American Horticultural Society History
American Horticultural Society foundedAmerican Horticultural Society (AHS) and National Horticultural Society (NHS) founded in Washington, D.C., and Henning, Minnesota, respectively. The first edition..Read More
American Horticultural CongressThe first American Horticultural Congress—a precursor to AHS’s annual conference—was held in Cleveland, Ohio. This meeting also launched “United Horticulture”..Read More
Honoring ExcellenceCreation of the AHS’s National Award Program, which is now called the Great American Gardeners Awards. Four awards were given..Read More
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map developedThe AHS and the AHC cooperate in developing the first published version of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
AHS purchases River FarmAHS purchases River Farm as its headquarters through the generosity of philanthropist Enid A. Haupt. The official opening ceremonies are..Read More
First Children’s Gardening SymposiumAHS hosts the first Children’s Gardening Symposium (later renamed the National Children & Youth Garden Symposium), held in Chevy Chase,..Read More
The American GardenerThe American Gardner is the official publication of the American Horticultural Society and is published six times per year. Members..Read More
White House gates installedDiscovery of a set of former White House gates at River Farm by Board member and architectural historian William Seale...Read More
How We Got Started
AS THE American Horticultural Society enters its 100th year, it’s instructive to place the organization’s founding in some historical context. In 1922, insulin was first successfully used to treat diabetes; Benito Mussolini became prime minister of Italy; the Egyptian tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun was opened by British archaeologists; James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses was published; and U.S. President Warren G. Harding made the first ever presidential speech broadcast on radio.
It was in this period between the two great wars and prior to the Great Depression that two separate groups of idealistic gardeners— both professionals and amateurs—came together to form an organization dedicated to improving horticulture in America both as a science and an art form. The originating organizations were the American Horticultural Society (AHS) and the National Horticultural Society (NHS), which were founded the same year in Washington, D.C., and Henning, Minnesota, respectively. Continue reading for more of the AHS story.