Once a year, the American Horticultural Society recognizes outstanding North American gardening books with their Book Award. At 96 years old, the AHS is among the oldest and most well-respected nonprofit gardening organizations in the United States. They offer a variety of resources for growers, including educational programs for children, public gardens, a seed exchange for members, and even a study abroad program for adventurous gardeners.
The 2018 AHS Book Award honorees were presented on June 21 during the Great American Gardeners Awards Ceremony. This year’s winners were: Heather Holm for Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide; Erin Benzakein and Julie Chai for Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden; and The Trees of North America: Michaux and Redouté’s American Masterpiece by François-André Michaux and Thomas Nuttall (adapted by David Allen Sibley, Marta McDowell, Gregory Long, and Susan M. Fraser).
Holm’s Bees is a fantastic reference guide for nearly everything regarding pollinators, from bee physiology and behavior to how to grow native plants. Praised for its accessibility and gorgeous photography, Holm’s wonderful attention to detail shines throughout her guide.
Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden is a stunning guide for the budding florist, full of growing tips and inspiration for seasonal arrangements from one of Instagram’s most beloved “locaflor” advocates. Benzakein offers advice on nurturing flowers in a range of spaces and climates alongside striking photos of her farm, making this book both functional and lovely to read.
The Trees of North America, a historic full-color compilation of Michaux and Nuttall’s 19th-century illustrated accounts of American trees, amounts to more than 270 individual tree species. Each print reproduction is accompanied by a summary of the species and additional illustrations by members of the New York Botanical Garden, bringing the original work to life for the modern arborist.