Annual labeling may be a thing of the past if you can develop a backup map and nomenclature descriptions for your flowers and the beds where they rest.
The landscape here at the lake, 46 years ago, was pretty bleak except for the abundance of mature trees that outnumbered any substantial perennials by two to one! Most were native, which flashes over the minds of many, weeds.
The most flat part of the hill was the very top, and also the drive! I edged in a rectangular space and created a section of raised beds that resembled the skeleton of an English or French knot garden. I created a map of the area and labeled all that was growing at the time: trees, flowers and shrubs.
Identification came next by adding names to my map. Many neighbors and relatives who came before offered suggestions. The hosta lily is one plant that I noticed came back year after year. The species of plants to identify left my map blank. Nomenclature for Me, a name I call myself, left a long way to go getting my garden ready for planting.
The first book to my collection was the weed identification pamphlet from the County Extension Office. Through investigation I found many cultivars from these species were quite attractive to name a few; lung wort, Pulmonaria, false forget-me-not, Brunnari and yarrow, Achillea cerise are great companions to hosta. My ferns from inside also lend a very attractive companion to the hosta as do Japanese Painted ferns, a perennial.
My collection of hosta lily has grown to name a few of those first brought to America, more than likely by pirates in the 16th and 17th century, to be Lancefolia, Plantagenia, Elegans, Undulata, and Ventricosa. The trade route helped by the winds through Asia made a direct link to the eastern coast of the United States. Later the route was followed by explorers and colonists.
A good marking pen for labeling on aluminum markers is a charcoal pencil. It will not fade away from the sun. Label makers are quite substantial as well. Labels can be brought in during the winter months to refresh, with your garden journal as a resource, and be ready to put out again next year.
The weather, weed eaters, lawn mowers and forgetfulness is another malady suffered by markers. Use the name most easy for you to remember and spell correctly!
Our garden continues to grow with native and heritage plants from the Freels Farm in Adams County, Indiana. It makes a melody for me remembering, to have genus and species or a cultivar lined up in a row, and maybe a mass planting standing all alone.
Corson is a graduate of Adams Central High School, Manchester University and Ball State University. She and her husband, Ron, were married and enjoyed many years of traveling before they settled at Lake Papakeechie to raise their family. Soon after moving to the Syracuse area, Corson joined the Syracuse/Wawasee Garden Club and then became a Kosciusko County Master Gardener in 2002, the same year she retired from teaching.
“Early on my interest in gardening came from a lineage of farmers and their wives, including three generations of generosity, giving me an enormous collection of heritage trees, shrubs and flowers. History and traveling has given me special interest in native flowers, hosta, the art of bonsai and many plants that have been naturalized.”
Individuals who wish to contact Corson for further information or questions may email her at [email protected]