A Guide to Bearded Irises

A Guide to Bearded Irises Cover

A Guide to Bearded Irises

Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts

By Kelly D. Norris

Timber Press (OR), Hardcover, 9781604692082, 348pp.

Publication Date: May 22, 2012


The diversity of bearded irises rivals that of any other perennial grown in temperate climates. For some gardeners, they bring back warm memories of a grandparent's garden; for others, they're a cutting-edge plant with a seemingly endless capacity for producing new forms and patterns.

As the manager ofRainbow Iris Farm and co-editorof theBulletin of the American Iris Society, Kelly Norris is the authority on gardening withbearded irises.His introductory chapters offer tips for successful growth, garden design, plant selection, and "creating" new irises. "A Guide to Bearded Irises" also provides portraits of the most outstanding plants in each of the six recognized categories, from the dainty miniature dwarf bearded irises to the stately tall bearded irises. A resource section lists specialty nurseries, organizations devoted to bearded irises, and public gardens with notable iris collections.

About the Author
Kelly D. Norris is a 24-year-old horticulturist, plant breeder, and plantsman from Iowa. He is the award-winning author of three books including the "Iowa Gardener's Travel Guide", the first travel guide to Iowa's public gardens and nurseries, an as-yet-unpublished work about the lives of passionate gardeners and "Cultivating the Rainbow: A Guide to Bearded Irises for Beginners and Enthusiasts" due out May 2012 from Timber Press. As a speaker he has garnered national acclaim for his high-energy, zealous presentations, leading many to name him as one of the rising stars of American horticulture.

He currently manages Rainbow Iris Farm, a seven-acre nursery owned by his family, edits "Irises: The Bulletin of the American Iris Society", and serves in several leadership capacities throughout the horticulture industry. Kelly is the youngest person to receive the Iowa State Horticultural Society's Presidential Citation, Award of Merit and Honor Award in the organization's 150 year history, awards that exemplify service and contributions to horticulture in Iowa. In 2011, he was also honored by the Perennial Plant Association with the Young Professional Award, recognizing early contributions to the advancement of herbaceous perennials in American horticulture. Kelly's unique 10 years of experience in the industry began at age 14 when he talked his parents into buying a nursery. In that time he's become one of the few go-to experts on marketing horticulture to Gen Xs and Ys.

His love for exploration has taken him to southern and central Texas, the Ozarks, the Black Hills, and all over the Midwest in search of new plants for gardens. Kelly holds a bachelor's and master's degree in horticulture from Iowa State University. In his M.S. program he studied "Dirca", a genus of rare shrubs commonly known as leatherwoods.

You may also be interested in the author's own Web site, KellyDNorris.com.