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How do you keep track of your roses' names?

15 years ago

Surely you all don't just remember who's planted where.....do you? :D Do you have a master drawing or list? Do you tag them or use those decorative staked name plates?

Comments (46)

  • 15 years ago

    I do.
    Remember their names, I mean.

    At least, the ones that HAVE names. Frankly, Study Names can be easier to remember.

    I do MEAN to tag them, but I never seem to get it done.

    Jeri

  • 15 years ago

    I use metal markers and also posted my roses on HMF site.

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  • 15 years ago

    Some of my are marked..more of them, I do remember their names...and some are unknown...when I go to sleep at night, I count the roses, so I know pretty much, which one is planted, where.

  • 15 years ago

    The roses that are planted are easy to remember. It is the roses in pots that cause problems. SO has a tendency to think the roses need to be consolidated so they take less space, meaning bs is easier to spread and watering harder. Tags come out of the pots sometimes and since they are not where I put them the names are unknown until they bloom. Some of the pot ghetto roses are quite distinct in foliage or growth and not hard to identify.

  • 15 years ago

    I order weather-proof pre-printed tags and stakes from Harlane Company. It's the only way I can keep track of 200+ roses.

    I also keep an Excel spreadsheet of all my roses by type, rootstock, where purchased, year, and other comments. I also use Excel to track when I spray, fertilize, put down alfalfa, etc. Really, Excel works great; I'm a former computer software tester and programmer and can't help myself sometimes LOL.
    -terry

    Here is a link that might be useful: harlane markers

  • 15 years ago

    Years ago, we used preprinted tags.
    But when plants died, or were removed, the tags were wasted.
    And plastic doesn't weather well on a south-facing SoCal hillside.
    For a while, I painted rose names on smooth rocks. That was really
    neat -- but the rocks tended to get pushed aside, and I kept finding
    rocks from Level 2 down at the bottom of the hill, on Level 4.

    We do have metal tags, and sometimes in the winter, I get ambitious and
    start filling some of them out. But I am always behind.

    Jeri

  • 15 years ago

    I still struggle with this problem. I have used the thin metal tags that you can engrave with a pen or pencil, I have used plastic materials with sharpies and paint pens, popsicle sticks, miniblinds, and some other things I don't recall right now.

    If the silly things would stay PUT, I would be satisfied with several of these options. My main problem is that my sweet husband and his weed whacker have sprayed more than just weeds in all directions. Hand weeding is a daunting task with 200 + roses.

    For economic consideration, I still like the miniblind and paint pen the best. But I would like something more attractive.

    I do have a paper map of the various flower beds, and the big garden, which I keep updated a couple times a year with changes. I don't like to think about losing that map!!!

  • 15 years ago

    I have a garden notebook in which I name the different beds (square bed in front, rectangle in back, triangle, guest room bed etc. Then I go by rows, left to right, and name the roses. When I shovel prune I cross out the old rose name and put in the new one. I try to leave enough room in each area to allow for substitutions. A mite primitive, perhaps, but it works for me.

    Ingrid

  • 15 years ago

    I have a garden journal in which I make pencil sketches of the beds and jot down how the roses are doing and when I put down alfalfa and if it rained. Where they came from and when planted. Interspersed are interesting tidbits from a book or a quote I like. A list of drought tolerant plants from a lecture I heard.

    I can remember the names of the 100 or so roses in the beds w/o any problem, but the ones in the pots are more iffy so I try to make sure the markers stay in them. I don't use permanent plant markers, but I think it's a nice idea.

    My dh would be thrilled to set up a computer spreadsheet for me. Sometimes I think I should have a system like that, but I would miss the book and smudged drawings.

  • 15 years ago

    Looks like I'm the control freak so far...I keep a very detailed Excel spreadsheet with information ranging from source to size, date purchased to date planted, locations, breeder and year, disease resistance and bloom, notes, bloom size and color. I keep an updated 3x3 drawing of the entire garden on my wall, showing placement and ID of each rose. This year is the first that I've fallen behind on metal tags for each rose. We also keep a photographic record of blooms, plant sizes, and bed/border placement several times each year. The garden contents are listed on HMF, though it's not accurate (somehow the HMF count is always lower than the master list).

