I don’t know about you but I get hacked off with all the plastic that is used in gardens. I have a mountain of plastic pots from the garden centre, and have been given many plastic seed trays. I also go through so many plant tags that I resorted to buying plastic ones that crumble over the winter and leave tiny bits of plastic in the soil that I can never get rid of!
Other types of plant tags work for a bit but then some flaw is revealed – wooden tags look great but tend to rot after about two or three years. Slate can work but if you snap it the points are lethal. I even tried a label maker and I also tried copper but it was too hard to read.
I decided I’d had enough. I’ve invested in a plant tag making system that uses aluminium tags and these cool-looking metal punches that you use with a, very heavy, jig.
You place your blank plant tag in the jig, line up the guides, select your letter punch, put it in place and whack it really hard with a hammer. In this way you spell out your plant name. I’ve made tags for all my permanent planting such as my ‘APPLE – Queen Cox, planted 2008′. And ‘PEACH – Peregrine, planted 2008′.
The system works perfectly for trees and other permanent additions to the garden, like Roses, or Wisteria. You can even buy those ‘cloud-shaped’ tags that the Victorians were fond of and you can see in just about every walled kitchen garden you’ll ever visit. I have also bought a stock of stand alone plant tags that stick in the ground and bend slightly so that you can read them.
For other, non-permanent plants I’m planning to stamp out the type of plant ie. ‘Carrot’ but then add the variety in pen (which can be wiped off next year). I haven’t tried this yet but I’m hoping that it works.
So…the plan is never to buy another plant tag but to continue making my own until I have every type of plant covered. I’ll let you know how that goes. But for now I’m just going to sit back and admire my handy work!