The Village Garden Club of La Jolla

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This Months Meeting

October 23, 2014 
(Open to Guests--$15 Fee)

“Reblooming Iris & Perennial Bulbs for Southern California Drought Tolerant Gardens" 

Speaker: Mary McBride
Water Conservation/Horticulture

Mary McBride will teach us about Iris for Southern California Gardens – Spuria’s, Louisiana’s and Reblooming Bearded Iris all thrive here providing year round bloom. Southern California also has a wonderful climate for all kinds of bulbs from all over the world. Mary will be using both live material and slides to show us how to use these great plants in our own gardens.

Anyone who studies Greek mythology learns that Iris is the name of the Goddess of the Rainbow, surely one of the best assignments on Olympus. And because of the great elegance of the iris bloom, it has been the symbol of monarchs and royal families throughout history. In fact, one of the earliest known artworks of an iris is a fresco in King Minos' palace on the Greek Island of Crete. The palace dates from 2100 BC.

Irises also have a medicinal history, the roots being used in preparation for medicines for skin infections, syphilis, dropsy and stomach problems. Today, it is still a drug widely used to purge the liver.

The Iris in Art has probably second place as the favored flower in great art. After the rose which is surely No. 1, irises appear in paintings by Leonardo daVinci, Durer, Renoir, Cezanne, van Gogh, (whose famous painting “Irises” set an all-time auction price in recent years, selling for over 53 million dollars), Gauguin, and of course, Claude Monet.

Mary McBride is a “retired” Master Gardener who did her training at U.C. Riverside. She worked for Cordon Bleu/Buena Creek Gardens for 9 years, becoming Nursery & Propagation Manager. Buena Creek’s plant list exceeded 1,000 unusual and different plants for Southern California Mary became Nursery & Propagation Manager for Tom Piergrossi Nursery its first 2 years.

She currently has Mary’s Garden, which specializes in Bulbs for Southern California gardens, as well as an eclectic assortment of unusual plants. She works with both designers and homeowners to create “Integrated Gardens” using bulbs suited for our dry region. She sells at Plant Sale Events throughout the county as well as the San Diego Horticulture Society meetings.

Mary has written or consulted on numerous articles for newspapers & magazines and has lectured and taught classes throughout Southern California on a variety of subjects.

Her newest project is New Product Development for Easy to Grow Bulbs, a San Diego based national website specializing in bulbs for warm weather zones. 

Mary has invited our club to visit with a field trip next spring when her garden is in bloom.  Mary will be bringing iris rhizomes and other bulbs for sale at our “Market Place”. 

Mary’s Garden
Mary McBride
610 Sunrise Drive
Vista, California 92084

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