its Makers.


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    Meritorious Service Award

    John Floyd Jr.

    John Floyd Jr. has served the American Horticultural Society in a number of capacities, including three terms on the Board of Directors, co-chairing membership for the National Committee and serving on the Editorial Advisory Council for The American Gardener. Floyd continues to be involved in AHS activities, including hosting the 2013 AHS Travel Study Program in Spain with his wife, Pam. Floyd was editor-in-chief of Birmingham-based Southern Living magazine for 18 years and also served as vice president before retiring in 2008. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.


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    B.Y. Morrison Communication Award

    Rosalind Creasy

    Considered a pioneer in the edible landscape movement, Rosalind Creasy is the author of 18 books on gardening and cooking. Her first book, The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping, published in 1982, helped popularize the term “edible landscaping” in American horticultural vocabulary. An updated and revised edition of the book was published in 2010 and is now in its 4th printing. Creasy, based in Los Altos, California, is also a landscape designer who helped create an edible landscape at the San Jose headquarters of software giant Adobe Systems, and designed 80 acres of the Seed Savers Exchange main campus in Decorah, Iowa. She lectures across the country on gardening, cooking, and edible landscaping and also maintains a blog at www.rosalindcreasy.com.


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    Frances Jones Poetker Award

    Gay Estes

    A resident of Houston, Texas, Gay Estes teaches and lectures on the art of flower arranging and show competitions. She authored a book, The Church Ladies' Guide to Divine Flower Arranging in 2008. Estes is active in the Garden Club of America, serving as a frequent judge for its Flower Show in addition to hosting club lectures under the name, “The Lone Arranger.” From 2008 to 2011, Estes also served on the Board of Directors of the American Horticultural Society. Over the years, Estes has won numerous awards for her floral arrangements, including the Garden Club of America’s Margaret Clover Symonds Medal and Harriet DeWaele Puckett Creativity Award.


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    Professional Award

    Richard A. Brown

    Richard A. Brown serves as the executive director of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden Trust in Seattle, Washington. From 1976 until he retired in 2009, Brown was the first director of the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Prior to this position, he was director of the Plant Records Center that was being formed at the American Horticultural Society’s River Farm headquarters in the early 1970s, a job that suited his interest in combining modern statistical methods with horticulture while concurrently a student at the University of Delaware. Now semi-retired, Brown is a past president of the Northwest Horticultural Society and past board member of the American Public Gardens Association.


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    Jane L. Taylor Award

    Shelley Mitchell

    An Extension Associate of the 4-H and Youth Programs at Oklahoma State University (OSU), Shelley Mitchell created Camp T.U.R.F. (Tomorrow’s Undergraduates Realizing their Future) at OSU in 2010 to offer kids starting high school an overview of horticultural career options. The same year, she also founded Camp Junior Master Gardener, a week-long day camp for 9- to 12-year-olds that emphasizes nature-themed art and crafts and exploration of the OSU Botanic Garden. Mitchell, a former high school teacher, has also worked with the Women in Science Conference and led a Girl Scouts Badge workshop for gardening and horticulture.


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    Teaching Award

    Marcia Eames-Sheavly

    Marcia Eames-Sheavly is a senior lecturer and senior extension associate in horticulture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She coordinated the installation of landscape art projects such as sod couches and sod statues on campus as well as a bulb labyrinth at the university’s Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Center. She also developed the course “Experiential Garden-Based Learning in Belize,” in which she and a group of students travel to Belize to work with an elementary school and non-profit organization. A regular participant in the AHS’s annual National Children & Youth Garden Symposium, Eames-Sheavly was a keynote speaker at last year's event in Denver, Colorado.


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    Urban Beautification Award

    Railroad Park

    Located on 19 acres in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, Railroad Park is commonly referred to as “Birmingham’s Living Room.” The site features landscaped areas, a bio-filtration wetland, and many paths and trails. Built as a joint project between the City of Birmingham and the Railroad Park Foundation, Railroad Park provides local residents a place to exercise, relax, and enjoy outdoor performances. The park, which opened to the public in 2010, is built on what was once a freight depot for the Burlington-Northern railroad company. The benches and walls in the park use up- cycled materials unearthed from the site during the park’s construction.