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.
The Art of Gardening by the Chanticleer Gardeners and R. William Thomas
"What could have been a 300-page advertisement for Chanticleer is, instead, a loving memoir packed with extraordinary ideas and a pure celebration of gardening," says Doug Oster, adding that "Rob Cardillo's photography elevates the book from magnificent to masterpiece." Susan Hines notes that "this refreshing book allows readers to meet the 'artists' as well as explore their work, which holds numerous takeaways for home gardeners everywhere."
How Plants Work by Linda Chalker-Scott
"This book will make anyone a better gardener because it wonderfully explains the science behind what is happening in the garden," says Anne Marie Van Nest. "Linda Chalker-Scott has a gift for relating complex horticultural science with very understandable and useful language for the average gardener," agrees Mary Ann Newcomer.
Planting in a Post-Wild World by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West (Timber Press)
Filled with "inspiring photographs, design ideas, and well explained examples," Van Nest finds this to be a "trailblazing book that moves away from the traditional and into a design for the future that uses naturally occurring plant communities." Jeff Cox notes that, "although we can't reconnect to the climax ecologies that have been uprooted by human activity, we can plant landscapes in a way that reconnects people to nature. This is an outstanding book about how to do that."
The Seed Garden by Micaela Colley and Jared Zystro
(Seed Savers Exchange)
"This is the only book people will need to grow plants and save their seed," says Cox. Rita Hassert praised it for providing "critical information packaged in an attractive way." Oster agrees, calling it "an indispensable, brilliantly written, and beautifully illustrated resource."
Seeing Seeds by Robert Llewellyn and Teri Dunn Chace
"A powerful book,” says Hassert, that provides a "fresh, enticing look at seeds." While the lavish photographs show "seeds in all their glory," says Van Nest, the book also includes "informative discussions that explain the journey that each seed takes." Cox notes that, "when it comes to the plant world, seeds really are the source of everything. And when we look closely at them like this book does, we can see why and it is thrilling."