A good time to work on garden maps

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A good time to work on garden maps

Postby Wanda » Mar 14, 2007 9:15 am

I have been spending the past few days working on my garden maps, getting them ready for use this season. A wonderful memory aid and something “hosta” to do at this time of year, when the first balmy days get the gardening yen surging.

I use a notebook as my “Hosta Bible” - have sections for maps, for lists of what I have, what I want and what I buy/trade during the growing season. I have drawn maps to scale of each area, as much on one page as I can fit...and it still takes seventeen (17!) pages to fit just the hosta gardens. Once each map is drawn, I tape a piece of tracing paper over each. Then during the season, I indicate any changes onto the tracing paper over the original. Then this time of year, I trace the maps and changes onto new tracing paper then transfer that to new pages in the Hosta Bible. Cover those with tracing paper and I am ready for this season’s changes. I put the tracing paper copies into our safe deposit box, just in case (hehe).

It doesn’t feel like I have many hosta - especially compared to some here - but once I start working on the maps sure seems like I have quite a few (hehe). When I work on the maps, I keep a notepad handy to note any changes I plan to make or hosta I need to divide. Helps me prioritize things once the season gets going...and to see at the end of the season just what I accomplished.

I couldn’t garden without my maps! Gave up on labels long ago...they won’t stay put or stay legible and are a major pain to work around.

Do you use garden maps? What is your method?

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A good time to work on garden maps

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Postby oldcoot » Mar 14, 2007 9:50 am

OC has sketched out the shapes of the beds and as soon as they come up, he will marked them in.....Let you know how it works out....OC in his first year of "mapping"
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Postby Dee » Mar 14, 2007 11:06 am

I don't have maps of my beds anymore, but after spending a few days trying to rake around all of my darn labels I'm seriously considering it! :lol: I always end up raking up some of them. It gets so frustrating! But I do like having them. I'm just not so good at mapping - meaning, I'm too lazy to do it very well. :D
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Postby eastwood2007 » Mar 14, 2007 11:36 am

What a great system, Wanda! I mapped mine on a notebook, but not to scale and getting scribbled up as I make changes. Was planning to redo it this year, and I like your system. I was really glad I had what I did have when my nephew pulled up all the tags last Thanksgiving and threw them down the sewer pipe! Thanks for the idea!
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Postby Wanda » Mar 14, 2007 12:26 pm

Old Coot: Good for you! You won’t be sorry if you take the time to map...it really is helpful.

Dee: I garden under a canopy of 90’-120’ trees...raking was one of the main reasons I gave up on labels! I have far too many gardens to remove the leaves by hand, working around the labels...so I was always raking them out. Making the initial maps is somewhat time consuming - I started out with one bed and worked on them as I had time. Before I knew it, I had maps of all the beds. If you break it down bed by bed, its not such an overwhelming task. Then once you have your beds drawn, you can use tracing paper so you don’t have to redraw the basics each time you update them.

Eastwood2007: Yep, a map comes in real handy, doesn’t it (hehe)?! Even if its not perfect and not to scale...as long as you can figure out what is where, it works!

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Postby thy » Mar 14, 2007 12:41 pm

Think I am to unstructured for mapping, didn't work foor me

Here is what I do- the lazy version of the needed mapping

On my PC i have a document, and every new year I write the names of the new ones- name and where I got them (no prices alloved)

Then I write the name on a stone and put it in front of the hosta, and one time a year I take notes of their places in the garden. meaning: Long bed in front of fence starting from patio or so and then I wrote all names down.
Whrote the list on the PC and send a copy to a friend. Next year I print out the list and check them out- in the fall I add the new ones- rather easy- if you remember to do the first list :oops:
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Postby Hapygdnr » Mar 14, 2007 1:12 pm

Wanda the tracing paper over the map is an excellent idea! Glad you shared that.
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Postby Wanda » Mar 14, 2007 1:59 pm

Pia: Your method qualifies as mapping! As long as the method lets you know what is where, whether an actual map, written directions, photos or whatever, its a map.

