IrisBG is used by botanic gardens, arboreta and large private estates around the world. Below you will find testimonials from a selection of gardens using IrisBG.


Map of North America

The Dawes Arboretum

Newark, Ohio, USA (2013) : Website, Explore Plant Collection

“We can now focus on managing our extensive collection...”

“When I arrived at the The Dawes Arboretum in 1996, the records system had just been computerized and was on a flat file DOS system which was very unwieldy. Slowly, I began to design my own relational database using Visual FoxPro and created a very usable solution. Although very satisfied with what I had developed, when I came across IrisBG for the first time in 2013, I realized that we finally had the opportunity to get a comprehensive and professional solution for the arboretum. IrisBG does everything I had developed and more. We can now focus on managing our extensive collection and no longer have to worry about only having myself to depend on for updates and development. The web module utilizing images was a major upgrade to our web presence (and much easier to upload)! Our grounds staff are also very happy with the mapping features and other capabilities. These are just a few of the many benefits IrisBG has had for the arboretum. I highly recommend it!”

Greg Payton, Plant Records/GIS Manager, The Dawes Arboretum, USA

The Dawes Arboretum is dedicated to increasing the love and knowledge of trees, history and the natural world. Founded in 1929 by Beman and Bertie Dawes, The Arboretum was inspired by the couple’s love of trees and nature. Today we remain dedicated to our mission through providing exceptional educational programs and events as well as maintaining incredible horticulture collections on over 1,800 acres of beautiful grounds.

The Dawes Arboretum, USA


Woodside, California, USA (2018) : Website

“ have proven yourself and Iris to be a class act...”

“Through the entire migration process you have proven yourself and Iris to be a class act. Thank you for your patience, professionalism and the great work that you folks do”

Jim Salyards, Head of Horticulture, Filoli, USA

Filoli is a country house set in 16 acres of formal gardens surrounded by a 654-acre estate, located in Woodside, California. Now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it is both a California Historical Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built more than sixty years after the California Gold Rush which inspired massive migration to Northern California, and ten years after the devastating 1906 earthquake and fires in San Francisco, Filoli (pronounced “Fie-low-lee”) represented a desire to create a magnificent and enduring country estate.

Filoli, USA

Norfolk Botanical Garden

Norfolk, Virginia, USA (2013) : Website, Explore Plant Collection

“In the past, it would take months to catch up....”

“With a frenzy of planting in spring and late fall, paperwork would have to be postponed. In the past, it would take months to catch up. This first fall with IrisBG, despite spending time getting to know the product and rolling out Garden Explorer, we also managed to work through our backlog in record time. The time saved will enable us to work more towards improving the data quality and content which we share with our visitors to enhance their experience of our garden.”

Dave Foss, Plant Recorder, Norfolk Botanic Garden, USA

Norfolk Botanical Garden is nationally recognized for its deep-rooted history and celebrated for its blooms in every season. In 1938 a WPA grant paid 220 African-American workers to clear 30 acres of dense vegetation, sowing the seeds for what is now one of the largest collections of azaleas, camellias, roses and rhododendrons on the East Coast. The 155 acre garden is home to 40 distinctive themed gardens, 95 species of birds and 30 kinds of butterflies.

Norfolk Botanic Garden, USA

University of Guelph Arboretum

Guelph, Ontario, Canada (2012) : Website, Explore Plant Collection

“...that would otherwise be impossible with our small staff size”

“The conversion to Iris has paved the way for us to implement features, such as mapping tools and a public interface through the Garden Explorer module that would otherwise be impossible with our small staff size.”

Dr Aron Fazekas, Curator, University of Guelph Arboretum, Canada

The Arboretum at the University of Guelph is somewhat modeled after the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Plantings at Guelph Arboretum started in 1971 and are now maturing to produce a beautiful landscape, within which The Arboretum continues to develop specialized gardens, botanical collections, and gene conservation programs.

University of Guelph Arboretum, Canada

Hoyt Arboretum

Portland, Oregon, USA (2012) : Website, Explore Plant Collection

“...we were up and running in a short time...”

