A Home for Plant Labels


Label2HERE’S what to do with your plant labels, since Amy asked.
They belong, as she correctly noted, NOT in the frickin’ garden, but in
your GARDEN BOOK, which I know you all have because you’re serious
gardeners. Now in the unlikely event that I’m wrong about your garden
books, I’ll wax rhapsodic for a while about my own, if you don’t mind.

Picture me, if you will, showing people around my garden.  They ask about a plant and I can tell them exactly
what it is and they can go buy one of their own. Visitors love it when
gardeners can do that! Or if I want one more of something, I can buy
one more of the same plant because I know what it is.  See how this
works? When someone asks how fast a plant grows I can tell them oh, I
bought it in 2002, so there you see three years of growth.  Again,
nifty information to have at your fingertips.  Same goes for where I
bought a plant or whether the nursery thinks it’s drought-tolerant or
not.  See, it’s all there in THE BOOK.

How it works is real simple.
I make a page for each plant that’s currently in the garden and I tape
the label to it, then write down the date of acquisition and the
source.  If there’s no label I write what I know about the plant, from
whatever source.  I have a tab for annuals, perennials, shrubs and
trees. If I’m super busy, I just tuck the label in the book until I
have more time – like winter. 

Now at the risk of seeming a
tad compulsive, maybe a Myers-Briggs type J (guilty as charged),  I’ll
mention in passing that I also have binders for bulbs, for plans, and
for miscellaneous gardening information.  But please, readers, don’t hate me because I’m organized.


  1. I don’t hate you for being organized, but I am a little “green” with envy over the information you have in your books. I just tack all my plant tags up on a bulletin board in the garage. I also have spreadsheets with seed lists for each year, and I record a few notes in a 10 year garden journal. (I am on year 6). But all this seems scattered and haphazard compared to your system. I am a “J” as well!

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