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How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Keeping your garden journals, tags, photos and notes organized can be a challenge. At the end of the season, I have to admit that I tend to get lazy. Tags will become strewn about, notes will end up in places out of sight and it starts to feel like a cluttered mess. I always try to keep everything together but often think, can't there be a better way?

This year, I was contacted by the founders of Muddy Boots Plant Tags, Nancy & Dennis Duffy. They are the creators of a brilliant new way to record your plants and garden online. They have introduced me to a better way to streamline all of your plant records, so it is always right at your fingertips. If you love to feel organized and on top of your game, continue reading to learn how Muddy Boots Plant Tags can help you!

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

What is Muddy Boots Plant Tags?

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Nancy & Dennis Duffy with their dog Gidget

Nancy Duffy is a talented garden designer, artist and plant nerd from North Carolina. She lives on four acres of land with her husband Dennis, who is a marketing consultant and blogger. They took their talents and love for nature and melded them together to create Muddy Boots Plant Tags, a subscription-based online resource that allows you to take your garden records with you anywhere. It also incorporates smart plant tags that allow you to easily keep track of your plant records.


These interactive tags are UV-coated aluminum labels etched with a QR Code that can be easily scanned with any smartphone. One of my favorite perks of being a Muddy Boots member is the ability to record your garden notes and take them with you anywhere. As long as you have your cell phone in your pocket, you check photos and plant details on the go. You can also share your records easily all over social media!

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Q & A with Ms. Boots

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

I was curious to learn more about Ms. Boots and find out what inspires the creator of such a helpful website. Nancy was kind enough to share with me tips, tricks and garden favorites!How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

What inspired you to come up with the concept for Muddy Boots Plant Tags?
I am a garden designer and avid gardener. I have lots of friends with lovely gardens. We all, even professionals, occasionally stumble with plant names. Noticing this in my friends and in myself, I got to thinking about plant tags. None of us are interested in tags that disrupt the look of the garden, but they do need to be easy to read. With this rolling around in the back of my brain, I woke up in the middle of the night last July with the idea for Muddy Boots Plant Tags. I told Dennis about it the next morning, and he thought the idea was worth exploring. And here we are!

How did you first get introduced into gardening?
So many people were introduced to gardening by a parent or grandparent. That was not the case with me. When Dennis and I bought our first house, I just started planting and really enjoyed it. A friend I worked with gave me a plant catalog, and that was all it took. I ordered about 50 roses (yikes) and never looked back. In 2000 I went to school for horticulture and began designing gardens for others. In 2002 we moved to our current house on four acres, and we started making this garden. We call our home Acorn Hill. The year we moved in was a mast year, and we had so many acorns it was like walking on marbles. Ours is a pleasure garden and a laboratory for me to try things out.

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Acorn Hill, so full of life - here is the formal garden

Click here to view Nancy's comprehensive garden journal.

Do you feel staying organized can improve your gardening skills?
I definitely do think keeping track of garden things is important. I used to know every plant name, where I got it, when I planted it … but many years on I’ve started losing track of details. I’ve had garden journals and spreadsheets, but nothing is ever at hand when I need it. I am a visual person, and I like to document my garden in pictures. It is so fun to look back and see how things have changed over time. Our record-keeping system allows me to keep track of plant records, record maintenance notes, and upload lots and lots of pictures. It's all sortable and searchable, so it’s easy to access all the data I’ve put in.

Can you tell me a little bit about the plant tags and how they work?
Our plant tags have a QR Code (a 2D bar code) and tag number on them. Using a free QR Code reader on a smart phone, the QR Code is scanned, and the information that the gardener has entered into our system for a plant is displayed on the phone. The tag and the record-keeping system are integrated. Information is entered into the system, tag numbers are assigned to plant records, tags are scanned with a smart phone in the garden and information about the plant is displayed on the phone.

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Scan this tag on your screen with your phone to see how the QR code works!

I find it easy to enter data on my laptop, and use the phone to access that information in the garden. But you can create plant records and enter data right on your phone if you choose. Muddy Boots Plant Tags is a web-based application so it’s available on any device anywhere you have an internet signal. The tags themselves are rigid aluminum, resistant to UV, weather and chemicals, and will last for years in the garden. They can be hung on a plant with a wire or pinned to the ground with a landscape staple.

Are there any plants in your garden that are near and dear to your heart?
How to choose … I have a very special dogwood, Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ commonly known as the Wedding Cake Tree because of its layered branching architecture. The backdrop for this almost white-leaved tree is a Canadian Hemlock that is about 100’ tall and 100 years old. 

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ dogwood tree

I have a collection of Japanese Maples and a collection of dwarf conifers. So hard to choose a favorite Maple! Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ or Dancing Peacock is the most showy of my maples for fall color.