After working with computers for 25 yrs., I don’t trust my most important stuff to them - I have tons of stuff on floppy disks, Zip and Jaz discs and CDs...and all but the CDs are obsolete and unusable. And with DVDs now, the CDs are soon to be obsolete. And the computer always dies just before you print out what you need (hehe)! And I don’t know if most folks realize that inkjet ink is not made to last years and years...some of the earliest available has now faded into obscurity. Its getting better, but not to be trusted for long-term use unless you use “archival” inks on archival paper...at about 4 times the price.

Jeanne: Thank you - hope it works for you, too! Ask a lazy person how to do something, and you will find out the easiest way (hehe).

Years ago, I made a map for each garden, numbered the circles for each plant and then had a separate corresponding numbered list of plants. It worked ok, but was hard to keep the list and map together over time and as the gardens grew, the circles got smaller and smaller. Now I make larger maps of single beds or just a couple, so the scale can be larger and I can print the plant’s name right inside the circle - works far better for me that way. Especially when out on a windy day trying to note down changes!!! When I indicate changes on the tracing paper, I use a different color pencil (usually red)- then when I am making a fresh map, its easier to tell what has been changed.

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Postby renaldo75 » Mar 14, 2007 3:13 pm

Wanda - there you go with the dang map thing again making me feel completely inadequate... :???: Stop it!! Enough already!! :x Besides - you just did it a couple of months ago, and now you have to do it again & rub it in some more. :roll:

:wink:

I took the measurements of the new beds late last fall & actually got one drawn out on graph paper. I've been meaning to do the rest all winter, but.......the mood never struck so it's still undone. Therefore there are no plans of where I'll plant hostas - which would change anyway once I actually started planting.....


Here's what I do that actually works as long as I keep it updated: I use a spreadsheet with a column of hosta names in alphabetical order [it is repeated again after every set of info for convenience].

1st set: where it was purchased, price [sorry Pia], discount [if any], location in the garden [bed name], mature size, & basic color combo [Gr, Cr = Green w/cream margin].

2nd set: hosta hybrider[s], year registered, lineage [seedling/sport parents], special notes [interesting info, hosta of the year, etc mostly gleaned from The Hosta Handbook].]

3rd set: form [mound, upright, etc], size [Large, Medium, etc], mature size of mound, growth rate.

4th set: leaf size, vein pairs, color description of leaf, physical characteristics of the leaf.

5th set: fragrant [Yes or No], bloom time, bloom color description [+ height of scapes & any other noteworthy info about flowers or seedpods or scapes].

I just added a new section.
6th set: Seeds [Y/N], Notable Seedlings [listed as Pod Parent, Pollen Parent, Selfed], Sports [Y/N], Notable sports.

THEN I get to the notes for 2006 which again has a column of the names, date purchased & location.

7th set: any special notes [could be that a plant needs moved, has had crown rot, lots of burning/leaf dessication, insect damage, or looks the best it ever has, where it was moved, etc]. This last year I was cking dates of emergence/# of eyes/how tall they were on the date I was cking. [I still don't have ANY of this info typed in yet, but it's all written down.] In 2005, I have the info for all of the frost damage I had [how much I cut back - all/# of eyes or # of leaves]. Then each summer I measure all of my hostas thanks to Hank & Mark Zilis... :wink:

8th set: mound size, largest leaf, # of vein pairs for that leaf. And I also take notes on blooming - although I never start when I should [at the beginning] - so the entry might say how far along it is in blooming or it more than likely says before the date I was out measuring. LOL Then # of scapes & the tallest//# of seedpods. I DO have all of that data entered now. Although I never seem to get one holding bed measured... :roll:

And there is info [still to be entered] for 2005, 2004 - none for 2003 - 2002 is entered but it's pretty limited. As I think I said when I started the spreadsheet, starting it 4 years into addiction was not good timing. For instance I know where & when I got most of the hostas I own but there are still quite a few with question marks for where. And even more question marks for price even if I do know where.

I also include all info on trades I've sent off or received. The ones I've sent off [if it was a whole plant] is shaded w/lime green & white. If I've sold it - it gets another shading. And if it's gone to hosta heaven it gets a depressing looking red/gray shading... :???: If it's a plant that I've divided into several plants, then the original gets a special shading & each plant derived from it then has it's own #. So I have Austin Dickinson #1 in bed E3 and Austin Dickinson #2 in bed E2. Also for multiples of the same plant, I don't repeat the same descriptive info for each one. The info is given for #1 & then any of the rest have a shading of small black dots on white.

