If I Die

I prepare plant labels for both the Sacramento Iris Society and the Sacramento Perennial Plant Club.  The labels for the Iris Club are cut to around 10 inches and are made of aluminum.    The labels for the Perennial Club are cut to 5 inches and are made of plastic.  We have found that plastic is easier to write on, and these labels always have a lot in information on them.

Now, I have shown below the two devices I use for label preparation.  You can see the metal stop that is taped to the guillotine table.  The length to which metal blinds are cut depends on the distance between the cord holes in the blinds.

After the blinds are cut to desired length, I tape a bunch together, and round the corners on an inverted belt sander.  The bunches of the same length are then washed in a bucket with a dish washing solution.  Then comes the fun part when I dry the labels while watching TV.  The last label drying event was Sunday while watching the Super Bowl.

So, you see, someday I may have to pass this duty to another person.  LaVille has refused.  I really like making labels, and I am hoping there is someone out there who will take over this enjoyable task in the future.

Stan, The Blind Man (mini, that is)

Cutting Board
Cutting Board used to right-size blinds into plant labels
Plant labels made from blinds
Plant labels made from blinds


Plant Labels

I hope you are in the mood to add labels to your plants.  Do I have labels for you!  While laid up with a bum knee, I cut around 500 mini-blind labels.  I was surprised by the groans of disgust when I mentioned that the labels I was providing were perhaps coated with grease from hanging in a house for years.  So . . . I washed every label with soap and water.  You will find these labels will readily accept pencil, china marking pencil, or acrylic pen.  Once again, do not use Sharpie pens.  They will fade in 6 months.  Now if you have a special need for labels with a different length, let me know.  For example, I cut labels 2 ½ inches long with a hole in one end for LaVille.  She attaches them below an iris flower into which she has introduced pollen from another flower.  The label indicates the pollen donator variety on the top and the ovary variety recipient on the bottom.  Perhaps one day years from now there will be a new iris hybrid registered that will be named after one of our grandchildren.

Today, LaVille, a neighbor, and I traveled the Pence Gallery Garden Tour.  The primped gardens reminded me of the fact that our garden was on the tour last year.  That experience had a significant effect on our lives.  All of the work we did to prepare for that tour increased our love for our garden and gardening in general.  Months of effort created what we think is a beautiful place to visit.  Too insure that the garden is maintained, we have altered our travel schedule so that we are home during the hot summer months when plants can take a severe beating and weeds can take over.  The front yard has received more attention because we had allowed it to become too naturalized.

Now, believe it or not, I am going to suggest that you consider being on a garden tour of the perennial club.  It is a lot of work and can involve a financial investment, and investment is a good word to describe how the result is going to affect your lives for years.  You might say that it is too late to change your yard—that you have no time to make any changes in your landscape.  And that is exactly my point:  creating an enriched environment that you will enjoy the rest of your years is more than enough reason to make that decision for action now.  Besides . . . I would like to visit.

Stan, The Blog Man

Plant Labels

This should be no secret:  Last week LaVille and I were on the way to the Green Acres Nursery in Elk Grove when we saw the Secret Garden Nursery off to the west side of the freeway.  On a whim we exited at Sheldon and drove back on the frontage road to check it out.  We were absolutely astounded at how neatly displayed everything was and that every plant was in perfect condition.  Plants are organized by the conditions they need.  The nursery specializes in succulents and has a tremendous variety of pottery and garden art.  The gift store is just full of items that appeal to the home gardener.  I told Jennifer that we missed her booth at the SGAC sales.  She said that she regretted missing the event too, but that weekends were so busy at the nursery that she couldn’t spare the manpower and inventory at those times.  We found Jennifer to be very personable and helpful and find it no wonder that the business has received so many awards.  Check out her website—just google Secret Garden Nursery in Elk Grove.

Tools and Treasures Table: 
. . . I hope you have taken a strip of the yellow fiberglass webbing that can be used to screen the drainage holes in pots.  You will find that this material lasts forever.  When you do your repotting, you will find the mesh attached to the soil when you lift the plant.  Reuse it over and over again.  
. . . Some of you have picked up the small bundles of mini blind labels.  Don’t use Sharpie pens to write on them.  Use either an acrylic pen or a wax pencil.  (I recently bought a box of wax pencils so you can get one from me.)  If you have difficulty using these two, it is probably because there is a layer of grease on the blind.  Drop the labels in a bowl of soapy water.  Slosh them around a bit.  Rinse and wipe each label off with a rag.  Please keep your eye out for anyone getting rid of aluminum mini blinds.  We use them constantly to label irises and Emma is using them for her plants.
. . . No one seems interested the yellow white fly strips we’ve put out on the table.  I guess that’s understandable since it is not white fly season.  You see we bought a package of 60 sheets on Amazon because it was a great price.  LaVille cuts the sheets into thirds and punches a hole at the tops for hanging.  We have lots of strips to give away, so we hope you will pick these up from the table come white fly season.  They really work great!

Stan, The Blog Man