Mary Irish is a garden writer,horticultural consultant, lecturer and educator who was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She has worked for over 25 years in the field of horticultural and horticultural communications, specializing in gardens and plants for the greater Southwest.Mary's first two books were published in 2000; Gardening in the Desert (University of Arizona Press) and Agaves, Yuccas and Related Plants, a Gardeners Guide (Timber Press). Since then Mary has written seven additional books on gardening and plants appropriate for Southwest gardens. She has also written numerous articles on plants and gardening for a variety of national and regional publications as well as writing and consulting for a variety of online plant services.Mary worked as a horticulture consultant on the garden at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, Rancho Mirage, California as well municipal garden projects for the City of Scottsdale and the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden in Glendale, Arizona.Mary regularly teaches classes and lectures on a wide variety of topics related to gardening in dry, hot conditions. She has worked in a variety of communications media through the Southwest appearing on local gardening programs in both Arizona and Texas. She hosted a weekly gardening radio show in Phoenix and wrote a monthly gardening column for the Arizona Republic. She continues to participate in conferences on horticulture and gardening throughout the region.
Mary worked for 11 years at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona leaving in 1999. She was the Garden's Director of Public Horticulture and managed the Garden's Plant Introduction and Sales Program. More recently she served on the Board of Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona concluding five years as Chairman in 2011.
In late 2011 she moved the San Antonio, Texas area where she continues to work throughout the region from California to Texas. Along with her writing, consulting and teaching she currently works part time managing the plant sales program at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.
Mary has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and M.S. in Geography from Texas A&M University.