    Sue

  • 15 years ago

    I make crude drawings on a large sketch pad where I plant them before I plant or after. The only ones I forget though are some in a long row, but not much anymore. I've got close to 300 but it doesn't really seem like it. If I should forget one I always look it up when I go back in the house, and you remember them. I mean how does a highschool teacher that might have 150 students a day remember their names? They don't have to wear nametags all year!LOL I'm gonna be harsh and say if you can't remember them after a while you are not spending enough time with them!

  • 15 years ago

    Melva

    I am so glad to know I'm not the only one going to sleep counting roses.
    Do you do the alphabet thing? Albertine, Buff Beauty etc

    Sue

  • 15 years ago

    Good question, and I wish I had an equally good answer. We have about 380 roses spread around over roughly an acre in three irregularly shaped gardens, with new roses coming and old ones dying or being replaced or moved around, and keeping track of them is a job. Like Jeri, I'm never completely caught up. I HAVE LEARNED NOT TO DEPEND ON MY MEMORY. A collection of strategies is helpful. I keep the invoices of my rose orders. I try to keep tags on the roses: those they arrive with; plastic tags written on in (semi)indelible ink for temporary use, though at the moment I'm out of those; metal tags incised with a nail for permanent markers. I've found it very helpful--in fact, essential--to write down lists of roses in beds, describing the location of the rose with its name and some description, and updating the lists as the roses go and come. It is FATAL not to write down the names and locations of new roses when they're planted. I also maintain a spreadsheet on my roses with name, nursery I bought it from, class, and details. It's very useful, but not when it comes to figuring out what's growing where in the garden. The lists of roses in beds and the spreadsheet go in my garden book. I think Len511 is generally correct, by the way, but I'm not sure he knows what it's like when you get in sixty varieties of old roses in the fall, almost all of them new to you and many of them rather like one another, and have to get them straight right from the start; not to mention the dozens of roses shifted and the cutting-grown babies planted as well. There are still quite a few mysteries from last fall that I have to sort out. The roses that have been around for a few years I know pretty well from all the time spent weeding and mulching around them and pruning and deadheading them: this is one of the benefits of garden chores.

    Cuttings are also a challenge to keep track of! I put most of mine in an open bed, and last year finally made out written lists and separated rows of different varieties with sticks laid on the ground, with saved me huge amounts of bewilderment this year.

    Melissa

    P.S. And, naturally, there's the additional confusion of those roses that arrive mislabelled, and the mystery varieties that come from friends or cuttings taken from plants by the side of the road

  • 15 years ago

    How does a high school teacher remember 150 names, year after year after year? And they keep coming back to visit too. We manage, but it isn't easy. This year I placed the kids in working groups of 4 or 5, and took their pictures. They are in alphabetical order, and that helped. This is the year of Matts and Rachels. Last year were the 4 Sara's in the room, and K's - Callie, Kaylie, Carrie, Kristie, Casey, Kelly, Kara.

    I remember some names, but not all of my roses. I use the cheap metal tags that perform much better with a wax pencil than a sharpie. I also keep a folder of 4 pages with a rough sketch of my garden. That folder is on my computer desk, and I do my best to keep it current. My problem is ordering many roses, and getting them into the ground quickly. I may make exchanges, and not remember what I have. I have more of a problem now than I did when I did not remove the metal tag. After having the rose grow over the tag, I remove it before planting.

    Sammy

  • 15 years ago

    Another excel user here. I have a master list with name, color, scent, type, size, bed location, date hybridized, year bought, hybridizer, where bought and some other info. I do have labels that I made on some of my roses, but not some of the newer ones. But I only have about 100 (only LOL) so I know who is where for the most part.

  • 15 years ago

    Wow, lots of good info here. I was thinking of getting some of those embossable metal types and just wiring them directly to the bushes, towards the top where I don't have to crawl on my hands and knees to see them. They'd have to be moved as the roses grew but that's okay, and I don't think I'd mind seeing a tag here and there.

    I don't have a problem remembering regular names or names I've been familiar with in the past, however, here in Missouri I plan on trying some once blooming older types (I stuck to chinas and teas in Florida for the most part) with those French names and don't think I'll be able to remember them. And I know I can't pronounce them!

