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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
Found this fencing in Dollarama (a Canadian dollar store).
Disassembled the fencing by unwrapping the wire. Saved the wire to use later in the project.
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.
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.
Press the sheets together to remove any air bubbles. Practice makes perfect. Labels are now ready to cut and mount.
Drill 1/8-inch hole in each of the individual stakes that made up the original fencing.
Drilled holes in each of the laminated labels about 1/2 inch from the border t assure good adhesion of the lamination.
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!!
  • Wendy
    on Sep 9, 2017

    What a fantastic idea, glad you shared it!

  • Alradborn2003
    on Sep 17, 2017

    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
      on Sep 18, 2017

      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
    on Sep 17, 2017

    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...

  • Ruth Richardson
    Ruth Richardson Canada
    on Sep 17, 2017

    I have a laminator and have doen something similar to this with flower/plant pictures. The heat seal would be superior to that of a hand applied laminating product (at least, I would expect so) but the tags don't survive the elements. Have yours survived the rain, snow and temperatures that run from hot to cold, etc? I do like the use of the bamboo stakes. BTW, my brother teases my SIL for leaving tags in the garden and refers to it as her "Minnie Pearl" garden. For those who don't know, Minnie Pearl always had tags (usually price tags) hanging from the hats she was wearing.

    • Ruth Richardson
      Ruth Richardson Canada
      on Oct 9, 2017

      Haha I love it! I can see it all now. This will be the next craze. lol

  • Lynne
    Lynne Detroit, MI
    on Sep 17, 2017

    great idea, and thanks for sharing

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