I've gotta say – the American Horticultural Society knows how to pick winners, coz this foursome includes three that I know to be terrific. The winners of the AHS's 2011 book awards are: Rosalind Creasy for Edible Landscaping, Sydney Eddison for Gardening for a Lifetime, Alan Armitage for Vines and Climbers, and W. Gary Smith for From Art to Landscape. Those links are to reviews here on the Rant – three out of four ain't bad.
Now for the AHS's Great American Gardener Awards, where I find two of my favorite people honored. Ed Snodgrass, grower of Green Roof Plants here in Maryland, collaborates with universities on plant research, advises public gardens, and has co-authored two resource books about green roofs and the plants on them. Honored for innovative technology, he's shown here posing with the ASLA green roof he contributed plants and expertise to on the occasion of its five-year anniversary.
And the Communicator of the Year Award went to everyone's favorite TV gardening host/fun guy to pal around with – Joe Lamp'l, shown here boozing it up with book winner Rosalind Creasy at the awards event a few days ago. Another great choice.
The other prizes honor an interesting array of endeavors in the hort world, most of which go unnoticed by ordinary gardeners and gardenbloggers. The top award went to NC State's Richard Bir, known for his research in and advocacy of native woody plants. The teaching award went to U.Minnesota Extension guy Robert Olen for research in cold-climate plants and establishing a good Master Gardener program. The urban beautification award went to Douglass Hoerr, who designed the median strips along Chicago's Michigan Avenue. The landscape design award went to Gary Smith (the unreviewed author above), who's all about designing with nature, and the youth gardening award went to Sam Levin of Project Sprout.
There are also awards for breeding, horticultural therapy, and public garden administration (won by Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh).
The full details are available here in pdf (sorry, not available on a web page).
How to get more publicity?!
I follow gardening news pretty carefully but somehow missed the announcement of the winners back in March, which makes me wonder if anyone picked up the news from the press release. (Just one alert blogger seems to have noticed.)
It wasn't until Joe's team at "Growing a Greener World" posted the photo above from the awards event to their Facebook page that these prestigious awards registered on my radar at all. (Which bummed me out because if I'd known before the event I would have lobbied for a "press pass". I've attended twice – last year accepting Amy Stewart's book award – and it's FUN.)
But less selfishly, I wonder why Googling the awards yields SO little mention of them. Reminds me of the Garden Writers Association Awards that likewise get very little notice.
Anyone have any ideas?