My second object is small, but none the less important- a plant label. The plant label symbolises gardeners’ efforts to propagate from seed and bring on plants into a state where they can ‘look after themselves’.

It also represents the importance of knowing what you’ve sown, where. It can be a right pain if you don’t and you forget what’s where until you’ve dug up your offspring rather than weeds!

I try to reuse my plastic labels by rubbing off the ‘permanent’ ink with some wire wool each year, which does the job well, though it can mean your next written label is a tad more smudgy than the first as the ink will spread in the fine scratches you create. Still it is the sustainable way to go! (Wooden labels are even better of course and you can also get other kinds, e.g slate).

Copper labels are useful for permanent labels on trees and shrubs and the likes- by impressing rather than inking in the name in the surface you don’t risk losing it to weathering.

Old School Gardener

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