Sunday, May 17, 2015

How Do You Know?

You plant and you plant. Some are shrubs, some are trees, some are perennials, and some are bulbs.... one would think shrubs and trees are visible in the garden. HA! In my garden  I have a lot of baby plants. When I say baby, I really do mean teeny tiny.  See the palm leaf? The stem to the left of it? A small beautyberry 'shrub'. Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai' was transplanted to an area where the weeds, grasses and rushes, are taller than this little guy. He needs to be marked, and remembered.

howdoyouknow

Another area in my garden, lots of oak and hickory leaves cover the garden. I am not going to rake out the leaves...they are just there. But the question arises, where are the plants? 

howdoyouknow

I use various forms of marking where plants are located in the garden. Above you see a bamboo stake with a plant tag, pretty straight forward. It is marking where a deciduous azalea is planted.

 Sometimes I don't have a plant tag so I use whatever is handy. For this struggling Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress'  I used a stick. I have a lot of sticks that have fallen into the garden. Seemed like a good choice.


Last year I ordered some plant labels because I have a lot of bulbs planted all over the garden. I forget how many I ordered -- maybe 100, maybe 500- I don't know. Whatever the number, it wasn't enough. In the photo below is an Autumn Crocus...hence the AC.  It helped this spring when I was looking for new growth emerging. I have stepped on a few of them though, breaking off the top. I found more than one wayward plant label snapped off. Oops. 


Sticks also make a good defense against critters who like to dig up newly planted Hellebores. Sadly I didn't realize I needed to put up a small barricade, so I lost two out of the three newbies.  


I was lucky enough to receive some ferns from a friend from Virginia when he and his wife visited. His ferns came with plant tags-- since they are deciduous ferns, having the location marked is helpful. 


New trees and shrubs needed a new way to mark their locations in the woods. I ordered some bare root Cornus florida, Dogwoods, and Hamamelis vernalis, Witchhazel from Missouri Department of Conservation. I think it was 10 seedlings for $8.00 - a bargain in my mind. These seedlings are not small, averaging about 3 feet tall.  

See the purple ribbons? Yes, my latest tool for marking my newest plantings. 

After soaking the bare rooted seedlings, I tied a purple ribbon on each one.  After planting them around the woods,  I looked back, checking to see if  I could 20 seedlings in the woods.  See the ribbon below? It does stand out in the landscape enough to find each of them to water them and check for new growth.




My missing Chionodoxa alba finally appeared. I really need to mark its location.


Again, up by the street I used a wayward stick...marking some Gladiolus. Seems pretty straight forward early on, but now that other plant material has grown and filled in, it was a good idea to mark the spot.


Back in the backyard new ferns were marked with sticks as they were planted. I ordered some New York ferns, Thelypteris noveboracensis. After planting I found the notes from a talk my friend gave on ferns....his take was New York ferns were on the aggressive side. Oh man. Well, looking for the sticks wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Ordered five ferns, dormant, bare-rooted. Planted about seven (the bare-rooted ferns were easy to divide). So now I had about to find seven sticks marking bare-root ferns. I found some and planted them in planters. 


So far I haven't seen any of them come up. Since then I have done more reading on Thelypteris noveboracensis, apparently the further south, the less vigorous they are. Hoping some of them come up.


As you can see, this post was started a while ago...daffodils were still blooming. The garden has filled in but still no New York ferns to be found. Feels like they should be up by now. How do you mark your bulbs or shrubs or bare-rooted saplings or ... or? I think I will find another way to mark new plantings as the sticks seem to disappear over time.


©Copyright 2015 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

24 comments:

  1. I was nodding my head throughout this post because I have had some similar experiences. I couldn't use sticks to mark plants because they would get pulled out of the ground by our children while playing in the woods or our dogs who would see the sticks and think it was a special invitation for them to play. I think using a ribbon is a great idea, especially in the wooded areas. I mark new plants with plant tags because I have dug up too many plants during the dormant season because I forgot I planted something in that spot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karin, makes me feel I am in good company. One of these days I will know where all the plants are....(think so?)

      Delete
  2. I wish I could offer some helpful comments, Janet, but I have the same dilemma. I have yet to find a foolproof way of labeling plants. I sometimes use a stick as a temporary marker, but Sophie the Golden Retriever, usually thinks I've stuck them there for her enjoyment:) With the heaving we have during the winter, some of my markers come out of the ground, and I find stray markers as I clean up the garden each spring and just stick them back where I think they belong. I probably have half my plants marked incorrectly:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rose, I think we are in good company with each other. I do not have the winter heave, thankfully....yikes. My dogs like to run full tilt through the garden en route to the boat.....anything in the way is in trouble!

