Our labels are now a dark green, more pleasing to the eyes, and less likely to be pulled out by a crow or some other critter.
A few winters ago, we were out at a university doing a bulb lecture and we passed by a garden. The snow was melting, and what did we see? There were these wonderful little white garden labels all over. Now, there is nothing wrong with white garden labels—they came from us, as a matter of fact—but there were so many sticking up we were wondering if it was a plant cemetery.
We’ve since improved our garden labels, and they’re one of many aesthetically pleasing options available to you for marking the bulbs you plant in the fall. Here are a few tips to consider when it comes to garden labels for those fall bulbs.
Types of Garden Labels to Choose From
There are all kinds of plant markers and garden labels on the market to suit every preference. Some come elegantly embossed with the names of plants, saving you the trouble of writing. Or you can get ones made of copper, and write on them with a pencil. You can do the same with aluminum, but the copper is more chic. And of course, there is a wide variety of garden labels made of plastic.
The Garden Labels We Send with Your Bulbs
Your easiest option is to use the vinyl labels we attach to the majority of our bulbs at no extra cost. There are at least a couple of good reasons to use our labels. One is that we retired our white ones, so your garden is no longer at risk of looking like a plant cemetery. Our labels are now a dark green, more pleasing to the eyes, and less likely to be pulled out by a crow or some other critter.
The other good reason to use our vinyl labels is that the vinyl is nearly indestructible. Most other plastics break down in the sun, but vinyl doesn’t. Our thought is you could buy five or six labels that break down in the sunlight, or you could use one of our vinyl labels and have it there indefinitely. We even use these labels on trees and shrubs, because they don’t become brittle in the sunlight.
If you don’t like seeing the labels, you can bury them, so just the tip pokes out. And if you bury them this way, maybe the kids and pets won’t pull them up to show you what they found!
The Best Marker for Writing on Garden Labels
Most markers are not sunlight-tolerant, but there’s an industrial marker from Sharpie that’s exceptionally weather-resistant. You’ll be able to find it at your local office supplies store. Even though this Sharpie is excellent in sunlight, it’s still good to make a practice of writing on the side of the garden label that sees less sun. When the Sharpie writing is out of the light, it will last longer.
You Can Never Go Wrong with Photos
If you want an especially unobtrusive way to mark your bulbs, simply get out your phone when you’re planting and take a photo before you cover them up. Take it big enough, so you see what’s around the bulbs, too. And in the spring, take more photos to help you remember where you want to add other things in the future.
In the Spring, Take a Swing at Golf Tees as Plant Markers
Another little tip we learned years ago was in the spring when Virginia golfers are getting ready to hit the links. Even if you’re not a golfer, no one will look at you funny if you buy golf tees in the spring. Use the golf tees to mark your spring-flowering bulbs in bloom. This way, when you go plant in the fall, you won’t disrupt any bulbs that are already in the bed.
Golf tees are available in a myriad of materials, styles, and, best of all, colors. The color choices give you an opportunity to color-code your bulbs. A yellow tee could mark a yellow flower, for example.
A bag of 1,000 golf tees doesn’t cost much and will get you through quite a few plantings, not to mention rounds of golf!
Mark Your Bulbs with Other Bulbs!
Now, what do we mean by this? Well, you can plant flowers that have winter leaves, so their leaves will come up and mark your fall plantings. For example, Ipheions, commonly known as Star Flowers, are smaller plants from South America with winter leaves. If you put Ipheion around your bigger Daffodil and Tulip plantings, the leaves will come up and show you where the bulbs are.
If you’d like more guidance on what bulbs will make nice shoes and socks around other bulbs, or if there are any other bulb matters on your mind, we’re only a phone call or email away.
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