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Laminated Photo Garden Stakes

Having fallen in love with the many beautiful iris available from private growers on Ebay, I ended up with over 50 rhizomes, and while they arrived well marked with their names on their existing leaves, I knew the winter would destroy the markings and I would not be able to tell them apart come Spring. So, what to do? I was lucky enough to have on hand some wooden fencing from Dollarama (a Canadian dollar store) and decided to use these as my stake. Now the hard part, how to mark them in a way to survive the elements of northern Maine.
After much thought I decided to sandwich a photo and description of each plant between self-adhesive laminating sheets. These were available at my local Walmart. I chose the 4 x 6 (roughly) sheets that would hold 4 name tags nicely. Once the labels were laminated, I cut the sheet into 4 strips allowing ample room around each label to assure good adhesion of the lamination.
Now for the fun part!! I took apart the fencing and realized I could repurpose the wire that held the individual stakes together and use it to secure my laminated tags to the stakes. I drilled a 1/8-inch hole in each stake and each label (believe me, those laminating sheets are tough!!) and secured with the wire I had left over from disassembling the fencing. Voila!! I now have individual stakes labeled with a photo and description for each of my 50+ irises and will probably continue to label the rest of the plants in my garden. This is a super easy, rainy day project with a long-lasting benefit.
Time: 1 Hours Cost: $10 Difficulty: Easy
  • laminated photo garden stakes
Found this fencing in Dollarama (a Canadian dollar store).
  • laminated photo garden stakes
Disassembled the fencing by unwrapping the wire. Saved the wire to use later in the project.
  • laminated photo garden stakes
Printed color images and descriptions of each of the plants I wanted to tag in my garden. Purchased self-adhesive laminating sheets in Walmart, roughly 4 x 6 inches and about 2.50 for a pack of 5. Each sheet did 4 labels. Larger size sheets are available for different size labels and layouts.
  • laminated photo garden stakes
Placed labels on non-adhesive side of laminating sheets. You have to be careful when removing the adhesive backing and applying as there is quite a bit of static electricity that can rearrange your labels if you are not careful. One must proceed slowly and kind of roll the adhesive backing onto the labels.
  • laminated photo garden stakes
Press the sheets together to remove any air bubbles. Practice makes perfect. Labels are now ready to cut and mount.
  • laminated photo garden stakes
Drill 1/8-inch hole in each of the individual stakes that made up the original fencing.
  • laminated photo garden stakes
Drilled holes in each of the laminated labels about 1/2 inch from the border t assure good adhesion of the lamination.
  • laminated photo garden stakes
Used the wire left over from the fencing to attach each of the labels to the stakes. Now I am ready to go planting, knowing that next Spring I will know which plant is which. With so many color variations in iris plants it was useful to document each label with a photo.

Happy gardening!!

Materials I used for this project:

  • Wendy
    on Sep 9, 2017

    What a fantastic idea, glad you shared it!

  • Alradborn2003
    7 days ago

    I don't have any of the supplies except the stakes. But I do have a wood burning tool! I too am tired of not being able to label my plants and them lasting. So with your idea, I'll burn/etch into the fence/stakes! Thanx so much for your idea.

    • Karen Steinhaus
      Karen Steinhaus New Canaan, CT
      6 days ago

      Great idea!! I ran out of stakes and it is kind of late to find them in the stores now (though I did look) so I am using those 6 inch U-pins that you use when fastening landscape fabric to the ground and they should hold the markers until I get more stakes. Woodburning is a great idea. You can copy and paste the photos from the Ebay listing along with any identifying data you want to preserve. Have fun!!!

  • Mary
    Mary Stanwood, MI
    7 days ago

    Pretty clever. You are obviously an organized gardener! I'd have to be satisfied with a "map" of my plants posted on a garage wall. But that is still better than nothing...

  • Lynne
    Lynne Detroit, MI
    6 days ago

    great idea, and thanks for sharing

  • Linda
    Linda Glendale, AZ
    6 days ago

    I had beautiful irises in CA and they were just scattered..no matter how they're planted they're gorgeous. ..my apricot ones were size of softballs..only thing I miss about CA is ability to grow anything

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!