  • 15 years ago

    I use metal tags purchased on Ebay. I printed out each roses name, put it on the tag and laminated it. I have no clue if this will survive our winter or not but I'll let you know this spring:)

    What you said about the tags being seen was right on. When I first put all the tags out I was shocked, they seemed so new and obvious. After four months I don't notice them at all, they seem to blend right in. They really helped my husband especially who unlike me does not spend a certain amount of time every day pondering roses and therefore only wants to know a roses name when he has a specific question about it. Then he can just go over and check the tag without coming to me and saying now which rose is this again?

    Hope this helps.

    Kate

  • 15 years ago

    One more thing.. My husband did an excel spreadsheet for my roses. He has them mapped and marked on his computer.

  • 15 years ago

    I keep a journal and I also stake name tags. I cut out tags from a thin sheet of aluminum and emboss the name with a stylus, which I get at a hobby shop. But I have only 30+ roses.

    Mike

  • 15 years ago

    Not so great for daily identification, but I also bury a name tag with every rose, so I always know that's a bottom line I can depend on.

    Sue

  • 15 years ago

    Sue, good to see you posting. Hope everything is progressing.
    Lance, You must be a very patient person with your wife's rose care. It is hard to keep up with unless you're strict. The pots sometimes give me a pause.

    Carla

  • 15 years ago

    For those of you who keep an inventory on a computer program, I have a question.

    My garden is oddly shaped, to mimick a celtic knot: the perimeter being a wonderfully curvy bubble, and the interior having some square, rectangular, pie shaped, and other odd beds which are interspersed with 8' wide walkways. The center is covered with a pergola with each of the four corner posts inside a different square bed, and down at the far end is a garden "room", much like an open gazebo, which serves as a seating area, now finally becoming shaded by the climbers growing up the walls and over the roof.

    How the heck do I go about getting this design footprint off of paper and into the computer, and using this template to type in the rose names and other data? Is there a program that can simplify this madness for me?

    That old paper map is fun, and really necessary for walking around and making hands-on type changes, but it would be nice to back it up on the computer.

    Allison

  • 15 years ago

    Thanks, Carla, for the welcome back. The knee's healing quickly and I made the mistake of doing too much too soon, so am in the midst of a small relapse. Tragic to see Marji digging in the dirt planting roses and all I can do is watch for now. I'm so impatient to be well.

    Allison, you can scan your drawing or try using a draw program to create the shape of your beds and borders. We don't have a scanner so I'm dependent on paper and pencil.

    Sue

  • 15 years ago

    I use copy tags from Lee Valley Tools. These are labelled with a metal letter punch set. For database, I use a smartphone version of HandBase, which is synchronised with HandBase Desktop and Microsoft Access.

  • 15 years ago

    My basically foolproof method is tied to the drip watering system. I find it is crucial to know exactly how much water each plant is getting - that way I know how much flow to give new plants, when a plant has outgrown its flow and needs more, and most important, when a line has reached capacity and needs to be split, and where best to make that split.

    The watering records contain every rose in the garden, in the precise order that the water is provided. So though I usually remember the roses, when I have a 'senior moment', it is an easy matter to look it up.

  • 15 years ago

    Well, I got a lot of good ideas from this thread. I decided to go with aluminum embossable tags and ended up winning an eBay auction. They're almost an inch wide by 3 inches long so plenty of room for any of those long French names. I got 100 of them for $10, which includes shipping and metal ties. I'm pleased with such a good deal and like the look of the metal tags. I think they look kind of...I don't know...primitive, in a good way.

  • 15 years ago

    I make labels out of Fancy Feast cat food tops. I turn them face out (the metalic outside is too bright in the sun) and 'thread' the pull tab onto bamboo skewers. I did paint the names on but now I'm trying a labeler--I'll see how the labels survive the winter. Then, I keep both a database and a spread sheet, each on a separate computer. I name the beds (Mound, Left Eye, Right Eye, Stump, Pond, etc). And, finally, I leave the labels they came with on--in the case of Vintage, I thread the labels onto the twisties the bands come wrapped with and then tie them looses onto the largest cane. So, back-ups for the back-ups...

  • 15 years ago

    I have a gardening notebook. I have a page for each rose, hopefully with a photo. I have been saving my invoices for a year (or packing slip). I also have my wish list, gardening and rose articles I have saved. I have photos, and stuff my HMF (like a page for each rose I have).

