Friday, May 14, 2010

Name Tags

When I first put in my garden in Laguna I could remember the name of every plant. Scientific names, common names, cultivators and all, I knew them. As my garden got larger (and my brain got older) I started to map out my garden and list all the plants and where they were located. Then I started to put plant tags in the ground, made with labels from my Brother-P Touch and metal tags. I didn't want my garden to look like a botanical garden, but wanted to be able to recall a name when walking through with a friend so I made sure they were very subtle. Over the years as the garden went through many changes to add underground irrigation, lights and hardscaping most of the tags went missing. Somehow I still remember the names of every plant there with maybe the exception of a few iris. However I can't remember any of the names in my SJC garden. Maybe because I put the garden in so quickly compared to the many years it slowly evolved in Laguna. Or maybe just the process of labeling instills the name in my memory bank. Who knows? But I do know that I need to start a labeling project this summer. I like to address plants by their correct names. Like the pretty little rose above, that for the life of me I can't remember the name of and it only was planted a month ago!

7 comments:

Nola @ the Alamo said...

I have the same problem, I call it "gardening over the age of 50". Trust me, it will only get worse. I'm now a firm believer in labels!

WiseAcre said...

I don't do tags - I forget where they go :)

I'm with you on writing things down so I can remember them. That's what my site and blog is mainly for. At least I can go back and be reminded about the who, what, where and when

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

I have little maps where I note new plantings and I save the tags but some plants "travel." I don't know the correct name for many of my plants because I got them from friends. I use a lot of common names in referencing them. I'm working on finding durable plant markers to help with some of them (once I figure out what they are!)

Floridagirl said...

Oh, I was feeling pretty bad when I read the beginning of your post. My mind is so confused these days, and I was thinking I've done none of those things. Your garden seemed so super-organized. I was actually glad to read that was a "previous" garden you were talking about. ; ) I too once knew every cultivar name in my old garden, and I had mapped it several times, draftsman style. These days, not so much. And sometimes I can't for the life of me recall a plant name. Then it hits me later. Hopefully, having a blog to look back on will help.

Nancy said...

Since the garden tour is coming in a week, I'm mapping all the roses in Pan's Garden (about 50) so I will be able to name them if asked. I just hope my old journals will help me get the map right!

Aerelonian said...

That rose is very lovely. I can't help with the name though...

Ficurinia said...

I am lost without a computer, and due to being chronically ill, I spend a lot of time with my laptop. On it I have mapped my garden, named and numbered beds, and then I have created a spreadsheet of what I've planted. I am currently at 691 plants and I love using it so I always have it and can print it out too.

My mom is horrible with a computer, and she only recently learned how to use one just to make her own Excel spreadsheet. She LOVES it and has her list organized by blooming time. Her acre is huge so for her it really was a relief to get rid of her boxes of saved tags.

This is a lot of work, but I can say with 100% certainty that you don't need to buy any fancy program to do it.