“Hoyt Arboretum has been using IrisBG since July 2012; we had an existing database that though functional, lacked the expansion capabilities we saw in IrisBG. 8000 records were transferred by the IrisBG staff and we were up and running in a short time after making the decision to use the system. For our visitors the addition of an online searchable inventory with mapping capability was a big hit. The latest new tool is the creation of trail maps to allow visitors to self-guide a tour. This is important as our facility is free and open to the public, even when staff is not available. We are currently expanding our use of trail maps, with much positive feedback from Arboretum visitors.”

Martin Nicholson, Curator, Hoyt Arboretum, USA 

Hoyt Arboretum is a living laboratory where scientists and students can study trees and plants that would not otherwise grow in our climate and habitat. The Hoyt Collection includes more than 1,400 true species, with specimens grown from seeds collected in the wild. These plants produce seeds that can be used to replant native ecosystems that have been destroyed or are at risk.

Hoyt Arboretum, Portland, Oregon, USA

Jensen-Olson Arboretum

Juneau, Alaska, USA (2014) : Website

“...after learning how satisfied other gardens are...”

“We selected IrisBG after learning how satisfied other gardens are with its capabilities and level of customer support. We are pleased to say that the software and customer support has lived up to our expectations.”

Merril Jensen, Arboretum Director, Jensen-Olson Arboretum, Juneau, Alaska, USA

The arboretum was founded in 2007 by Caroline Jensen who converted her private estate into a public garden. The collections have over 800 accessions including the NAPCC accredited collection of Primulas. The historic vegetable garden has been in continuous use since 1904, when the site was the homestead of immigrant gold miners. The arboretum is uniquely sited on Alaska's Inside Passage on a south facing cove which creates a cool maritime micro-climate.

Jensen-Olson Arboretum, USA

The Arboretum at Penn State

State College, Pennsylvania, USA (2015) : Website

“Everything is easier to use and more efficient.”

“Switching to Iris has completely changed how we manage our plant records. Everything is easier to use and more efficient. I have really enjoyed digging into Iris and working with our records since we switched in September 2015.”

Alisha Barton, Horticulture and Plant Records Coordinator, The Arboretum at Penn State, State College, Pennsylvania, USA

Since 1914, when Penn State’s trustees first set aside land for an arboretum, the project has inspired generations of students, faculty, and community members. The mission of The Arboretum at Penn State (395 acres) is to engage the academic strengths of the University in promoting scholarship and education about plants and their history and importance on earth.

The Arboretum at Penn State, USA



Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden

Stellenbosch, South Africa (2013) : Website, Explore Plant Collection

“...hugely beneficial and has enabled us to attract funding from donors ...”

“Even without a dedicated plant recorder, our staff and volunteers have made huge strides in getting our plant records digitized, while also making it available to visitors via Garden Explorer. With IrisBG’s user-friendly interface, even our volunteers, with very limited computer skills, have been able to contribute to this process, while allowing for easy ways to inspect the precision of the data entered.
Being located in a country with eleven official languages, our Botanical Garden is obliged to cater for more than just one language. The ability to make use of multilingual interfaces has been found hugely beneficial and has enabled us to attract funding from donors who wish to support multilingualism.”

Martin Smit, Curator, Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden, Stellenbosch, South Africa

The Botanical Garden, established in 1902, is located in the historical centre of Stellenbosch and is the oldest university botanical garden in South Africa. The Garden houses an enormous diversity of plants, both indigenous to South Africa and introduced species. Many of the plants in the collection coming from the Cape Floral Kingdom and southern Africa, are rare, threatened or endangered species, including plants such as Erica verticillata, which is classified as extinct in the wild.

Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden, South Africa



Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2013) : Website, Explore Plant Collection

“ The IrisBG team take responsibility for their product...”

