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The Gardener's Iris Book

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 for their region of the country. The full beauty of these irises is captured in color, featuring images by renowned garden photographer Roger Foley. Also included is a list of recent American Iris Society award-winning varieties and complete instructions on choosing the best varieties for your garden; the when and how of planting irises; coaxing more blooms from each plant; dividing rhizomes; controlling pests safely; creating your own hybrids.

Hardcover: 176 pages

Publisher: Taunton Press (January 15, 2002)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1561582409

ISBN-13: 978-1561582402

Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.6 x 10.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #943,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #29 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Flowers > Bulbs #145 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Flowers > Perennials

"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.

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