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Tags, Tags, and More Tags!

Monday, August 15, 2016

By Linda Eirhart

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

The Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library staff in Winterthur, Delaware have been hard at work with the initial phases of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust grant projects to digitally map the garden. The horticulturists along with our Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping specialist, Lori Schnick, plant records intern, Cole Larson-Whittaker and mapping volunteer, Frank Splane, have been identifying, tagging and mapping plants throughout the garden.

Intern tagging plant
Pictured: Cole Larson-Whittaker, plant records intern, is seen mapping azaleas. 

So as you wander the garden you may notice a plethora of white, yellow, orange and blue tags. What do they mean?

White and yellow tags indicate the status of the identification of the plants. White tags indicate that the complete name of the plant is known. Yellow tags mean that they need to be identified which can often only be done while they are flowering. (Think cultivars of azaleas, rhododendrons, lilacs, mock-oranges, deutzias, peonies, daylilies, daffodils, and many more!) Timing is critical.

Tree with orange tag
Pictured: Hickory with an orange tag indicating that the tree needs to be mapped and a white tag with its scientific name and accession number.

Orange and blue tags indicate mapping status depending on if the section has been digitally mapped in the past. Orange tags are used to indicate plants that need to be updated in our GIS since digital maps were completed in that area prior to 2005. Blue tags are used to indicate plants that are in the GIS system for sections that generally have not been updated in GIS.

We have now inventoried over sixty percent of the garden sections for their trees and shrubs! You can track our progress by watching for the changing of the tags.

Linda Eirhart is Director, Horticulture, Curator, Plants at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Winterthur, Delaware.