“After moving over to IrisBG, we have one less thing to worry about: software. The IrisBG team take responsibility for their product and make an effort to grasp the needs of their users. They welcome feedback and suggestions for improvements and consider how these could be implemented to improve the product. Our former program was developed on behalf of a consortium of botanic gardens, but unfortunately very few improvements were made after its delivery in 2002. We ran into all sorts of problems that couldn’t be solved without a major investment. The math was easy: Investing was inevitable, but with IrisBG we had the option of doing so with a reliable partner and a growing user group.”

Reinout Havinga, Curator, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam was founded in 1638. Located in the city centre, the peaceful garden is an attraction for tourists as well as for local residents. Areas of interest are a.o. the 17th century apothecary garden, the three climate house and the cycad collection.

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

National Botanic Garden of Wales

Carmarthenshire, Wales, United Kingdom (2013) : Website

“...have been quite exceptional.”

“Working with the IrisBG Team to implement a new collections management system has been excellent throughout. Their technical professionalism, high class botanical understanding, and quality of customer communication and service - including staff training, have been quite exceptional. We positively look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with the company and our use of the IrisBG system with them over the coming years.”

Dr Rosie Plummer, Director, National Botanic Garden of Wales, United Kingdom

The National Botanic Garden of Wales, opened in May 2000, and extends over 560 acres incorporating spectacular designed landscape features. It is dedicated to the research and conservation of biodiversity, to sustainability, lifelong learning and the enjoyment of the visitor. Amongst its assets are some exceptional plant collections running to over 8000 different plant varieties.

National Botanic Garden of Wales, United Kingdom

Botanical Garden, University of Oslo

Oslo, Norway (1996) : Website, Explore Plant Collection

“...Garden Explorer module has been very useful..”

“The IrisBG Garden Explorer module has been very useful in making our collection available online to the public, who are able to research their interests before visiting the garden.”

Oddmund Fostad, Head Gardener, The Botanical Garden, University of Oslo, Norway

The botanical garden, founded in 1814, belongs to the Natural History Museum of the University of Oslo. Through research, education and plant conservation, the garden seeks to increase public awareness of the importance of plant diversity. The plant collections contain approx. 7500 species.

The Botanical Garden, University of Oslo

Exbury Gardens

Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom (2007) : Website

“...a cost effective, simple and easy transition...”

“IrisBG has provided a cost effective, simple and easy transition from our old system to the latest in plant collection management.”

John Anderson, Head Gardener, Exbury Gardens, United Kingdom  

The Gardens are a spectacular 200 acre (100 hectare) site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. This earthly paradise offers a riot of colour in spring, an oasis of tranquility in summer, followed by a splendid show as the leaves change in the autumn.

Exbury Gardens, Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom

Abbotsbury Sub Tropical Gardens

Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Dorset, United Kingdom (2008) : Website

“ easy to install...”

“The IrisBG system was so easy to install that I just received the disk and got started. I haven’t actually met the team at IrisBG and I have been a customer for more than three years!”

Steven Griffith, Curator, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, United Kingdom

Established in 1765 by the first Countess of Ilchester as a kitchen garden for her nearby castle. Developed since then into a magnificent 30 acre garden filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world. Many of these plants were first introductions to this country, discovered by the plant hunting descendants of the Countess. After massive storm damage occurred in 1990, the gardens began a massive restoration program with new planting schemes, an ‘Old Colonial Restaurant’, plant centre and shop.

Abbotsbury Sub Tropical Gardens, United Kingdom

Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol, United Kingdom (2010) : Website

“...a perfect merge of our two previous Access databases ...”

“The team at IrisBG performed a perfect merge of our two previous Access databases to provide us with a simple to use single database where everything is in its place.”

Eddie Mole, Head of Horticulture, Bristol Zoo Gardens, United Kingdom

Bristol Zoo Gardens was founded in 1835 by a group of eminent local citizens and opened to the public in 1836. It is the fifth oldest Zoo in the world, and the oldest one that is not in a capital city.
In more recent years the Zoo has developed its educational and scientific roles. Full-time education and science officers are employed and great emphasis is placed on activities, which help both to educate the public and conserve wildlife.

