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The Gardener's Iris Book [Paperback]

William Shear , Roger Foley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

17 Oct 2002
The indispensable reference on growing irises - for the experienced gardener who has grown irises for decades, or for those who have just purchased their first plants. All of the essentials on iris care are carefully and simply explained, along with tips to ensure a stunning display from healthy plants. Specific cultural advice for the most desirable and adaptable iris types allows gardeners to choose the plants best suited to their locality and conditions. The full beauty of irises is captured in 156 full colour photographs, featuring many images by renowned garden photographer Roger Foley. All the essentials of iris care; How to plant and divide iris rhizomes and bulbs; Tips on choosing the best varieties for any garden - dry or wet, shady or sunny; Detailed descriptions of plant colour, height, bloom time and cultural needs; Coaxing more blooms from each plant; Controlling pests safely; Creating hybrids

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Product details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press Inc; New edition edition (17 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561585602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561585601
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 19.7 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,483,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
"Spread by the liberal hand of nature across the northern temperate zone, irises of many kinds grace habitats from swamps and lake margins to stony deserts and alpine mountain slopes." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4.0 out of 5 stars It may be for American gardens but.... 2 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is aimed at iris gardeners of America but there is still a lot to be learned from it as the Americans are huge breeders of new varieties so their expertise is not to be sneezed at. A good addition to the iris lover's bookshelf.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, an iris book that talks about borers 17 Feb 2003
By E. A. Lovitt - Published on Amazon.com
"The Gardener's Iris Book" describes itself as an introductory book for American gardeners. In my own experience, books about irises tend to fall into two categories: beautiful and fun to read, but not particularly useful or well-organized; and books that I can take out into the garden and actually use. This volume manages to straddle both categories, which is good because I like to look at beautiful pictures of irises, but I've also discovered that they are not particularly easy to grow. I've lost two complete plantings of Bearded Irises to borers, and even managed to kill off a bed of hardy Siberian irises.
Why bother with a touchy plant that has such a short growing season? That's easy: because they're one of the most beautiful flowers in the garden when they do bloom.
The author has a gift for clear, succinct phrasing, very well-suited for a 'how to' manual on growing irises. He also loves his subject--in the chapter on Louisiana Irises, he refers to himself as 'Johnny Iris Seed' because of his habit of planting his extra rhizomes in the mud at the margins of farm ponds, park pools, or even roadside ditches. "Most will establish themselves and give pleasure to passersby in years to come."
After forty years of growing irises, he has learned that a good garden springs from a healthy, living soil. He suggests using pesticides and commercial fertilizers only as a last resort. For instance, in the section on Iris borers, he starts with the least toxic methods for ridding your garden of these pests: carefully clean up your garden debris in late fall and early spring to limit the number of borers that will hatch. Monitor the young foliage fans for notches, then pinch the fan below the notches to squash any burrower (a mano a mano approach not recommended for the squeamish).
Irises can also be treated with beneficial nematodes. I tried this method one year with some success, although the neighbors probably wondered why I was running around with what looked like a horse hypodermic and sticking it into iris stems. According to this author, the nematodes can be sprayed on plants or used as a soil drench, so I can throw away my hypo.
"The Gardener's Iris Book" is fun to read straight through to the appendices on Iris specialist nurseries (listed by state), and iris books and computer resources. However the book is divided into sections that treat irises with similar growing characteristics, e.g. those requiring substantial moisture or those that thrive in dry conditions. These useful subdivisions allow the reader-in-a-hurry to concentrate on the irises that thrive in an environment most closely resembling his or her own garden.
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a good, thorough and readable book on irises. 11 Sep 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The Gardener's Iris Book is an excellent resource for iris lovers and growers. The book covers all aspects of iris culture, from types to best growing methods and sourcing information. The book is lavishly supplemented with photographs and illustrations as well.
A must for every gardener's library.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gardener's Iris Book is fabulous! 19 May 2000
By Rebecca Brown - Published on Amazon.com
With fabulous photography by Roger Foley et al, this is an indispensable reference on irises for newcomers to these flags or old-times iris lovers. All the essential care needed for a spectacular display of these moving flowers. The Gardener's Iris Book is a wonderful way to learn how to tend your new crop of these amazing & historic plants. This is a book I've often re-read, the information I keep gleaning comes just at the right time. END
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful Reference 22 May 2000
By S. K. Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My mother has found this book to be a very informative and helpful reference. When she started losing some of her plants to rot, the book explained what it was and how to treat it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the best Iris book for beginners. 25 Jan 2008
By Tina Pasic - Published on Amazon.com
This book is so easy to read, most iris books I have come across goes way to deep into botany that they are a bore to read, not to mention confusing. The pictures are beautiful. This book is definately for anyone wanting to grow irises.
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