Daylilies forum: keeping track of seedlings

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Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
Region: Europe Cat Lover Daylilies Irises Dog Lover Hellebores
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Mayo62
Jun 17, 2015 2:56 PM CST
I read that some of you plant honderds (and sometimes even a thousand!) of seeds every year... Hurray!

What kind of system do you use to keep track of all your seedlings?
Do you give all seedlings from 1 crossing the same code until they have bloomed and you know which seedling(s) you want to keep on?
And is the code you use just an consecutive number, or something more meaningfull, like letters from both parents and a yearnumber or something?

I'm hoping to plant DL seeds myself this year and don't want to invent the wheel agian Rolling on the floor laughing

Mayo
a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jun 17, 2015 7:15 PM CST
Mayo - I recommend using whatever is most helpful to you. I use a letter and number system. Each plant has a unique code. If any of them become worthy of naming and registering, then I would keep the info about them from the original code and carry it over to the plant's registered name. Most people have a unique coding system that suits them best. Do what works for you and keep track of those codes BOTH on your computer and on paper somewhere. Nothing more frustrating that losing that info! Also be sure to use a marker of some sort to keep track of each plant. I also use mapping. I make a sketch of each garden bed and what daylily (code) is where in each garden bed.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
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Lalambchop1
Jun 18, 2015 1:20 AM CST
Mayo, this thread might answer some of your questions. If you don't know about PlantStep, you should. For about $30 you get a software package that will track all the plants you have and it has a hybridizing section that lets you track from planning crosses all the way through choosing/naming seedlings.

The thread "Plantstep Flower Software" in Daylilies forum
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: DancingGenes
Western WA (Zone 8b)
Daylilies Dog Lover Hummingbirder Region: Pacific Northwest
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DancingGenes
Jun 18, 2015 1:44 AM CST
I use plantstep also. Add your entire daylily collection into the program. It only requires your time to enter in the information. Which is no different to having to write it all down somewhere.
Like Lambchop Mentioned, in the hybridizing section you can choose the parents and it requires you to enter in how many seeds in the pod you collected and the dates Etc. Then how many you have started to grow. The program then enters that seedling info and puts it in the list of seedlings. You can enter the seedling stats as it blooms etc and give them a code or name. You can add your pics also.
I love it for keeping track.
A True gardener will purchase a thousand plants before thinking of where to put them :P
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Jun 18, 2015 2:56 AM CST
I echo Becky's excellent advice, especially to map your seedlings, as markers can fade, get broken or lost, or be carried off by critters. Also to keep notes both paper (as computer hard drives can crash, and you may not have backed up your files Rolling my eyes. ), and on the computer (as paper can get lost or waterlogged or otherwise damaged beyond readability).

Between lost or waterlogged paper notebooks, and any number of missing, broken, or faded labels, I now have several NOID seedlings. Glare

As for numbering or labeling schemes...

I don't know what the people who crank out thousands of seedlings do, but I can't imagine that they number and label every single seedling prior to bloom.

In my case, I am just a backyard pollen dabbler, so the labeling is not too complicated, and I actually put some thought into my labeling scheme when I started converting to it a couple/few years ago. The scheme is as follows (and yes, you MUST record cross information down on the computer, and preferably on paper copy (you can print out your computer file)):

C#-YY-nn where C indicates Cross, # is a # assigned to a particular cross, YY indicates the year that the cross was made, and nn indicates the number seedling within the cross. (I may or may not assign nn before bloom; it can save on labeling material to only assign nn after I have seen bloom, as some seedlings are instant discards.)

For example, C1-11-1 indicates a seedling from Cross # 1 (whatever parentage that may be, say 'Arctic Lace' x 'Ballerina on Ice'), made in 2011 (seeds are harvested in 2011), and "1" indicates a particular seedling.

I could, of course, just label the seedling as "AL x BoI" - YY- nn (following that same example), but apart from taking more label space, I think that knowing the parentage (it's on the label, practically in your face) when looking at the plant is at odds with being able to dispassionately evaluate the seedlings on their own individual merits. "Hiding" the actual parentage behind a generic C# helps, I think, to be a bit less emotional in evaluating the resulting seedlings.

That said, it is sometimes advantageous or desirable to modify this approach a bit... thus, I might designate a group of seedlings by P#-YY-nn, if the intent of the cross was to (hopefully) produce polymerous daylilies. That exception to the rule tells me to look for any sign of polymerous blooms, and track the % of each on these particular seedlings. This "special cross" approach can be used to accomodate whatever traits your particular hybridizing focus is on (D for double, E for early, or EMO for early morning opening and so on) - all while still hiding the particular cross. When the seedling blooms, you can look at the tag and then ask yourself if the seedling exhibits whatever trait(s) you were aiming for. (The thing to be aware of here is to not be blind to any good traits the seedling has, which may fall outside the scope of whatever the particular cross was aimed at. In other words, and as an example, don't throw out a good EMO-CMO or rust resistant seedling just because the plant produces only single blooms, and that cross was aimed at producing doubles or polys or crested or whatever daylilies.)