Bristol Zoo Gardens, United Kingdom

Stavanger Botanic Garden

Stavanger, Norway (2004) : Website, Explore Plant Collection

“...was able to deliver exactly the right solution for us...”

“We needed a multi-site botanical garden database and IrisBG was able to deliver exactly the right solution for us.”

Anne-Cathrine Scheen, Curator, Stavanger Botanic Garden, Norway

The Stavanger Botanic Garden was established in 1978 and includes 12.8 hectares of garden and parkland. The best parts are the geographic garden, the herb garden, and the perennial garden.

Stavanger Botanic Garden, Norway

Ringve Botanical Garden

Trondheim, Norway (2004) : Website, Explore Plant Collection

“ a very cost-effective manner...”

“With the new Mapping Module we are able to visualize the location of our plants on a range of different maps and satellite images in a very cost-effective manner.”

Vibekke Vange, Managing Director, Ringve Botanical Garden, Norway

Ringve is a country estate from the 18th century which is now a museum. Ringve Botanical Garden, NTNU surrounds the estate, and features collections of Primulas, traditional perennials, a Renaissance style herb garden and an arboretum. The garden also includes a systematic section and an old English park from the 1800s.

Ringve Botanical Garden, Norway

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park

Paignton, United Kingdom (2009) : Website

“...which we could not have hoped for with another less flexible supplier.”

“IrisBG added a feature for our particular use to their standard product, which deals with the environmental status of some of our special plants. This was something which we could not have hoped for with another less flexible supplier.”

Catherine Mortimer, Head Gardener, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, United Kingdom

The gardens of Paignton Zoo consist of both mature shrubberies and new areas developed over the past 10 years. The new plantings are mainly designed to re-create the major habitat types from around the world. Native plants are used in some areas to enhance the natural ambience whereas in others, exotics create variation within the habitat themes.

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, United Kingdom

Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden

Tromsø, Norway (2005) : Website

“...a particularly successful solution ...”

“IrisBG has provided us with a particularly successful solution for the easy creation and production of labels for our collection.”

Arve Elvebakk, Managing Director, Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden, Norway

Tromsø Arctic-alpine Botanic Garden (Arktisk alpin Botanisk hage) is the world's northernmost botanic garden. It is located in Tromsø, Norway, and is run by the Tromsø University Museum. From May 15 until July 27, the sun is continuously above the horizon in Tromsø. The two months of midnight sun provide some compensation to the plants for the short growing season and the low temperatures.

Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden, Norway

Rogaland Arboretum

Espeland, Sandnes, Norway (2004) : Website

“...has considerably reduced the administrative burden...”

“We have employed the IrisBG Index Seminum module to provide an online seed ordering service to our colleagues around the world. This has considerably reduced the administrative burden of maintaining a written list.”

Anne-Cathrine Scheen, Curator, The Rogaland Arboretum, Norway

The Rogaland Arboretum was established in 1972 and today includes 70 hectares of forest and parkland. The collections hold approximately 1 400 taxa from temperate and mountainous areas worldwide. Our most important collections are: Acer, Sorbus, Syringa, Taxus and cultivars of Rhododendron.

The Rogaland Arboretum, Norway

Arboretum and Botanical Garden of Bergen

Milde, Bergen, Norway (2006) : Website, Explore Plant Collection

“...has been able to solve distinct needs in plant record management...”

“IrisBG provides great flexibility and has been able to solve distinct needs in plant record management for our garden.”

Heidi Lie Andersen, Scientific director, The Arboretum and Botanical Garden, University of Bergen, Norway

The Arboretum and Botanical Garden, University of Bergen, is situated in idyllic surroundings at Milde, south of Bergen. The collection facilitates research and education, and seeks to increase public interest in and knowledge of natural sciences. The main attractions are more than 900 different types of Rhododendron, the Rosarium with more than 500 roses, and the new Japanese Garden.

The Arboretum and Botanical Garden of Bergen, Norway

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Last Updated 15 Mar 2018
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