Here are the vibrant stories of eighteen heroes of horticulture – institution builders, plant explorers and garden creators – who have all had a major impact on the American landscape. Three of them worked together to establish The Garden Conservancy to preserve exceptional gardens for the public. Others came to the rescue to restore and enhance public parks and public spaces, setting new standards for aesthetics and encouraging wider public use. While some have taken on the revitalization of botanic gardens, important to science and public education as well as public enjoyment, others have worked to create new outstanding public gardens. Then there are the adventurous tales of the intrepid plant explorers who travel to remote parts of the globe hunting for new plants unknown in the west. Many have also worked to hybridize and improve the plants already in use and most have opened nurseries to help insure these great plants are available to the public. Finally, two have created their own exceptional gardens that, thanks to existence of The Garden Conservancy, are becoming new public institutions.