How do you remember all those names?

Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)August 12, 2008

I was recently asked about this off the forum, but thought it would be good info to share here what 'works' for me and would love to hear what works for others.

I've noticed that many members want named varieties of plants and am wondering how you remember what the names of the specific variety is from summer to summer. When they come up in the spring several years from now I'm afraid I'll forget their names. What is a good solution?

I regret having not labeled so many things better over the years and having lost the exact identity of so many named varieties. Irises, daylilies, and daffodils that I collect (small scale) come to mind.

What does everyone use or do to try and keep track of all the named varieties you have of different collections?

I'm heading out for the day, but will post later what all has worked for me. What all works for you? What has not worked so well for you over the years, assuming you are a seasoned collector of numerous things. Have you lost names to plants you love, and now regret not knowing, and just having to share things with a description?

Sue...resident busy body

I lost the name on this one, so now it is just a pretty white NO ID iris with an orange beard....sigh

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lindaruzicka(Z6 PA)

What I've used before is to draw up a sketch of my flowerbed. When I plant something, then draw a circle or square or whatever and write what the name is. Then on another paper, write a brief description of the plant. It seems to help a good bit although my mother did buy me a stone that says "I don't remember planting this!"...."L"

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 9:26AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

a stone that says "I don't remember planting this!"
HA! I love it. I could use a lot of those.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 9:37AM
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jaleeisa(6b Oklahoma)

Along with using plant markers, which I push in deep to keep from fading, I also use a garden diagram. I sketch in a space for each plant, larger for those that need root room, then number it. I have a key list of plants with their numbers. Then I also do one that is numbered , but also has a description of the plant/flower including the name of the person/store/company I got it from and any particular notes a trader gave me. I use a binder with dividers and clear front and back pockets. The clear pockets have the diagrams of my yards including each bed (these are done with just plain old graph paper, in pencil for the plant spots, the permanent stuff is done in ink). Just to give me an overall quick look. Inside the binder there's a larger, stiffer piece of graphed poster board (found these at Wal-Mart with the poster boards, they're used to put together a well spaced and balanced presentation) These have individual beds in larger detail. These fold in half and with the aid of a hole punch fit into the binder. On the back is a description of each bed and it's name so I can find the right one at a glance. Then I can flip open the edge without the holes and use the diagram without needing to remove it from the binder.

In another section of the binder is a copy of my trade/swap log to help me remember what I got from whom. This includes details like names/store/catalog, GW IDS, addresses, agreed seeds/plants/cuttings, when I mailed out, when I received, what was received, including any extras :)

Another section has my garden journal. Details on what I've planted, seeds, plants, how well it's done, weather notes, etc.

Another section is reserved for photos of my beds. Sometimes I think taking the pictures and being able to look them over gives me a better feel sometimes for what works well together than standing right in front of it looking!

Another section has ideas for new beds or plants. It's my "corkboard" for brainstorming or just things that I don't want to forget. Everything from random thoughts about something to check into to suggestions and advice received here. Things like responses to my tomato and amending questions, things that others have asked about and the suggestions given to them :) This section is full of tabbed things to where I can keep it somewhat organized.

Yeah, I know, probably lots more info than you wanted, but I'm rather OCD, and this all helps keep me organized and on track and to not feel overwhelmed when I'm planning/undertaking a large project. I also have an area that I use for my seedlings in case my markers disappear from them. I have an area that we're going to use for wintersowing sketched out as well. Each winter sow pot will be marked in similar to my yard plans with numbers to help me in the event my markings fade off of the containers. I also keep a copy of all of this on a CD in case the originals are ever damaged.

LOL, you'd think with all this, I'd manage to get my trade list updated, wouldn't you? That's coming, I promise! I just got way behind on that with the wedding and haven't been able to catch up yet!


    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:19AM
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agirlsgirl(6 SW-PA)

I guess names aren't important to me! I would be just as happy with a description as a name. Like your gorgeous Iris,no way would I turn that down because it doesn't come with a name!
I have tags with most of my plants,I used a paint marker to write the name on the tag. I am taking pics of all of my plants,my plan is to have a pic to go with every seed on my trade list. I will label each digitally for each picture,so if it is an Empress of India nasty,I will have the pic and the name together.Hopefully that will work. Alot of my plants are not named,I just traded for them upon description and have been pleased with all of them. Most of my named Sunflowers are not those Sunflowers anyway,so from here on out they will be just descriptions. I am in no way unhappy with any of them,they are just as beautiful! :D

The garden saying stone I seen that I just loved and was very appropriate for me,that is until I discovered the'Name That Plant' forum! ;),is "Plantis Unknownis" that one!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 2:10PM
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I use markers pushed in the ground most times and they end up buried and not to be found unless I move the plant.I'm asked lots of times how I remember the names.Gardeneing is a obsession for me(I'm thinking)and the names just stay in my brain.Funny what can stick in your mind!Names are important to me but I don't turn down any plants if they are nameless.Debbie

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 12:15PM
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sudzy(5b IL)

Well, I had the same problem with remembering, only it was concerning my vegetable garden. So, I started to keep a journal. It's lots of fun once you get into it. You can keep notes on weather too, and all sorts of things. Smile


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 7:01PM
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i loose markers alot. anymore i take pics put their names on it n keep it in a file, also a map in my journal.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 3:19PM
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