Austin Cactus 
& Succulent Society

ACSS Meeting

  • 19 Jan 2017
  • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Austin Area Garden Center at Zilker Botanical Garden


7:00 pm - Refreshments and Conversations
7:30 pm - Program: Yuccas by Mary Irish

Mary Irish will be visiting us from Castroville to talk about yuccas. She will be discussing yuccas for the garden and cover identification, cultivation and care of about 30 species yuccas. The emphasis will be on yuccas from the U.S. although a few Mexican species are included.

Mary Irish

Mary Irish is a garden writer, lecturer and educator. She lived and worked in Arizona for 25 years. She is a native Texan who returned in 2012 and currently works at the San Antonio Botanical Garden managing the plants sales program. She and her husband Gary live in Castroville, Texas - a historic town in the South Texas plains.

She is the author with Gary Irish of Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants (Timber Press, 2000), Gardening in the Desert (University of Arizona Press, 2000), Arizona Gardener’s Guide (Cool Springs Press, 2003), Month by Month Gardening in the Desert Southwest (Cool Springs Press, 2003) with a revised edition entitled Gardening in the Desert of Arizona in 2008, Perennials for the Southwest, (Timber Press, 2006), Trees and Shrubs for the Southwest (Timber Press, 2008), A Place All Our Own (University of Arizona Press, 2012), Texas Getting Started Garden Guide (Cool Springs Press, 2013) and with Judith Phillips Arizona-New Mexico Getting Started Garden Guide (Cool Springs Press, 2014).

She is a frequent contributor to national and regional publications and serves as an advisor to the garden website Garden Compass.

Irish has worked as a consultant on projects for the Sunnyland Administrative Center, Sunnyland Center and Gardens in Rancho Mirage, California, Myriad Botanical Garden in Oklahoma City, downtown plantings for the City of Scottsdale, the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden in Glendale, Arizona, as well for numerous homeowner associations and private gardens.

Irish teaches classes regularly on the use and cultivation of agaves and succulents, woody plants, and low water use perennials. Her plant interests range widely with agaves and their relatives, bulbs and drought hardy perennials at the top of the list. 

She served as the Director of Public Horticulture at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix for 11 years ending in 1999. She has served on the Board of the Arizona Nursery Association for 10 years, Native Seeds/SEARCH for 3 years and Boyce Thompson Arboretum for 9 years, 6 as the Chair.

She has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and M.S. in Geography from Texas A&M University.

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