Celebrating Great Garden Literature

Submitted by Peggy Townzen

The American Horticulture Society honors outstanding garden-related books published in North America through its annual Book Award Program. A distinguished committee of garden communicators selects the award recipients from among the year’s new books submitted by publishers. Books are judged on qualities such as writing style, authority, originality, accuracy and design quality.

Recipients of the 2016 Book Awards:

The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer by the Chanticleer Gardeners and R. William Thomas (Timber Press) Chanticleer Gardens is an estate and botanical garden in Wayne, PA and has been called one of the most delightful gardens in the world. One of the judges calls the book “a loving memoir packed with extraordinary ideas and a pure celebration of gardening”.

How Plants Work: the Science behind the Amazing Things Plants Do by Linda

Chalker-Scott (Timber Press) This book arms gardeners with information about how to fertilize and prune more effectively, how to weed less and how to determine which garden products are worth the time and money.

The Seed Garden: the Art and Practice of Seed Saving I (Seed Savers Exchange) Described by one of the judges as “the only book people will need to grow plants and save their seeds”.

Seeing Seeds: a Journey into the World of Seed heads, Pods and Fruits by Robert Llewellyn and Teri Dunn Chace (Timber Press). From these pages you will gain an understanding of how seeds are formed and dispersed, why they look the way they do, and how they fit into the environment.

Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West (Timber Press). This guide presents a powerful alternative to traditional horticulture-designed plantings that function like naturally occurring plant communities. The authors reveal how plants fit together in nature and how to use this knowledge to create landscapes that are resilient, beautiful and diverse. I was pleased to find this last book available on the new book shelf at our own Colusa County Library. Check it out or request the others!