AHS News & Blog

American Horticultural Society Names 2019 AHS Book Award Winners

Alexandria, VA (March 26, 2019). Over the last two decades, the American Horticultural Society (AHS) has recognized outstanding gardening books published in North America with its annual Book Awards. Books are judged by the AHS Book Award Committee on qualities such as writing style, authority, originality, accuracy, and design quality.

A total of 46 books published in 2018 were submitted for consideration this year. The three award recipients are:

• Designing with Palms by Jason Dewees, photographs by Caitlin Atkinson (Timber Press).
Artfully blending horticultural information with design concepts, this definitive guide to designing and caring for palms was praised by judges for being “beautiful, compelling and scientifically accurate.” Dewees is a horticulturist and palm expert at Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco. He also volunteers at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, provides consulting and training services, and conducts lectures.

• The Food Explorer by Daniel Stone (Dutton Books).
This book details how American botanist David Fairchild, who traveled the world around the turn of the 20th century in search of fruits, vegetables, and other intriguing plants, forever changed the landscape of the United States with his discoveries. Judges deemed it “a wonderful story and fascinating piece of history relevant to anyone who eats.” Stone—a Washington, D.C. resident—writes about environmental science, agriculture, and botany for leading media outlets and teaches environmental policy at Johns Hopkins University.

• Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix by Niki Jabbour (Storey Publishing).
Praised for its clean, inviting presentation, beautiful photography, and fresh approach to vegetable gardening, this book will “inspire anyone to experiment and to have some fun with off-the-wall but rewarding veggies,” in the words of one judge. Jabbour, a resident of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is an award-winning author and social media maven who speaks on food gardening topics at events and shows throughout North America. She also hosts “The Weekend Gardener” radio show.

AHS’s 2019 Book Award Committee was chaired by Mary Ann Newcomer, a garden communicator based in Boise, Idaho. Other members were: William Aldrich, past president and Fellow ofGardenComm in Springfield, Missouri; Catriona Tudor Erler, a garden writer and book author based in Charlottesville, Virginia; Augustus “Jenks” Farmer, garden book author and plantsman based in the Columbia, South Carolina area; Nancy Rose, horticulturist and former editor of Arnoldia, published by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts; Brian Thompson, manager and curator of the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens in Seattle; and Deb Wiley, garden writer, editor, book project manager, and Fellow of GardenComm in Des Moines, Iowa.

The 2019 AHS Book Awards will be presented on Friday, June 21 during the Great American Gardeners Awards Ceremony and Banquet at River Farm, the AHS’s national headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. For more information about the awards, please visit our AHS Book Awards landing page.

About the American Horticultural Society

The American Horticultural Society, founded in 1922, is an educational, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that recognizes and promotes excellence in American horticulture. One of the oldest and most prestigious gardening organizations, AHS is dedicated to making America a nation of gardeners, a land of gardens. Its mission is to open the eyes of all Americans to the vital connection between people and plants, to inspire all Americans to become responsible caretakers of the Earth, to celebrate America’s diversity through the art and science of horticulture, and to lead this effort by sharing the Society’s unique national resources with all Americans.