Awards, Presentations & Radio

New Statesman
Books of the Year 2006

Kenneth Helphand’s Defiant Gardens (Trinity University Press) is an incredible and deeply moving history of the ways in which soldiers and civilians, often in the most grievous and immiserated circumstances, have created little pockets of horticultural hope throughout the 20th century: in allied trenches during the First World War, Warsaw ghettoes, Japanese-American internment camps. The photographs alone are extraordinary, but the chronicles of imaginative resistance are almost beyond belief. Sukhdev Sandhu

One of the ten best books by Northwest authors. The Oregonian 2006

Foundation for Landscape Studies. The John Brinkerhoff Jackson Book Prize
Awarded to a book that has made a significant contribution to the study and understanding of garden
history and landscape studies. The J. B. Jackson prize, named in honor of one of the founding figures of American landscape studies, honors a distinguished book in the English language that was published between 2003 and 2006.

American Society of Landscape Architects Award of Excellence in Research

“This research is unprecedented and–unfortunately–timely, as war is so prevalent now. It really gets to the core of what gardens are about and recognizes the primal need to grow food and beauty. It’s incredibly moving to see signs of hope and life from past wars, much more touching than a memorial. Its ability to take this topic to a broader general marked is phenomenal. This proves that research doesn’t need to be boring and drab.”
- 2007 Professional Awards Jury Comments

2007 EDRA (Environmental Design Research Association )/Places Awards • Place Research

Helphand, a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon, notes that defiant gardens accentuate the essential questions of garden meaning and the relationship between humans and the natural world. Gardens are always defined by their context, he writes; perhaps the more difficult the context, the more accentuated their meaning becomes. In war — the antithesis of the beautiful — he further speculates that the common garden may become the highest form of art. Such gardens promise beauty where there is none, hope over despair, optimism over pessimism, and finally life in the face of death. In trenches, ghettoes and camps, defiant gardens have attempted to create normalcy in the midst of madness, and order out of chaos.

See the full article here: 2007 EDRA Review. And the announcement of the award here: 2007 EDRA Place Research Award

American Horticultural Society (AHS) (2007 Book Award)

The AHS Book Award Committee evaluated more than 40 nominations for the 2007 award before selecting this book as one of the most noteworthy American gardening books published in 2006. To make this choice, the committee of horticultural and writing experts from around the country considered qualities such as authority; clarity or originality of writing; potential for lasting usefulness and appeal; and quality of illustration and production.

Council on Botanical & Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) Annual Literature Award 2007

Kenneth Helphand’s Defiant Gardens was the winner in CBHL’s general interest category. “Helphand, a landscape architect and historian, reconstructs vanished wartime gardens (in World War I trenches, ghettos in Nazi-controlled Europe, prisoner-of-war camps, and Japanese American internment camps) through first-person accounts, testimonies, interviews with survivors, published memoirs, and photographs unearthed in little-known archives.” He examines “how life, home, work, hope, and beauty were experienced in the creation of all of these gardens.” (Patricia Jonas, Director of Library Services, Brooklyn Botanic Garden).

Garden Writers Association Media Awards Program-Gold Award of Achievement 2007

ForeWord Magazine Silver Book of the Year in history 2007



August Headlands Art Center, Marin County
Sept. 21 Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio Trinity University, San Antonio
Oct. 8 Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, Washington
Oct. 9 University of Washington, Department of Landscape Architecture
Oct. 13 Washington State University, Department of Landscape Architecture
Nov. 3 U.S. Botanical Garden, Washington D.C.
Nov. 5 North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville
Nov. 8 Chicago Botanic Garden
Nov. 9 Chicago Cultural Center
Nov. 11 Boerner Botanic Garden, Milwaukee
Nov. 13 Denver Botanic Garden


