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Good morning - I looked over my winter turning to spring garden this morning 
and with the low growth of iris and daylilies and other greenery, my eye is 
drawn to MARKERS.  All kinds and shapes and all UGLY.  Over the years I have 
tried everything and everything has an up and a down side.  The more attractive 
aluminum markers cut my hands and trip me when I am single-mindedly weeding or 
trouping through the garden.  The permanent markers wear off in a year and the 
taped labels eventually start to peel ( although they are remarkably long 
lasting).  I make maps of my garden and then rot sets in and I move things around 
and dig things up and pretty soon they are meaningless.  Trying to keep up 
with LA is even harder.  They are hardy here and don't succumb to disease but 
tend to creep and crawl.  The spuria, Japanese and what few siberian survive the 
Texas weather are fairly easy to keep up with.  Now I just cut up cheap 
blinds from Walmart and use paint pens.  I make them quite short and push them in 
quite a ways.  This makes it harder to identify from an upright position but 
they do tend to stay with the plant better.  In fact I am so disqusted with the 
vagaries of TB life in 'Texas I am leaning toward buying a few new ones in the 
spring every year and then just keeping the ones tough enough to stay and to 
heck with their names.  My iris club insists on having a show every year and 
since I am one of the larger growers, give me dirty looks when I am reluctant 
to drag my iris to the show which means I not only have to show but need to 
keep up with the names.  I show a lot of spuria and LA which are easy to grow and 
transport and yes, I do participate and have won all the awards imagineable 
but I HATE to participate in iris shows.  I love to go to them though.  For one 
thing I garden to relax and be one with nature and shows make me tense and 
competitive.  Oh well it only happens once a year thank God.
Barbara Null
Tyler, TX

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