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. Tim -----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Jane McGary Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2014 2:24 PM To: Pacific Bulb Society Subject: Re: [pbs] ENSURING THE FUTURE OF OUR PLANTS 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 location. 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 too. 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 (provenance).