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Final and definitive shrub-numbering!


I inherited a lot of shrubs when I took over the property, very few of which I could put a name to. I did start numbering them, but only the ones that appeared to be putting out buds before leaves, which were widely spread and so numbered out of any logical sequence (so I couldn’t count along to locate the one I kept losing).

Did think of labelling each one – print off large numbers and fix to shrub, then take a pic of shrub and number together, but that seemed a bit too much like hard work, and wasteful besides: to get the numbers large enough for me to see at a distance far enough to get a pic of the whole shrub would have needed very large numbers and a lot of paper, which would then be thrown away.

Then I thought of the small memo whiteboard I got a while ago – could write the number on that, prop it up against shrub, take pic, wipe board for next number. (I’d bought two but of course couldn’t find the one I hadn’t used yet, so had to copy the reminders on the first one to paper so I could put them back when I’d finished!)

So that’s more or less what I did. I could have done with a marker pen that writes thick lines, but needed to be able to wipe it off each time, so had to use the little pen that came with the board. I started from the left-hand side closest to the house and went round the back garden clockwise, then did the front, clockwise again.

Numbered everything I didn’t recognise, shrub or plant (left the bulbs!). Took two pics of each – one close-up, half the plant and number, one further back to get the whole plant. Got a few small plants out of sequence because I didn’t notice them until after I’d done the rounds, but I should be able to find them again.

Put the pics on to my PC and listed them by “date photo taken” to get them in exactly right order. Couldn’t read a lot of the numbers, the pen had started to dry out, but I counted from the last one that I had been able to see. Numbered the whole-shrub pics and deleted the others; they were there only as a guide, numbered half-a-shrub to match with the whole thing.

Anyway, this is now my definitive-and-absolutely-final list of shrubs and plants (she said optimistically). and I can add names as I find them, or, more likely, as people identify them for me (not hinting – much!).

And now I’ve got the numbers set, I’ve gone back though all my previous pics, to match them up with the list. Still got a few I can’t match, but managed most of them. (won’t change the titles of pics I’ve already posted – so a new “shrub 2” won’t necessarily match with a previously-posted “shrub 2”!)

Got 46 shrubs and plants on the list, so I think I ought to spread them out over more than one blog – or three!

Tremble in your boots, there’ll be more to follow …

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bye the way are your flowering currants(ribes) out?
I noticed mine today is looking lovely

29 Mar, 2014


lol I'll try and break it gently! or maybe just pics, with their "shrub number"

I haven't looked very closely at the flowering shrubs for a few days (except the Quince and then I was looking for bees), and not altogether suer which one it might be anyway - know a couple that it definitely *isn't*, cos found names for those. I'll have a wander in a while and see what's developed.

Could you put a pic up, so I know what I'm supposed to be looking for??

29 Mar, 2014


How big do the numbers need to be Fran? I wonder if using recycled slate tiles and placing them at the base of the shrubs might be useful. You could paint on the number and varnish over to protect or large stones might work.
I can't help but wonder though once you get to grips with which is which you mightn't need labels. Providing you add them to your plant lists you'll always have a reference should you need it.

29 Mar, 2014


Good work Fran!

29 Mar, 2014


That sounds like a full days work, Fran, hope you had a rest afterwards!

29 Mar, 2014


You'll get there Fran, I think Scottish has come up with an idea that would work for you, you could use a little tin of paint to mark the slate/pebble, it won't take you long to get them named once you have taken a pic, theres always someone on here willing to help....

29 Mar, 2014


The numbers are just till I find out the names and laern them, Scottish - just something to ID them for now.

I also thought of cutting up plastic milk bottles, writing the number on, making a point at one end and sticking that in the ground by each, but didn't have enough bottle (ha!). besides, didn't know how big I could write with marker pen - needs to be thick lines as well as tall ones.

I use font size 24 as my "normal" size, and even then I need to be within a few inches, so to have numbers big enough to be seeh half the lawn away, where i could get the whole shrub in, would need numbers so big to hide half of what I was tyring to get the pic of! that's why i did a close-up number, enough of the shrub to be able to match it with the distance whole-shrub pic.

