Testimonials

Wondering if our current users are satisfied? Read what some of them think about IrisBG

IrisBG’s ability to store images relating to individual items (plants) allows us to extend our identification season beyond the winter.

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IrisBG has been an invaluable tool for record-keeping at Descanso Gardens. Our organization was a relatively early adopter as we transferred from using BG-Base nearly a decade ago in 2014. IrisBG is relatively intuitive for a plant database, which allows volunteers and other horticultural staff to interface more directly with the records. Even for those staff members who do not directly use it, features like the built-in mapping allow horticulture staff to look over my shoulder and make sure we’re talking about the right plant when they give me planting, relocation, or removal updates.

Our garden has a significant number of accessioned but unidentified camellias. IrisBG’s ability to store images relating to individual items (plants) allows us to extend our identification season beyond the winter. We are also able to use it to designate plants as belonging to sub-collections within our core collections both at the taxon level and the accession level, which is valuable for designating things like historical plantings versus new plantings that expand the collection.

I think the most valuable aspect of being an IrisBG user is the community that the company has worked hard to bring together. Monthly Coffee Chats are a great way to learn more about the software, how others are using it, and who to get in contact with to discuss new ideas or troubleshoot. I almost always leave a Coffee Chat with two or three new emails for plant recorders around the world who are working on similar projects and want to share resources or collaborate. The company also actively learns about what its users need during these meetings and works to incorporate that feedback into new features and fixes.

Overall, IrisBG is a powerful tool that offers Descanso Gardens the resources we need to safeguard our plant records data, and access it to share with the public in a meaningful way.

Autumn Ayers | Garden Records and Collections Manager | Descanso Gardens | CA | USA

The support we have received over the years, technically as well as morally from the IrisBG Team, was professional and generous, a real partner with whom we were able to work long distance and hopefully for a very long time to come.

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In 2012 we were working on the opening of the Pha Tad Ke Botanical in Luang Prabang, Laos (we opened to the public in 2016) and looked around for our options. Being a small garden without institutional support in a small country there were big specific issues: only 30% of the Flora described, few trained botanists (less than 10 in the country) with hardly any English and low IT/computer capacities. Comparing the existing databases around that time we were very happy to learn of IRIS BG. Its intuitive approach to the data without clunky coding, and especially the seamless integration of Herbarium and Living Collections seemed to me as a non-botanist, non-gardener heaven-sent. The support we have received over the years, technically as well as morally from the IRIS Team, was professional and generous, a real partner with whom we were able to work long distance and hopefully for a very long time to come.

Rik Gadella | Director | Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden | Luang Prabang | Laos

At this point, it is indispensable to our curatorial operations, and we utilize daily it to track, map, inventory, label, and photo catalog our plant collections and donor-funded garden features.

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As a rapidly growing public garden and resource in the Penn State University community, IrisBG has significantly increased the efficiency and accessibility of our plant records data since we acquired the software in 2015. At this point, it is indispensable to our curatorial operations, and we utilize it daily to track, map, inventory, label, and photo catalog our plant collections and donor-funded garden features. It’s so satisfying to be able to organize data and create reports so quickly when a researcher, professor, student, visitor, or garden staff member is in need. I’m constantly discovering new ways in which its potential can be tapped and I look forward to future developments!

Mandy DiBella | Curator of Living Collections | The Arboretum at Penn State | PA | USA

I realized that we finally had the opportunity to get a comprehensive and professional solution for the arboretum.

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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 | Director of Living Collections | The Dawes Arboretum | OH | USA

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

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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 | VA | USA

With IrisBG’s user-friendly interface ...

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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

Everything is easier to use and more efficient.

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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 | PA | USA

... easy creation and production of labels ...

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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

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

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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 | OR | USA

We selected IrisBG after learning how satisfied other gardens are with its capabilities and level of customer support.

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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 | AK | USA

Working with the IrisBG Team to implement a new collections management system has been excellent throughout.

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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

After moving over to IrisBG, we have one less thing to worry about: software.

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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