Daylilies forum: How do you map your beds?

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Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 5:37 AM CST
If you really want to keep track of your plants a bed map is a must. Otherwise, how do you tell what is what if the daylilies are not in bloom. Even then, too many flowers look alike. Sometimes even when they are in bloom you cannot tell. Then there is the challenge of keeping track of any other plants intermixed: bulbs that do not show in the fall when you might want to rearrange things , etc.

Labels are a must, but what about when those "helpful" kids, dogs, squirrels...whatever, remove/rearrange your carefully placed markers? What do you do then? That is when a bed map comes in handy. I have several that I have made over the last few years for the different beds. Some are more elaborate than others. It depended on how energetic I was feeling and how much time I had at that moment.

Here is the most recent one that I finished making. It was easy and only took a day to do. First I went out and made a drawing of the bed, marking where each plant was and noting how many fans I had for each daylily.

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Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 5:45 AM CST
I then used Microsoft Paint to make the map on the computer. I used color coding to indicate the season of bloom for each plant. A number-letter designation has been assigned to each plant. The letter indicates scape height. The number helps me keep track of how many of that height I have. They started out in alphabetical order, but as I received more plants and added more designations, that fell by the wayside since I did not want to renumber each time new plants were added.

I also use the Plantstep Flower program to help keep track of my plants. The program has a location feature that is helpful, but has some drawbacks. It is set up to use a grid type system which does not lend itself well to beds planted in a more free-form manner.

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Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 5:52 AM CST
Here is a more elaborate map I made about two years ago for a different bed that includes a flower "cut out" in place of the circle. This one went through several iterations before it reached this state. It has also been updated to include new plants added or changed. The original map was made before I started using the letter/number designations. The letters here have nothing to do with scape height. I may go back and redo this one and assign new designations if I get ambitious. (Probably not!)

The flower pictures used to make the cut-outs here were mostly those I took myself as this was an older bed

Thumb of 2010-04-22/Ditchlily/e5f6ad
Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 5:55 AM CST
Not the best photo, but here is the real thing.

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Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 5:59 AM CST
Here is a different map I made last year when I put in some new beds in the front yard. This one is 3' x 30'. These pictures are those I saved from the auctions so that I could ID the plants when they bloomed. Occasionally a plant is mislabeled (or the wrong plant gets sent) and I like to have a record of what I was supposed to get.

It has recently been updated to show which plants did not make it through the winter. :-(

Front right bed

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Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 6:13 AM CST
Here is a picture from last year of the newly planted bed.

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Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 6:16 AM CST
This is one from the bed on the other side of the house. The actual bed is 60' long, 6' wide at the top and 9' wide at the bottom, so the whole map would not fit on a page. I broke it up into three sections: upper, middle and lower.


Here is the Front Left Upper Bed

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Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 6:24 AM CST
This is the bed this spring.

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Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 6:27 AM CST
Here is the rest of the bed.

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Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 6:28 AM CST
I put the path in so that the neighborhood children would not walk through the bed.
Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
Apr 22, 2010 6:30 AM CST
So, that is how I have done it. How about you?
Name: Robin Calderon
Garden City, Kansas
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
earlybird
Apr 22, 2010 6:50 AM CST
Wow! I'm impressed! I love the pictures to make ID easier.
Name: Lisa Johnson
Eighty Four, PA
bisa80
May 7, 2010 1:30 PM CST
Well I'm impressed! They maps are beautiful. Depending on the bed, I sometimes draw circles as to where the plants are and sometimes it is easier to just take a picture. The picture method is used more when the beds are irregular shaped. I print the picture then number the plants, (I write the numbers right on the picture) then make a key to identify what number is what plant. Not always pretty but essential. I lost a lot of tags this winter. Some fell off, others the deer pulled out and I would find them laying in the yard. The maps really helped this spring!
Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
May 7, 2010 7:38 PM CST
One suggestion I have read is to put a tag underneath the roots when planting. Other than moles or voles it should be safe from critters.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
May 9, 2010 1:23 PM CST
I bought a box of 500 heavy plastic knives - like you would eat with at a picnic - at Sam's Club. I use a Sharpie, write the name on the knife, put a piece of the clear Scotch tape on top. Don't use Magic tape, it won't last. This helps the sharpie stay nice and clear. Then, I bury it under the fans.

I have not had to use this method since I started using the AAA Engraved markers. They do not have a website, but here is their page on GardenWatchdog.
http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/4545/

The stakes are so sturdy, and the tags are great. I have had some of the backer plates break, but I just put a little WD40 on the back, it loosens the glue, and then I use double sided tape to attach the label to a new backer.

I no longer map beds either, because using the AAA markers, they stay in place.

They are expensive. But, I had a major hybridizer here in my garden a few years ago... He made a comment on my less than average way of marking plants. He said - how can you spend $100 on a daylily and not spend $2 to give it a proper marker? Hmmmm - so I started buying them a few every year.
Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
Image
Ditchlily
May 10, 2010 6:34 AM CST
Jules, thanks for the link. Could you post a couple of pictures of your markers so that we can see them?

They sound like something I would invest in once a plant has been in the garden for a year or two, long enough that I hope it will make it and be worth the expense of a REAL marker.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
daylily
May 10, 2010 7:40 AM CST
I usually take a picture of the marker, then of the flower. Easy to know which plant I have taken a picture of that way. So, I had a lot of shots of the markers... but all were fairly close. I didn't have any of just the marker itself. I can try to take a few shots of them in the next couple days.

They come in three parts that you purchase seperately. The stake - I buy the taller ones - the backer plate that attaches the label to the stake, and the engraved label itself.

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Name: Angie
Concord, NC (zone 7)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Winter Sowing Region: North Carolina Daylilies Roses
Clematis Butterflies Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Seed Starter
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Hemophobic
May 12, 2010 8:14 PM CST
Juli: I started out buying these markers from AAA and spent quite a lot of money on them, but have had several recently with broken tabs on the plate that snaps onto the stake, so I've started using the metal ones from Paw-Paw Everlast, printing the labels on my computer using peel-and-stick labels, then spraying a coat of clear sealer over them before putting them in the ground. So far that's worked well for me. I've also started burying a label with my plants, as inevitably the little plastic, el-cheapo labels I used temporarily either were lost, broken, faded or disappeared completely.

Laura, you've put quite a lot of time and effort into these maps and I'm in awe. I did a quick map last year of the bed in the natural area and I'm afraid it never progressed beyond the hand-drawn diagram. You've inspired me to better things this year.

I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. ~F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace

Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
daylily
May 12, 2010 11:00 PM CST
Angie, I have probably bought at least 400 of the AAA labels in the past, and have had very few of the little tabs break. That is when I used the WD40 trick mentioned above.

I looked up the PawPaw lables, and see that they use the galvanized stake wire. I used a tag years ago with the galvanized stakes and they eroded away. That is one reason I like the AAA so much - the stakes are really durable.
Name: Angie
Concord, NC (zone 7)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Winter Sowing Region: North Carolina Daylilies Roses
Clematis Butterflies Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Seed Starter
Image
Hemophobic
May 13, 2010 5:05 AM CST
You're right about the stakes being so durable. I have had no problem with stakes at all! At this point, too, Juli, money has become a consideration for me as well and I have so many perennials, including daylilies, roses and hydrangeas, that I can simply no longer afford the AAA markers, but they are quite nice in the garden. The ones with broken tabs I have simply Super Glued in place.

I have buds on several of my DLs and can't wait for the show to start!
I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. ~F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace

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