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  3. I'm always forgetting and planting things on top of other things. With bulbs, I've been planting new ones in pots. When they bloom, I can also see what is blooming in their new homes and thus avoid making a mess of the existing bulbs. Your ribbons seem like a good idea, if they were a bit brighter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. rickii- The ribbons have disappeared into the woods-- hoping in the fall to find them again and see if the dogwood and witch hazels are still alive!

      Delete
  4. Hmm. What a thought, marking them. I always just wander around thinking, "I know I planted those things somewhere around here!" Ha! Is that a sensitive fern you got from your friend? (Or maybe Woodwardia?) I got sensitive fern as a passalong a few years ago and love it. It has spread some, but not too much. Don't have any New York ferns yet, but they are pretty ones. Love how the fronds taper at both ends. I'll be interested to know how they do for you. BTW, that Mahonia up top…I just had to pull out a couple of mine because they looked so awful. I wonder if maybe they are just marginally hardy here. Seems like they don't recover from worse than usual cold snaps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daricia, he did give me a Sensitive fern and a Woodwardia and a Southern River fern and a couple Ostrich ferns! I hit the jackpot - he was quite generous.
      I agree with you about the Soft Caress, those really cold nights we had the first winter we had them and then last winter again...they have struggled. Since my wooded area is large enough I can just let it be....either it will come up or it won't.

      Delete
  5. I have cool twisted metal stakes with decorative knobs on the top that really stand out so I don't lose sight of them in the garden. They're very artsy, which I like. But I grab branches, too. I wish you were headed up this way more often. I'd give you plants from my garden. :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds pretty nice Tammy. Will have to think about it some, might come up with something similar. Wish I was heading your way too, love to have some plants from you. :-)

      Delete
  6. I also use branches, but recently we have resorted to using brightly colored duct tape gingerly fitted to branches of new little shrubs so I can find them...I need some way though to mark other plants and bulbs better...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna@GEV, there certainly is some brightly colored duct tape out there to use. Using it to wrap around a bamboo stake or some sturdy stick is a good idea.

      Delete
  7. Donna, there is certainly some bright colored duct tape available! Thinking a leopard print would stand out quite well.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like the stick with the plant tag in your second photo. Looks like the plant is surrendering with a white flag. Your ribbon idea is great. As for those things that totally vanish, I try to use the tags that come with the plant as it also helps my bad memory. Actually, my memory is pretty good until someone else is in my garden and asks, "What's that?" and all the plant names leave my mind and I stammer something like , It's an um, you know, plant with leaves. Mostly the tags get lost and I step on or plant over existing plants a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter, sometimes I think the plants are surrendering....or just disappearing! Bulbs don't come with tags so it makes it hard to know where they are. I am forever forgetting names of plants...age creeping in.

      Delete
  9. I share your pain ! I have tried every form of labelling and marking and nothing seems to last! the writing fades on labels so quickly and it is so frustrating not to be able to identify a plant. I love your purple ribbon idea and may have to steal it :-) My husband is a demon mower and cuts down everything in his path, so small shrubs planted in the lawn get chopped! Bright ribbons would maybe help to save them!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hoe hoe grow, my husband mows things in his way too. By all means use the purple ribbon idea! Mid-summer and I can still see where many of the new babies are.

      Delete
  10. I've used colored golf tees. They disappear into the leaves. Frequently I ask myself, "What is that stick doing there?"

    I used rebar to prevent mowing down until I was forbidden to use iron because it really damages a mower. My latest no-mow defense is a stout wooden stake. They might look better painted in a bright color to match the surrounding flowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean, I like the idea of golf tees in some parts of the garden, but like you said, they would disappear under all the leaves. Brightly colored painted stakes at least should warn the mower where to avoid.

      Delete
  11. I have tried a bunch of things and although they mark the spot, I still end up trampling on whatever is marked. I think only a something like yellow police tape would work for me.
    Ray

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning Ray, yellow police tape would at least give the neighbors something to talk about!

      Delete
  12. Good idea for marking the plants. I lose them all the time, often squashing them. It was good seeing you again at the Fling. I need to be on FB more I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna@GWGT, we all seem to misplace plants....think there is a support group for that? Wonderful seeing you again as well.

      Delete

If you use OpenID/Anonymous please sign your name so I know who you are...there is a lot of spam out there. Thanks for visiting today. The Queen would be pleased if you left a comment...... :-D thanks! I do respond to your comments, you can click on the email followup comments to have it in your inbox.

I am now moderating all comments. Too much spam is coming through. Sorry folks.