Of course, I think that whatever scheme you end up using, you must be able to accomodate exceptions. I have experienced the following situations where the usual labeling approach was useless (and there may be more):

M#-YY-nn I use this nomenclature when somehow seeds (or seedlings) are known to have been mixed. Maybe I absent-mindedly threw pods from two different crosses into the same baggie, and then realized my error. Maybe, when trying to pry seedlings out of an unmapped multi-cell tray, all of the labels fell out. In such cases, I resign myself to "M" = Mix, and record what the possible/probable crosses are under that umbrella. (One year I had 4 such "mixes"...)

SV-YY-nn This nomenclature is used for Spring Volunteers. I usually have at least a few of those, due to seeds flying as I collect pods (I tend to collect seeds after the pods have opened). In this case, the YY designates the year that I discovered the volunteer, and the presumption is that the cross was made the year prior to YY. Earlier this week I had FFO on SV-14-13, a seedling that I found in spring of last year, presumably from a 2013 cross.

While you may never know with certainty what the Spring Volunteer parentage is, you can sometimes figure out what at least the pod parent may have been. Seeds tend to fall near their parents, and if there was only one parent you set pods on in the neighborhood of the seedling, that is probably your pod parent. If you keep really detailed notes, you will know what every single pollen parent used on that pod parent was (and if the cross produced pods or not), and that will give you some idea of the possible pollen parent of your volunteer. (I don't go to such detail.)

In the above example, SV-14-13 was found several feet away from 'Belle of Ashwood' but in the same raised bed - information that I had dutifully recorded. (Yes, this locality information for the volunteers must be recorded somewhere (again, computer and paper files).) As BoA was the only pod parent within 12 feet or so of the seedling, and as the seedling bears some resemblance to BoA, it is a pretty good guess that BoA was the pod parent.

Similarly, SoH-12-1 was a volunteer found underneath 'Sacrament of Healing' in the spring of 2012, and the next closest pod parent was 12 or more feet away, so it is almost certainly the case that SoH was the pod parent for that seedling (and the seedling looks it). (Yes, the labeling here is another exception... one might argue that this should have been a SV-YY-nn label, but I was about 100% certain that SoH was the pod parent, and so I labeled the seedling as such.)

(Regarding the pollen parentage, alas, I do not obsessively record all of the attempted crosses on any one plant, though I do know some of them, and try to record the crosses that produced seeds. Sometimes, though, the clip or label on one or more pods gets lost, and depending on what crosses you made, it can be problematic concluding what the pollen parent was, even if you know for certainty what pods were actually produced. In the case of SoH-12-1, every pollen parent used on the few blooms was a near white... since the seedling is also a near-white (actually light cream), I can't with certainty say who the pollen parent was (though I have a suspicion).)

Sometimes you get bee pods which you don't bother picking off, or your pod clips fall off, or your pod label gets unreadable. If you want to keep these individual pods separate, you can use record them as a C#-YY-nn group for that pod, noting the situation (bee or lost clip). If you want to group the pods (from the same plant) together, you can use a C#-YY-nn, noting a mixed group of pods from the same pod parent - OR you could use M#-YY-nn. (I'm assuming nobody would want to go to the extreme of clumping all bee or unlabeled pods from all parents into the same M#... though that is a possibility, too.)

Finally, there is the good old X#-YY-nn, for "X", the Unknown. Two possible sources are as follows: You collected the pod, but you forgot to mark the baggie (and you collected so many pods from so many plants that you haven't a clue which plant this came from... because you don't obsessively record Every Single Pod on your computer). Or the baggie got labeled, and the seeds got thrown into the fridge with a bit of water to stratify them, but the baggie leaked and wiped out the label... and again, you can't reconstruct which cross this was.

Whatever seedling numbering scheme you come up with, I think that you need to be able to accomodate these odd cases.

Good luck to you!
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
Region: Europe Cat Lover Daylilies Irises Dog Lover Hellebores
Rabbit Keeper Container Gardener Organic Gardener
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Mayo62
Jun 18, 2015 4:58 AM CST
hi everybody,

yes, I have the PlantStep programm!
First time it was mentioned I bought it and I LOVE it Hurray!