And I have been working on the cultivar descriptive info this winter. I started last year & didn't get too far. I was still working out the format I wanted to use as I went along. Now I know what I want & have gone back from the beginning & redone descriptive info as needed & it's been progressing nicely. I was midway thru the 'I's on Sunday when I ventured outside to be in the sunshine & 65 degrees and started raking leaves off of hosta beds & am still at it. Today is cloudy & cooler & not nearly as inviting as the 75 we had yesterday though... But I've been hauling leaves off that I'd piled up. Still have a couple of beds to do but the rest are done.

And I don't see any mapping getting done anytime soon, Wanda. But at least I haven't been hosta~idle this winter. :wink:

I do the circled number version of mapping for my holding beds. Works great for me since I usually don't have a tag made other than the one it came with until the next year.
GO HAWKEYES!!!

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Postby LucyGoose » Mar 14, 2007 6:49 pm

Reldon, I thought kinda the same thing.....Oh no.....Wanda and her maps! :eek: ... :lol:

I don't have them and unless you come do mine I still won't have them.....

Love ya Wanda Mapper!! :lol: :wink:
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Postby Trudy » Mar 14, 2007 7:25 pm

I just added a new section.
6th set: Seeds [Y/N], Notable Seedlings [listed as Pod Parent, Pollen Parent, Selfed], Sports [Y/N], Notable sports
.



mmmm, Renaldo, does this mean you are showing some interest in growing seeds? Knew you would someday. One of these years you will find room in the house for a setup.

Good thing to keep records, not something that I am good at.
No maps here, and have not even written down new hostas for two years. I am slipping, what will happen when my mind is gone.
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Postby addieotto » Mar 14, 2007 8:30 pm

I am too disorganized to map :-? because even when I think I've got things right, I move plants or change my mind. I keep notes on my website and have plant markers all over the place. The notes and photos help me remember plants from one season to another if I loose a plant marker.

But I seriously would LOVE to be organized enough to have up to date maps! I have lots of maps for new beds or existing beds with changes marked and then things change when I find a different plant :-? or think I need to move something because it's not in the right spot :???: . I am jealous. I'm just painfully aware of my organizational limitations, LOL!

I barely remember to print a map out when I drive somewhere new...

Note to self: print map to Piqua, Ohio for Hosta College... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Wanda » Mar 14, 2007 10:55 pm

Reldon: I bow before the organizational master! I don’t have much of the additional info gathered yet...Just name and a vague idea if it will end up giant, large, medium or small. Not enough time left after working on my maps (hehe!!!). One of these boring winters I will get all that info together...someday. I do have eye counts for most.

LucyGoose: Guilty as charged! I don’t have much wisdom to pass along except for the importance of mapping gardens. It is just so sad to see all those “Can You ID This Hosta” posts during the growing season (hehe) or unidentified hosta that can’t be traded since you don’t know what they are. I try to post about mapping a couple times a year...once in the dead of winter when people are so desperate to do anything “hosta” they will consider it and in the early spring when enthusiasm runs strong (hehe).

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Postby eastwood2007 » Mar 15, 2007 12:51 am

Wanda, thanks for the info on the computer business. I never thought about everything being obsolete! I have to figure out something else for my photos, I guess... :roll:
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Postby newtohosta-no more » Mar 15, 2007 5:46 am

I do hand drawn maps of my beds too. And I keep a list of all my hostas, a separate list with their planting locations, and yet another list of when I got them and where from, etc. I'll lose all my pics if I lose my puter, although I saved some on a portable hard drive thingie.
I love the idea of the tracing paper. I can' t tell you how many times I've had to redo my maps after adding hostas to beds or expanding beds. :roll: That's about as organized as I can get. Organization isn't my forte. :lol:
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Postby thy » Mar 15, 2007 6:22 am

Reldon- you have done all this and the gardens- what's up with you :-?

You are sure you feel okay :-?

Just concerned here
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Obsolete computers

Postby thehostagourmet » Mar 15, 2007 7:22 am

Charla, I've been in the computer business for many, many years, although at our house it's often like the shoemaker's kids with no shoes.

