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First-of-its-kind book by Horticultural Science faculty members wins national award

A book by N.C. State University’s Dr. Helen Kraus and Anne Spafford has been named the Gold Award Winner for Best Technical Gardening Book by the Garden Writers Association (GWA). The two horticultural science  professors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences won the prestigious award for their book Rain Gardening in the South: Ecologically Designed Gardens for Drought, Deluge and Everything in Between. The GWA recognizes books that achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. Rain Gardening in the South, the first book by the authors, is published by Eno Publishers in Hillsborough.

The publisher describes the book as “the first book for the consumer/home gardener on this important new environmental movement. … A readable how-to guide for creating beautiful gardens that capture, filter and use water that runs off roofs, driveways and other hardscapes, Rain Gardening in the South … addresses the specific environmental circumstances of Southern gardens, such as climate issues, plant selection and soil types.”

A rain garden enhances the landscape of this school while promoting good environmental stewardship.

Kraus’ specialty is nursery production, and Spafford’s is landscape design. Spafford said they “paired together to write a book for students, homeowners and professionals interested in reducing storm-water runoff and reducing pollutants in the runoff, all while creating gorgeous, low-maintenance gardens with multi-season appeal.”

Added Kraus, “We never think of our home gardens and landscapes as being sources of pollution. However, the data are indisputable. Rain gardens are designed to eradicate the toxins we unwittingly dump into our rivers, lakes and oceans and, at the same time, to provide year-round beauty.”

Rain Gardening in the South also was selected as the GWA’s 2010 Silver Award Winner for Achievement and has been honored with the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Silver Award and the 2010 Hoffer Award, Honorable Mention.

GWA is an international organization of more than 1,900 professional communicators in the lawn and garden industry. — Terri Leith

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