    Out in the garden I have little plastic signs (white) that came with a grease pencil. (I think they came from Burpee). So far, they have worked fine.

    I only have about 45 roses though, so I can remember them for now.

    I also list them when I'm falling asleep at night!!!! Either we're all nuts, or its a good method of counting sheep.

    :-)

    Patty

  • 15 years ago

    In my head. I just remember the names, for some reason. I find rose names easy to remember. People's names, now that's a different story. I have plant tags, but those are for visitors.

  • 15 years ago

    I really love Catsrose's kitty food lids. That's way cool.
    Did the paint last reasonably well???

    Jeri

  • 15 years ago

    I really like the kitty food idea too. I certainly go through enough of those! Oh well.

  • 15 years ago

    "I find rose names easy to remember. People's names, now that's a different story. I have plant tags, but those are for visitors."

    *** Lephon Jeremias wrote something like that years ago. I liked it then, and I wish I could find the whole quote now.

    Jeri

  • 15 years ago

    I use the metal markers that you stick in the ground. I print the name, class and year of introduction on weather proof labels (Avery #15510) and put the label on the marker. I've been doing this for at least three years, maybe longer. They hold up just fine through our wet winters. The labels get dirty looking but that just makes them blend into the beds better. If I sp a rose I can use the marker over again by just slapping a new label on it. I have to print them at work because the ink in my home printer isn't a permanent kind. It smears when wet. You could use a fine point permanent marker pen if you have good handwriting.

  • 15 years ago

    I can remember them in my head as long as I know what the rose is. I have a few unknowns.

    When my graddaughter was an infant and a toddler she spent a lot of time with me. Due to a divorce my roses were in pots on a parking pad. I had them labeled with the miniblind labels. The difficult gardening conditions did not stop me from buying, so I had ownroot baby roses in pots. My granddaughter would collect the tags from the pots. The roses I was familiar with were not such a problem, I could usually identify same as soon as they bloomed or identify them from other familiar characteristics. The newbies with whom I was unfamiliar were another issue altogether. Over time, they've mostly been identified.

    I took my granddaughter with me to a rose thing in one of the big gardens in Atlanta. Got sidetracked talking and discovered that she had been removing tags from their roses also!

    I keep meaning to get everything tagged as it is nice for visitors to be able to identify the roses and to help me in those moments when I go uh, uh, uh, uh....

  • 15 years ago

    I don't bother. All I do is keep the original tag in a box with all my other plants' labels. I used to keep a Web site with most of roses and their names, but when I took that offline, I got lazy and forgot.

    A few years ago I hosted a garden tour. I went through the effort to make handouts with the names of roses and their locations, too. So you would think I know which rose is which. But if someone stopped me and pointed to a rose, I couldn't for the life of me remember it's name. No instant recall here.

    So, I know what each rose IS, but I can't cough up the name in demand. I can get back to you on it, though. And that suits me fine.

  • 15 years ago

    A paper list by area, and PawPaw Everlast tags. I used to rely on the tags that came with the rose and confused the names of several for years. They broke off, faded, or sank into the ground.

    The best think I have found for writing on labels is a paint pen, which you can get at a craft supply store. The next best think is pencil. Markers and ink fade, even permanent ones.

    Rosefolly

  • 15 years ago

    I drew a map on grid paper, keep all my receipts, have an up-to-date list of roses (not in Excel, I use Lotus Word), Paw Paw metal markers and a Brother labelmaker. I wanted the markers so DH would know what he was looking at and maybe take more interest. He has definitely bonded with Climbing Mme Caroline Testout and calls her Madame, is really enamored of her blooms but not the way she tries to grab him since I haven't done a good job of tying her. :))

    Sherry

  • 15 years ago

    How about polymer clay name tags. Anybody tried this for labeling their roses? You could mix up colors to match the rose. I don't know how long they would last.

    Here is a link that might be useful: craft pet name tags

  • 15 years ago

    Love the database idea, and hope it's not to late to start one for the new garden here. I think I have all the invoices, really doubt I remember which rose came from where. I am using metal tags from Eon Industries labelled in "garden pencil"--! Back in Ohio when I had 200+ I took an HT bloom to my first show & somebody interrupted while I was filling out the tag and told me I had the name wrong. This kind person also told me what they thought my bloom WAS and he was right. So now I label. Now back in that garden I would have had two Bucks that would have been labelled "NOT Distant Drums" and "NOT Summer Wind"...!