USB interfaces aren't going away anytime soon. An external USB hard drive will take care of backing up your whole computer. They've really come down in price. For a smaller amount of data, a 2GB USB flash drive (memory stick) is down to about $30-40 or less. That will take care of your data anyway.

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Postby renaldo75 » Mar 15, 2007 12:04 pm

Trudy - I've been thinking about doing some hybridizing for several years, but with no place to raise seeds [and a few other reasons], I haven't attempted it yet. But I've been thinking of it quite a bit this winter. Potential crosses with plants that I have, and I really want to do it this year. The unheated basement is the only option for a place to raise seedlings so whatever system I come up with down there will have to be enclosed so I can keep them from getting too cold. No way they would have survived very well down there if I'd had any a month ago. And then there's the other problem of where to put the seedlings once they get out of the basement... I will have a separate spreadsheet set up to record crosses. Probly be a good idea to start it now so I don't have to play catch up later. :wink:

Wanda - I knew if you didn't waste your time on those perfect maps of yours, you could get lots of other stuff accomplished. (hehe) :wink:

In regard to your 'organizational master' comment, if you saw anything in my house your 1st reaction would be this:
:o :o :eek: :eek: :o
and your next would be this:
:roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I would say I am a perfectionist who never comes even close to achieving perfection. This results in depression, then apathy - the end result is total chaos. :wink: The spreadsheet is as close as I'll ever be to an 'organizational master' - and it ain't there just yet. LOL I think I mentioned that I have hosta notes for 2005 & 2004, but what I didn't mention is that I have no idea where they might be at the moment. :wink: :lol: :lol: [There is also the matter of a holding bed map that the feds have put in the witness relocation program. :oops: I'd sure like to get my hands on it since most of the tags have gone missing as well...]

Pia - there are definite advantages to unemployment. [Depression not being one of them.] Unfortunately there is no monetary compensation for these advantages... :roll: :wink: [I recently saw an article on MSN titled 'Do the Poor Have More Spare Time?' - well DUH!!!!!!!! :roll: :x I didn't bother to read the article.] Besides - you should know me well enough by now to know that I am not OK!! :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I will make one recommendation for anyone planning to make garden notes on hostas - whether it's for ideas about bed layouts or measurements, etc. Get a little handheld tape recorder. Works great!! :P I had Sara get me one for Christmas year before last. My original use for it was when I go to gardens other than mine & take pics. Sure is easier to speak into the recorder than it is to haul out a pen & paper for every pic. Slips easily into a pocket, isn't expensive. I first saw one being used by Warren Pollock or Bob Olson at the Des Moines convention when he was taking pics. One of the best ideas I got from that convention!! :cool: I took it to the 2006 Winter Scientific Meeting & used it to record the speakers so I could do an article for the ROHS newsletter and still enjoy the day without constantly taking notes. And I was able to use quotes for each speaker which I really liked!! :P It was so convenient when I was on garden tours!! :P And I used it last summer when I was taking measurements of my hostas & it worked great!! :P But go in a logical order thru the bed so if you accidentally forget to say a hosta name then you can figure out which one it is easily. I also found that it's a good idea to make sure it was turned on before I started speaking. Several times I would say a hosta name or say a measurement without having the button down yet. :roll: And give every measurement in the same order each time - preferably in the order it's listed on the spreadsheet. My little tape recorder will definitely get a workout this year!! :P
GO HAWKEYES!!!

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Postby playinmud » Mar 15, 2007 12:51 pm

Hi Wanda, Thanks for the "push" to update the garden maps, its something I've put off since the onset of the holidays a few months ago (and Spring is next week :bd: !!!!).

I have hand drawn maps on grid paper too, but this past August I took digital pics of my beds, then edited the pics and added bubbles with a number and then have a cooresponding sheet with the hosta name, date of purchase, price, where purchased, hybridizer, size, color, etc. It worked out great, and is pretty easy to update.
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Postby renaldo75 » Mar 15, 2007 1:20 pm

That's a great idea about the ID # & group pic, PIM!! :P I've been thinking on doing something like that too. The # would sure make it simpler when editing the pics & labelling idividual hostas [as long as you remembered the numbers]. Another thing to add to my spreadsheet. Now all I have to do is figure out a numbering system... :roll: :wink: :lol:
GO HAWKEYES!!!

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