1-minute task now will help you identify perennials in spring

series of photos of garden
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

In April, my backyard is nearly flat. Most of my perennials don’t reach their full height by then– if they’ve poked out of the ground at all.

So if I want to know where I can plant something new, or if I’m trying to decide if that sprout I see is a flower or a weed, it helps to know where things are already planted, what those plants are, and approximately how big those plants get.

The quickest way to capture that information is by taking photos.

Pick up your phone right now and go around your garden. Take photos of sections of your garden beds, overlapping the photos so you can see how they connect. Make sure you can tell what perennials are in the bed. If you have perennials in pots, take photos of them, too. If you want to remember where you placed annuals, include them in your photos.

Photos won’t tell you the names of the plants that you’re looking at, especially if you don’t know the names of your plants to start with! (There are apps available that can help you identify plants, or contact the Master Gardeners in your area for help.)

But from the photos you can see that the big plant with the yellow flowers is behind the daylily, and next to the daylily are the daisies.

For plants such as columbine or shasta daisies, keep the seed heads in place for your photos. Without those, all you will see are stems and you won’t be able to identify the plant.

Depending on the size of your garden, you may be able complete this task in a minute or two!

4 Comments on “1-minute task now will help you identify perennials in spring

  1. I stick wooden popsicle sticks and plant markers in the exact spot of the plants because my gardens are large. Combined with the pictures, It really helps avoid mistaking my plants for a new weed.

  2. Great idea. I don’t know how many plants I’ve pulled out in early spring because I couldn’t identify the early spouting of it. Then later on I wonder whatever happened to —— that I planted last year?

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