If I buy a plant at a nursery, I typically stick the informational tag that comes with the plant in the ground with the plant—especially if I buy a plant in the fall, because it helps me identify where a plant “should” be in the spring. I’ve noticed, though, that the markers don’t just help me, they help the neighbors and other visitors to Auntie K’s Gardens. They’re looking at the name of the plant and whether the plant would work in their gardens.
But, if I get a plant at a swap or from a friend, it doesn’t come with an informational tag. In those cases, I improvise my plant markers. Sometimes, I’ll use a stick or a stone to mark the location of the plant. That helps me figure out if a plant survives the winter, but it doesn’t do much else. (And, nobody else knows my rock/stick system.)
One day last week, a visitor asked what something was. “You should have these marked, so people know what they are!” He was right. I probably should. But, there are a lot of plants to mark, and there are lots of markers to choose from.
I’ve used the wooden markers before. The ink runs (even the permanent marker). And, the wood doesn’t last very long. I like the look of the metal plant markers, but they’re expensive and sometimes it’s hard to read the “engraved” print/handwriting. So, here are a couple of ideas for plant markers using things you might have at home.
Plastic Cutlery. I first saw this type of plant marker a few years ago in a neighbor’s garden. Use a Sharpie permanent marker to write the plant name on the handle and stick the business end of the cutlery into the ground. Ta da! This works best with knives and forks. I haven’t had a lot of luck with spoons.
Mini Blinds. I learned about using/re-using mini-blinds as plant markers from Betsy. Remove the strings of your broken blinds and cut them into 6 or 8 inch lengths so one end is flat and the other has a 45 degree angle. Again, use the Sharpie to write on the blind and stick the angled end into the ground!
Just two ideas for re-using stuff that might otherwise be heading for the landfill. How do you mark your plants?