Garden Labels From Cans

One of the problems we have in the garden is labelling the plants. After a season or two the permanent marker just fades away, no matter what we try to write it on. We have a lot of plants with blank labels and not much will to keep overwriting the writing every year.

Well, about 3 months ago Sue got a plant that was labelled with a piece of aluminium can, which is a very neat idea, although it still suffers from the problem of the marker fading. So we came up with the idea to score the soft metal (with a dremel/rotary tool) first, so even if the marker fades there is still the words left scored in the metal.

Here’s some cans cut up with a good pair of tin snips (mine came from a thrift store and weight about 1 pound)


Now what do we do with shiny metal surfaces? Well, we attack them with a dremel, grafitti them with permanent marker and then staple them to small pieces of cedar (cedar is the wood of choice in the garden as it takes a long time to rot).


Then we put them in the garden to endure a range of temperatures from 30C to -20C, bury them in a foot of snow, drown them in a pool of rain water and burn them under a hot sun.

Hopefully, just hopefully this time year we can still read them.


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