I'm keeping a file with the numbers, and as i get an ID, i'll add that, so for a while I'll have both name and number, (I'll be more used to the number) then i can move to the name, keeping the number as backup until I can locate all of them just by name.

I only used what was handy; i could get some slate and mark it for future ref.

Thanks Karen and Gee - I was rather in need of a breather after all that! got a breather and a half while I sorted the pics -92+ of them!

Good idea, Lincs - as said, I don't have any slate, but could get some, or something that would do for the purpose, large flat surfaces, and paint the numbers on. but soon I hope I won't need numbers at all, i'll hae the names and know which is which but it might be handy after all, I could get someone to do something to "plant 15" and know there'd be no mix-up cos they weren't sure of the names either!

29 Mar, 2014


You have me worn out Fran Phew :) You will get to know your plants, A brand new garden with so many plants must be overwhelming but your doing a great job, Take plenty pics in the 4 seasons for future reference just to remind you whats there/size, perrenials evergreens, bulbs, etc. I often look back on my Photos just to remind me..

29 Mar, 2014


considering that my previous "garden" was all containers, mostly small, this is a bit overwheling, but wonderfully so!

first pics taken in September, when I came up to view; there's been amazing changes in some already, and that's only two seaons. and fingers x'd, there's years of growth and change to record

29 Mar, 2014


Well done Fran .... I'm adding this to GoYpedia :o)

30 Mar, 2014


wow, thanks TT.

lol do you think that the pics would go better with GoYers in three or four blogs, or as indidual pics? each could be edited as I learn their names, but not sure which would be less onerous for everyone else - a blog to wade through, or an individual pic that they could skip?

30 Mar, 2014


What ever you choose to do Fran, I'm sure you'll have a method that will work for you in no time - you are a lady on a mission :)

I think that you'd be best making full use of the add a plant function. Even just numbering your plants at first, then as you get an id you can then change the name.

e.g Shrub No. 1....then when you get the proper name...Viburnum ??? (Shrub No.1).

There is a note facility, you can then add, edit or delete those notes as you please. Every photo you add can be linked to the individual plant.

30 Mar, 2014


hadn't thought of that, Scottish, thanks so much! that'd be so much easier - on me and maybe on everyone else as well! xx

30 Mar, 2014


glad to have helped :)

30 Mar, 2014


Although you seem to cope & get around alright it must be very difficult for you not being able to see well. Yet I admire your enthusiasm for everything!

Your sticking numbers on your shrubs reminds me a lot of when we lived in Spain & I took photos of my plants on the balconies how I used to write the date on a piece of paper & stick it on the pot or stand it up amongst the flowers! It often took a lot longer to get the paper with the date in place than to take the final photo.

I started doing that because it would sometimes be months before a roll of film got developed! Some things I could remember others no. The dates were the worst as the plants themselves were generally easy enough to remember. On the same roll of film there could be photos over months! Thankfully, nowadays with our digital cameras, especially on mobile phones, we can snap away to our heart's content & always have the date & time included in the photo. We no longer have to wait to finish off a roll & develop it only to find half of them you didn't want in the end!

30 Mar, 2014


lol Balcony, I'm jused to my vision, and to quote the poet "it's easy when you've got no choice!"

I've been in touch with local council re aids and adaptations, but it's a case of "tell us what you want" and how the heck am I supposed to know what they've got in stock? but they'll only supply what I specifcally ask for. And, I'm so used to living like this that it would never occur to me to ask for something that would be very useful.

I had that prob with film cameras - one of mine had datestamp option, but often that would obscure the very thing I was trying to get a pic of - and the higher the zoom, the bigger the date would be printed.

I knew someone who kept a notebook, noted the location, date and time of each pic they took. couldn't be that organised!!

ps; uploaded "new shrubs 1-10", think that'll do for one session!

30 Mar, 2014

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