AHS News & Blog

American Horticultural Society Names Winners of 2020 AHS Book Awards

The American Horticultural Society (AHS) has selected the three winners of its annual book awards program recognizing outstanding gardening literature.

A total of 50 books published in 2019 were nominated for consideration this year. The three award recipients are:

• The Scentual Garden by Ken Druse with botanical photographs by Ellen Hoverkamp (publisher: Abrams Books).
Designed to reveal the world of sensory experience of plants–including how to sample botanical fragrance, design for it, revel in it, and even capture it—this book was praised by judges for being “engaging, beautiful, and well written with rich descriptions.” Druse is a celebrated lecturer and an award-winning author and photographer from northwestern New Jersey who has published more than 20 garden books over the last quarter century. This is his fourth AHS Book Award.

• The Melon by Amy Goldman with photographs by Victor Schrager (publisher: City Point Press).
This book is a comprehensive and definitive work that includes portraits in words and photographs of 125 extraordinary varieties of melon, expert advice on cultivation and seed saving, and delicious melon recipes. Judges deemed it “scrumptious and luscious” with wonderful storytelling. Goldman—a Rhinebeck, N.Y.-based author, heirloom gardener, and artist—is a passionate advocate for seed saving, plant breeding, and heirloom fruits and vegetables. This is Goldman’s fourth AHS Book Award.

• Fruit Trees for Every Garden: An Organic Approach to Growing Apples, Peaches, Plums, Citrus and More by Orin Martin with Manjula Martin (publisher: Ten Speed Press).
Praised for its botanical illustrations and information on pruning, this book is a full-color guide covering everything you need to know about organically growing healthy, bountiful fruit trees. Martin, the manager of the Alan Chadwick Garden at the University of California at Santa Cruz, is a respected master orchardist, horticulturist, and teacher. This is Martin’s first AHS Book Award.

Over the last two decades, the 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, horticultural accuracy, and design quality.

AHS’s 2020 Book Award Committee was chaired by Deb Wiley, a garden writer, editor, and and book project manager in Des Moines, Iowa. Other members were: William Aldrich, founder and former editor of Chicagoland Gardening, from Springfield, Mo.; Kim Toscano Holmes, a garden communicator, educator, and designer based in Stillwater, Okla.; Susan Eubank, a horticultural librarian at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in California; Amy Campion, a freelance garden writer, photographer, and blogger in Portland, Ore.; Catriona Tudor Erler, a garden writer, photographer, and book author based in Charlottesville, Va.; and Nancy Rose, a horticulturist, writer, and former educator and research — based in Jamaica Plain, Mass.

The 2020 AHS Book Awards will be presented on Thurs., June 18 during the Great American Gardeners Awards Ceremony and Banquet at River Farm, the AHS’s national headquarters in Alexandria, Va. For more information about the awards, please visit our AHS Book Awards landing page.