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Horticulture Today


Jodi Songer-Riedel and Liz Driscoll are spirited agricultural educators who believe in learning by experience. Together they created Horticulture Today, a textbook guide for students looking to develop an appreciation for the diversity of horticulture and gain valuable, work-based experience. 

With more than 15,000 first edition books sold internationally, the second edition of Horticulture Today delves deep into the horticulture industry, offering overviews of leadership, communication and business skills, as well as comprehensive coverage of plant science, horticultural practices, landscape design and maintenance, and integrated pest management. The book also contains sections called “STEM Connections” to help students develop their mathematical and scientific understanding of horticulture and explore more modern technologies, such as hydroponics, aquaponics and rooftop gardens. Additionally, this edition aligns to multiple industry-recognized credentials students can acquire after taking just one plant science course.

Published by Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc., the collection includes a series of tools for the success of students and instructors. The students have the textbook, lab workbook and an online learning suite. There are also learning management system (LMS) integrations and online instructor resources.

Meet the Authors

Songer-Riedel is a senior lecturer in the North Carolina State University’s Department of Horticultural Science with 20 years of experience as a high school horticulture instructor. Songer-Riedel organizes and supervises urban service learning projects and Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs) in Raleigh, North Carolina. She funds and sustains her program each year through grants and annual plant sales, cultivated by students. In 2015, Songer-Riedel earned a Career Science Math and Technology Award through the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, which included a $175,000 grant.

Driscoll has been a 4-H specialist with NC State Extension for over 18 years and holds a master’s degree in horticulture. Driscoll connects children and educators to challenges in agriculture and natural resources in engaging and relevant ways. Driscoll’s 4-H “Grow For It” program focuses on generating resources and experiential activities that cultivate inquisitive and wondering youth, inspire critical thinking and problem-solving, create a positive science self-efficacy, link kids to healthy food, and nurture environmental guardians of the land through gardening and farming.

Jodi Songer-Riedel and Liz Driscoll
Jodi Songer-Riedel (left) and Liz Driscoll (right), are

What’s new to this edition?

Horticulture Today features a new design and “SAE for ALL Profiles”, at the beginning of each chapter, providing students with SAE inspiration and a glimpse into their potential future in the agriculture industry. It also includes updated “Career Connections” with salaries and job outlooks for the next decade, as well as new hands-on activities and end-of-chapter questions to promote teamwork and leadership skills. To help readers reach chapter objectives, the authors have added new sections: SAEs for ALL Profiles, interactive sidebars, historical and STEM Connections, and Career Connections throughout the book.

What are some features of the book?

  • To engage students, a dedicated chapter on SAE creates the perfect setting for horticulture as an SAE focus. SAE for ALL Opportunities and Check-ins offered at the end of each chapter serve as further catalysts for organizing and making decisions.
  • Hands-On Horticulture activities demonstrate professional abilities and can be used as mini-projects, while the Student Lab Workbook combines review tasks and real-life applications for students to create actual designs, using step-by-step labs that are economical and classroom-tested.
  • For digital users, the Identification Glossaries provide educators and students with digital and printed ways of studying plants, tools, diseases and pests involved in the identification portion of FFA Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events.

Correlated to the Precision Exams by YouScience Plant and Soil Science I exam and the NOCTI Horticulture-Landscaping exam to assist students in acquiring real-world job skills and securing certification.