  • 15 years ago

    I use paw paw markers with a Brother P Touch labeler.
    They hold up well and still look good this year.
    Also used water proof labels from a company called Ripped Sheets.Best used with a laser printer.
    Office Max,Office Depot or Staples can do them for you.
    They have Lasted for 3 years

    Stan C

  • 15 years ago

    I really need to map the garden, but what a task. I have mapped the new ramblers. There are so many and the ones in pots are not easily recognizeable. I have my roses listed on HMF. I try to keep them all tagged with those Paw Paw tags. Mostly though it really is all in my head and often by position in the garden.

  • 15 years ago

    I have seen metal tape embossers for as low as $150. I guess you could emboss the rose name on the tape and poke a hole in one end, then run some thin wire through and attach to one of the canes. At least the name would not wash away with the rains. Currently, I can still remember all my roses, though as I acquire more, it may become more difficult.

  • 15 years ago

    I'm going to try painting the names on beach-worn scallop shells that have holes drilled in them for the hanging wire. I have no idea if this will work long-term, and I may have to primer paint the shells first. Hopefully, the paint will stick to the shell just as if it were unglazed porcelain. Right now, the rose names are all in my memory, but I just put in an order at Vintage, and the names of those roses are just not familiar enough to me. They'll need tags, at least for a while.

  • 15 years ago

    SeattleSuze and Wild Rose:

    Even if you don't have a scanner, I think you could take it to a Kinko's and have them scan it and place the file on a CD for you. I'd make sure the drawing to be scanned is done in black ink on a white paper, clean lines - have it scanned at a resolution of 600 or 1200 and saved as line art (NOT in pixels). It can be saved as a line Photoshop file (an .eps), at which time you can reduce the resolution to 300. Then it can be placed into a file in your word processing program (on a Mac, something like PageMaker or QuarkXPress - I'm not familiar with the Microsoft programs). The beauty of this type of Photoshop file is that you can use it as though it is transparent, with just the lines showing, and you can place colored or patterned background behind it to show through - say, a pink background, with a dark color chosen for the line, say crimson. Of course, that is just playing around. For a plain workaday chart, you can just place the file into your WP program as a plain black-and-white illustration. Either way, once your art is placed into the WP program, you can just type in the names where you want them.

    I should mention that it's been a few years since I was doing this kind of work, and I imagine there have been some changes in these programs, the world of software being what it is. But if you know someone who's into all this, or if there's a Kinko's nearby, something LIKE this can be done. I don't know for sure if Kinko's performs a scanning service, but I do know that they used to have "design stations" where, for a fee, you could work on their equipment. Good luck.

    Laura

  • 15 years ago

    I've been using the Harlane tags for years now with labels I make on a Brother labeler. They work well except when an animal chews on them (dogs or cats) or pulls them out and strews them about (crows, believe it or not!) I find that the tags need replacing after a few years, probably due to my very cold winters. What I really feel is indispensable are the Excel spreadsheets I keep religiously with updates any time anything changes - roses in or out. I even have a sheet for "past roses" and can look up the reason they failed. I make sketches of every bed with the roses and important perennials marked on it and then try to go around with my notebook every fall to make sure I have up to date drawings; handy for those winter dreams and plans! Sometimes I test myself by trying to visualize the beds one by one and naming off the roses in order. (I have to admit to getting stuck now and then and having to look it up!)

  • 15 years ago

    Laura, thanks for the Kinko's advice. That may be just the solution I was hoping for.

    I noticed that Costco has a Brother label maker on sale this month and had wondered if it would improve my labeling system. With great relief that this thread was reprised, I think I'll go buy one and get busy. The snow and rain cleaned off all my tags during the winter and I'll never survive the spring flush garden tours if the roses aren't labeled.

    As for memory, my limit on rose names hit 200 and then crashed in disarray. And my Latin recall has gone to hell, too. Dang! I think it's a built-in safety mechanism put in place by Mother Nature to keep gardeners out of the armchair and IN the garden.