Metal Garden Labels

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

A few years ago I decided to do a better job labeling my plants. I spent a few winter evenings on DG, reading about what DGers had done. I then bought a big box of stainless steel labels with stakes, and a Brother P-Touch label maker with the Indoor/Outdoor White labels.
Problems I found:
1- I had to buy a bolt cutter to make the stakes shorter, my soil is so rocky they stuck up too far!
Solved. I bought a bolt cutter and shorten as needed.
2- The label maker was pretty complicated, and the instructions got an F- in my grade book.
Sort of solved, I can make labels. The labels have not faded, stay stuck on the metal perfectly so far
3- The white labels are too bright and noticeable in the garden
Solved, went back to Staples and bought clear Indoor/Outdoor labels.(anyone want lots of white ones?)
4- The stainless steel is too shiny and bright, especially in the sun, when big glinting reflections show up 200 feet away. This is the worst problem.

For the reflection problem, I bought a can of spray paint at Ace Hardware- UV protect Matte Finish Clear Coat that supposedly sticks to metal and plastic. I sprayed a few coats on to the entire thing after sticking the clear label on. Here are the results-it seems better. I will see if it stays stuck, and is enough better that I want to use it. I sprayed it on the stake too.

Photos not great, it is hard to get the brightness of the sun reflection to show up.

The Pacific Coast Iris died, but not as a result of poor labeling. They are the devil to get going, even on the Pacific Coast.

Thumbnail by Pistil Thumbnail by Pistil Thumbnail by Pistil Thumbnail by Pistil Thumbnail by Pistil
(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Thanks for your trial and error documentary Pistil. I haven't purchased a label maker but have wanted one for a long time. Your SS Labels are beautiful, they look like they'll hold up indefinitely.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

That is a nice, clean look! Thanks for sharing your experience.

East Texas, United States(Zone 8a)

pistil, very nice. do you remember your metal label source? Mine are Eon markers and I think they're made of zinc or aluminum, not steel. Also, did you bend the markers? They are so much easier to read the way you have bent them about 2" from the top.

I have enjoyed my markers but since I don't hybridize, I'm questioning the purpose of the labeling. I thought it would help me remember the names but except for DLs, I remember just about anything planted in the garden and if not, my journal or my phone are quick reference sources. Spent lots of time labeling everything and it turns out labels have lasted way longer than some plants or have become my doggies' toys, scattered everywhere but where they're supposed to be. Not to mention that my neighbors think I have no life b/c I spend so much effort making #$%^ labels, lol

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Kincaid marker, they have lots of choices, and the bend is manufactured into them, the flat part comes separate, then you shove it on around the curve and it stays in place.
I at first put the plastic label that came with the plant in the ground by my plant, but they would get buried under mulch and leaves, or moved,, or the plant would grow over them, plus then in the house I could never remember what was there, so I decided I would keep the plant tags in a box as a record of what I have, then stick a more permanent marker by the plant. Like right now, in one garden I made before the metal markers, I have two kinds of tall sedums, both of which are ugly there. I could trade them away but I can't remember which is which without a lot of trouble (now I also jot a note on the tag about where I put it, this helps too).
My neighbors probably already think I am boring and crazy so it's too late to fix that! However that was part of why I wanted the markers to blend in-I'm not operating a public garden, no need for them to be visible two houses away.

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