Jan. 13 Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College
Feb. 1 Lloyd Library, & University of Cincinnati Library
Feb. 5 Horace W.S. Cleveland Lecture - University of Minnesota, Department of Landscape Architecture
Feb. 15 Harlow O. Whittemore Lecture - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Department of Landscape Architecture
Feb. 21 Lifelong Learning Center, Eugene
Feb. 28 Wave Hill, New York School of Interior Design, NYC
March 1 Inaugural Steve Strom Memorial Lecture - Rutgers, Department of
Landscape Architecture
March 27 Bartlett Arboretum, Stamford, CT
March 29 Waugh Lecture - University of Massachusetts, Department of Landscape Architecture
April 11 Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C
April 17 Utah State University, Sustainable Landscapes Conference
Oct. 12 P.H. Elwood Lecture – Iowa State University, Department of Landscape Architectu
Nov. 2 UCLA Landscape Architecture Extension Program
Nov. 11 San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
Nov. 13 Eugene Downtown Rotary
Nov. 18 Mt. Pisgah Arboretum


Feb. 4 University of California, Berkeley, Department of Landscape Architecture
Feb. 18 University of New Mexico, Department of Landscape Architecture
March 20 North Carolina State University, Department of Landscape Architecture
March 19 Duke University
April 14 Smith College
April 15 Arnold Arboretum, Boston
May 28 LICH Conference, Honolulu
July 13 Polly Hill Arboretum, Martha’s Vineyard
Sept. 9 Biblioteca Luis Arango, Bogota, Colombia
Sept. 11 Jardin Botanica, Medellin, Colombia
Sept. 27 California Garden & Landscape History Society, Lone Pine
Oct. 28 Purdue University, Department of Landscape Architecture
Nov. 3 University of Arkansas,  Department of Landscape Architecture
Nov. 4 University of Georgia, Department of Landscape Architecture


March 2 University of British Colombia, Department of Landscape Architecture
April 13 AuburnUniversity
April 17, 18 Bend Public Library, Sisters Public Library, Oregon
May 19 Temple Neveh Shalom, Portland
April 14 Smith Colllege


Sept. 11 Plains Art Museum, Fargo, North Dakota


Feb. 25 California State University at Long Beach
March 27 Technion, Haifa, Israel
April 7 College of Creative Studies, Detroit
April 12 NYU Asian Pacific Studies



May 9 KLCC Eugene “Northwest Passage,” Tripp Sommer
May 15 KDKA Pittsburg, Doug Oster
May 24 HGTV Satellite radio , Nancy Glass
May 27 KDKA Pittsburg, Doug Oster
May 30 NPR “Morning Edition,” Ketzel Levine
June 4 KSFO San Francisco, Bob Tanem
June 10 WPTT Pittsburgh, Jane Nugent
July 9 “To the Best of Our Knowledge” Wisconsin Public Radio
August 5 West Coast Live, from San Jose State
August 10 KQED Forum, Michael Krasny
Sept. 14 WGVU Grand Rapids, Shelley Irwin
Sept. 14 KFUO “Living Jubilee” St. Louis
Sept. 21 KOPB-FM, “Profiles” Portland
Sept. 30 KEX-AM The Garden Doctor Portland Listen on YouTube
Oct. 9 Northwest News Today TV
Oct. 9 KMPS Introspect Northwest, Don Riggs
Oct. 9 KEXP-FM Mind Over Matters, Mike McCormick
Oct. 22 KLUP San Antonio
Nov. 1 Meria Heller Show
Nov. 16 KDHX St. Louis “Earthworms,” Jean Ponzi
Nov. 22 WAMC/Northeast Public Radio Albany, NY, “The Round Table”


Dec. 7 WILL Urbana, IL “The Afternoon Magazine,” Celeste Quiun
April 16 Utah Public Radio, Lee Austin
May 10 WBAI, New York, Mark Laiosa
Nov. 17 KXL Portland in the Garden, Mike Darcy


2011 Radio Netherlands Worlwide
NHK Japan Broadcasting - Documentary on Manzanar