As my own daylilies are still very young and I'm not the most patient person.. Rolling on the floor laughing I didn't want to wait until next year
with trying my hand at growing seedlings Thumbs up
So I ordered seeds from Lily Auction.. Big Grin
That way I can start this year with the whole preparing/planting proces Big Grin

I made a special cabinet in PlantStep for these seeds, entered all the parent-DL's from the seeds in it
(a lot of those are plants that I would love to have, but can get my hands on. This way I will have their offspring.. Thumbs up ) and made fictional crosses to 'get' my seeds.

That's the moment that I ran into the naming issue: how to call the crosses that produced the seeds that I bought on LA nodding
And even 'worse': some of the seeds that I have bought are from a named DL and an unnamed seedling... LOL!
Made me really think how I could put that in PlantStep Hilarious!

I think I have figured out how to use the programm (although I will certainly read the thread you gave!) to record all this, but wasn't sure what the best way is in naming my seeds/seedlings.

For now I used the first 2 letters from both parents + the year, so Storm Damage x Russian Rhapsody would have resulted in STRU15. I thought to wait with giving each seedling an unique code until I know which ones I want to keep and which ones not (although I can't imaging throwing some of them away!! Whistling )
I will read again all of your suggestions to see if and what I want to change in 'my system' Thumbs up

thanks for all your time in helping a newbie! Thank You!
Mayo


a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Jan 3, 2016 8:43 AM CST
I just came across this thread and I'm so glad I did because I have the same question(s). I'm gearing up to plant some of my daylily seeds indoors to give them a bit of a jump start to the growing season, not to mention a couple of sprouted-the-pod seeds forced my hand in early planting, so I already have one seedling I'm struggling with how to name.

My biggest concern was whether or not there are certain maximum numbers of alphanumeric digits permitted in seedling categories at daylily shows or anywhere else. The reason I all is because the naming convention I was planning to use was:
YYmm.ffNN

...where YY was the year of pollination, mm was the pod parent, the dot just means 'crossed with' (some of my daylilies have 3 letter designations, so the dot would help separate the pod/pollen parents in that case), ff was the pollen parent, and NN is the seedling number from that cross.

@polymerous , your post was EXTREMELY helpful in many ways and you brought up an interesting point about the benefit of not knowing the cross when you look at the label so that you can judge the daylily on its own merits. I'm struggling to determine for myself if that's something I want to do, too. With some seedlings, I wonder if I might want to keep them because they might be carriers of a recessive trait that the patent is displaying because what the phenotype doesn't show, the genotype might. Hmm...
[Last edited by DogsNDaylilies - Jan 3, 2016 8:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jan 3, 2016 11:25 AM CST
There are many wonderful suggestions here. I am a novice myself so I am trying to keep the code short and simple. Right now, all of my seeds and seedlings are grown from seeds purchased on the LA. I created a code based on the seed seller's name. For example, I bought some seeds from Lighthousegal. I use the first letter which is "L" from Lighthousegal and add a "1" after it because she is the first L seller I bought the seeds from. I have received two crosses from her, MEMORIES OF OZ X LILLIAN'S VAPOR TRAIL and STARMAN'S QUEST X LILLIAN'S VAPOR TRAIL. So these crosses would get these codes, L1-1 and L1-2. If I get more crosses from her sales, I would just label them as L1-3, L1-4, and so on. If I get seeds from a different L seller, I would give that seller a code of L2 and so on. This way, I can keep track of who I purchased these crosses from and what those crosses were and i don't have to write the full names of the crosses on my seed trays.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jan 3, 2016 1:27 PM CST
I do something for fun and anticipation when it comes to seeds ....

I created a folder on my computer called "Daylily Seeds". In this folder I create more folders labeled by each sellers/gardeners name who I got the seeds from (usually their LA seller name or ATP name). In each seller/gardener folder I add a folder for each and every seed cross (I use initials for each cross) that I got from that person. In each seed cross folder I download a photo of each parent daylily (if known) and then label each photo by the cultivar name and "pod" or "pollen". That way I can go to each folder seed cross and see immediately what the parents look like, which one was the pod and which one was the pollen parent and who I got the seeds from. And then, when I am able to, I will add each seedling's bloom photos after the seedlings blooms for me (but I keep each seedling in their own folder by the code name I gave them). And that is also where I store my pedigree charts as well. Names don't mean much to me because there are so many crosses of seeds that I am growing. But photos .... ah yes! They speak a 1000 words! I love to just look through each folder again and again in anticipation of what that cross may very well create! It's a lot of fun to go through those folders and see what all that I am growing.

