From time to time someone will ask me what all I have in my garden. I suppose the look I give is akin to that of a deer in the headlights. Unless they have about three hours to say, "What's that?" every few plants, I do not think they really want to know.
Last year, as I was walking through the yard, I realized that I had slowly gathered collections of quite a few different plants. I had a bit of a break in my jobs at the worst time of year to transplant things, July, but I took advantage of it and organized my gardens to better display the collections. I lost a few plants, but overall, it worked out well, and this year things were starting to recover and fill back in.
This year's project was labeling. As I moved plants last year, I realized my tagging system was not working. I spent quite a bit of time this year trying to figure out which unidentified plants were who. I wanted a system that would not only tell me what was there, but that other people could look and see for themselves, as I get asked a lot. I guess I partially got this obsession from my job of signage when I worked at the botanical garden. After buying 400 plant labels and I do not know how many cartridges of tape for the Brother P-Touch (also bought just for this project), and still not getting everything labeled, I decided that I have a lot of plants. Jim figured that out when he mapped them all out for me in case labels get misplaced. I so appreciate him doing this because I am challenged when it comes to mapping things out.
I just went through my constantly updated plant list to see how many plants I do have. Currently I have over 500 DIFFERENT plants that I can identify, and a lot more that I am trying to figure out exactly who they are!
A few of my larger collections include approximately
- 10 Clematis
- 30 Grasses
- 20 Hemerocallis
- 70 Hostas
- 20 Iris
- 10 Peonies
- 25 Roses (Assuming one of each of my cuttings root, which is looking likely.)
- 30 Sedum
- 20 Sempervivum
I also have a lot of smaller, still growing collections and tons of awesome individual plants that I just could not resist. Hmm ... maybe it is not just a joke when I say I am addicted to gardening.
One piece of advice I would give to beginning gardeners is to keep track of plants you get, both names and where they are planted. Keep labels of boughten plants, and if someone gives you a plant, ask and write down the name immediately if at all possible. It may not seem important to you at the time, but if you become a serious gardener, you will appreciate it later.