Tim Eck teck11@embarqmail.com
Sun, 26 Jan 2014 13:50:52 PST
What I did for my raised crinum beds is make a record I call a "Candy Map",
much like the maps on the lids of assorted chocolates. 
I start with an empty Excel (or OpenOffice Calc) spreadsheet and format the
grid to large, square and printable lines, which represent one square foot
per cell.
Then I drop circles onto the grid with locations and sizes corresponding to
each clump or clone of bulbs and label them with the plant name.
My first raised bed is made from railroad ties and filled with sand-mound
aggregate and is about 8 feet by 60 feet.  You can nail address numerals
from the hardware store onto the ties for reference or just use clusters of
roofing nails to mark off every ten feet or even every foot if you like (I
settled for every 5 ft).
I print my Candy Map on a high polyester paper with a laser printer to make
it tear-proof and waterproof.  Both properties have come in handy because
records can degrade rapidly with an accidental spray or drizzle and I tend
to stretch my luck.  The paper I use is NEENAH 60100.  That way I can take
my paper copy out and record new plantings on it and come back in and update
the spreadsheet accordingly.  If the paper copy gets dirty I just take it to
the sink and wash it off.  Occasionally I print a new copy.  When my
computer crashed last year, I was glad I had the paper copy.

-----Original Message-----
From: pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org]
On Behalf Of Jane McGary
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2014 2:24 PM
To: Pacific Bulb Society

Regarding provenance, I think it's useful to keep a paper record as well as
a database. Those of us who have been around a while (remember FORTRAN? Or
keypunching?) know that old digital information can become inaccessible.
Keeping the seed lists from which we ordered seeds many years ago, with our
handwritten notes on them, can be helpful in tracing data that might
otherwise be forgotten. For instance, when I recently updated my database
after moving to a new home, I went back and added geographical origin to a
number of entries for which I had formerly included only the collectors and
years. The file of dusty old seed lists allowed me to do this. I also print
out my database once a year so I can put the hard copy on a clipboard and
check it against what's actually still alive, or check identification and

Now that my protected bulbs are in raised beds instead of pots, it's a
little easier to keep track of where they are, though I had a numbered grid
system for the pots too. On the other hand, in the beds it is all too easy
for the labels to get buried, and I can't read them at a distance (I use
embossed aluminum labels). I've started putting the labels on groundcloth
pins to avoid this problem, and am using these where feasible in the garden

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

Paul Licht wrote
>Dylan highlights a very important and often unappreciated aspect of 
>plant collections; namely, the origin of plants and associated data

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