I use PlantStep, too, but that takes a lot more time and effort to do. The folders are quick, easy, and for me, it allows me to store photographic details of what exactly each seed cross (parents) and each seedling looks like. Few words, lots of photos! Thumbs up

I do this every time I open a package from someone who has sent me seeds. I do it right then and there so that I don't forget to visually log it into my "Daylily Seeds" folder. Not much data, but simply names and photos.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jan 3, 2016 1:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

Charter ATP Member Region: Gulf Coast I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Seller of Garden Stuff Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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spunky1
Jan 6, 2016 8:21 AM CST
When planting seedlings all crosses are recorded in a notebook, computers crash.
Thumb of 2016-01-06/spunky1/9e9837
When I plant seedlings each cross is given a simple number beginning with 01
Thumb of 2016-01-06/spunky1/292478
When planted in a box or in the ground the number(mini blind) is placed in the pvc pipe so I can find it when the plants get larger.
Thumb of 2016-01-06/spunky1/ff6e83

When I select a seedling it keeps the same cross # 01 but I add HB01-16 ( HB means hybridizing bed) (01 cross # which is recorded in the note book) (16 is the first year of evaluation)
I also have a photo and information
Thumb of 2016-01-06/spunky1/2a68fc

Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Jan 6, 2016 10:30 AM CST
Great pictures, Fred!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jan 6, 2016 3:53 PM CST
I agree! Nice system for hybridizing you've got Fred. Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Signet
South Western Ontario , Canada (Zone 6a)
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signet
Jan 7, 2016 10:42 PM CST
I had all this info of seedling crosses recorded and once I planted out the plants I marked them too. Someone told me to use old venetian blind tags. Then winter and spring came along and ffffffffftttt! there went any possibility of id'ing the seedlings . First what tags didnt blow away had the markings on most faded from the sun .

FYI Not all permanent markers are permanent . Do yourself a favour and use pencil to write on your tag ...it doesnt fade assuming your tags stick around . I grow in heavy heavy clay so with the freeze and thaw , most of my markers are somewhere down the road . Freeze and thaw cycles heaved the tags .....the wind did the rest .

So then i resorted to my recorded info . Even with written records there is no guarantee that the cross you think you planted in that spot is that cross . Some seedlings die , so lets say from the leading edge of your garden you had 10 seedlings planted and two died ....if they are not planted far enough apart (as mine weren't ) then you dont know if you are counting a seedling from the original cross or one from the next planted cross . So I would recommend to plant not too close together and figure out a way to mark those crosses so that they dont get heaved out of the ground and blown away and make sure to use pencil . I cant say this often enough ......do not trust permanent markers to keep your seedling accurately marked ....they just dont stand up to the UV from the sun.
http://www.asnailspacedaylilies.com

Spent most of my time in the garden the rest of it I've wasted
[Last edited by signet - Jan 7, 2016 10:47 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jan 8, 2016 6:23 AM CST
Heather - I used to make the same markers as you using the blinds. See link below. This is the new way that I mark my seedlings and it has worked out very well for me. Occasionally one of the knives gets stepped on and broken, but the name is in the ground, so I didn't lose it. I just make a new knife marker to replace it. The paint has not faded or worn off after 2 seasons. And I absolutely LOVE the clear plastic knives as they don't distract from the looks of my seedling beds.

http://garden.org/ideas/view/beckygardener/2324/Inexpensive-...
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Jan 8, 2016 6:38 AM CST
Paint pens are the best. They don't fade at all.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Jan 8, 2016 6:39 AM CST
Heather, you being up a good point about seeds not germinating and then causing confusion about which cross they are. I had planned to give mine plenty of room and then yesterday, after listening to a daylily podcast, I was beginning to think 'well, I COULD plant them closer...'

I plan to germinate my seeds indoors and only plant those that sprout anyway, but you reminded me that the main reason I was doing that is that as seedlings grow, you need space between them to know where one starts and another begins.

One tactic I had considered, too, is to plant my (white x white) crosses in between my color crosses so that is an easy (if occasionally imperfect) way of visually keeping crosses separate. Then, I would just have to hope they were actually the crosses I believe them to be and that none were really bee pollinated. Rolling my eyes.
Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

Charter ATP Member Region: Gulf Coast I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Seller of Garden Stuff Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Ponds Hummingbirder Daylilies Container Gardener Butterflies Birds
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spunky1
Jan 8, 2016 7:11 AM CST
I also use paint pens on the blinds and they do not fade, #2 pencil is also great but to small for us old folks to easily read. I do not have the freeze/thaw problem. Mabey the pvc stands would also help with that problem.
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Jan 8, 2016 7:45 AM CST
I made these for the garden, using the aluminum tray (the ones you put in freezer or oven) and using a pencil non to write but to engrave the names of the plants. No fading. Thumbs up
Thumb of 2016-01-08/cybersix/d11be2
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Jan 8, 2016 7:49 AM CST
Sabrina, that is a unique and clever idea. :)
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Jan 8, 2016 7:57 AM CST
thank you, it's not mine but I loved it and had to make those labels as soon as I saw them!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com

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