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Dancing Peacock maple leaf on bottom left

My favorite conifer is easier: Picea omorika ‘Bruns’. This Serbian Spruce has a bluish cast and branches that droop but tip up at the ends. It is a stunner.

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Picea omorika ‘Bruns’ conifer

Do you follow garden trends & incorporate them into your landscape?
As a designer, I have to keep up with all the latest plants and trends. I try things out in my own garden before including them in my designs for others. I have done a lot of meadows in the past few years and love the fact that they can be beautiful AND ecologically sound plantings. These days, everyone is getting Butterfly Weed, Asclepias, somewhere in their garden. 

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Butterfly Weed

What's important to take note of in a garden journal?
As I mentioned, I am a visual person so I take lots of pictures. I keep track of what plants and plantings look like from year to year. I don’t record all of my maintenance activities, but I do record pruning. I have a friend who takes no pictures, but records everything she does in the garden. I think it’s down to personal style, and with our system it’s easy to keep track in a way that’s easy and right for the individual gardener.

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Gorgeous herb garden located at Acorn Hill

Do you feel like art inspires you in the garden and vice versa?
For me, the garden is art!  I feel like I am painting with plants (and stones, and wood, etc.) and the result is not just something to look at, it’s something to be in, like walking into a painting.

Do you have advice for new gardeners looking to learn more & gain new skills?
My advice is to be a sponge. Visit gardens, both public and private. Read books and magazines. And get to know other gardeners with whom you can share your excitement and be inspired by. And always try things. Don’t worry about ‘doing it right’, just do it and see what happens.

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Future vegetable garden goals!

Like a garden, do you see Muddy Boots Plant Tags expanding in the future?
I absolutely see Muddy Boots Plant Tags growing. We hope to offer more options with tags - custom tags with plant names – and will be adding features to the application as we get feedback from our subscribers.

Get Started & Stay Organized

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

You can sign up and create an account today for free! This allows you to enter up to 25 plants and 50 photos into the Muddy Boots system. Accounts can be private or shared. They also allow you to export all of your data onto a spreadsheet! Check out their Pond Garden journal to see an example of what you can create. How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

If you want to create interactive tags for your garden, all you do is download a free QR code reader to your cellphone or tablet. When you scan your code, you will be able to see all of your garden records of the plant including pictures right on your phone! Tags can be purchased in bundles with prices available when you visit the website here

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Dahlia ‘Goshen Giant’

Interested in learning more? Make sure you check out Ms. Boots Blog. She shares garden design ideas, gorgeous flower photographs and ways you can make the most out of your account. She has recently shared some gorgeous pictures of dahlias that will make you swoon. 

How To Stay Organized with Muddy Boots Plant Tags | angiethefreckledrose.com

Click here to sign up for a free account today! Make sure you follow them on social media, and you can share your photos using the hashtag #mymuddyboots

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How do you document your garden? Do you keep a journal of some sort? Tell me in the comment section below. I'd love to know more. I want to thank both Nancy and Dennis for introducing me to Muddy Boots Plant Tags! This year has been a huge transition for me filled with re-organizing, building and starting from scratch again. I look forward to starting the next growing season energized and organized. Happy gardening!

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  • Reply
    Derrick John Knight
    October 14, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Nowhere near as organised as this, I find the blog is a helpful record – as long as I can remember a useful search word 🙂

  • Reply
    October 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    This is so cool, I’ll have to share this with my mum, she’s a huge gardener and I think she would love this!

  • Reply
    October 14, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    What a beautiful garden she has grown over the years. Maple tress are my favorite because of the beautiful colors during the fall. Those plant tags sound really interesting and nice you can use your phone to scan and looking up information.

  • Reply
    Bill Sweeney
    October 14, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    That is such a great idea. We are not this organized in our house. LOL I need to give this a try. It sounds really interesting.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    This is so amazing! We never have the kind of garden I want to have, and I think one of the reasons is that we forget what we have in there! I love this idea.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Oooh I can see how these would be really useful. I can never remember what I’ve planted where – I always think I will remember so I never make a note… doh!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 4:12 am

    Great way to keep organised Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week

  • Reply
    Tomi C
    October 15, 2017 at 8:15 am

    We have a small garden plot in our backyard and it’s nowhere as organized as this. The Muddy Boots website would definitely help me get a bit more organized and get a few ideas on what to plant next. Thanks for the introduction.

  • Reply
    Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh
    October 15, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Wow, now that’s a brilliant idea! It’s one of those, why didn’t I think of that items. This is great for all types of gardeners too.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    This sounds like a useful resource for gardeners. I used to have a green thumbs but it turned black this summer.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    four acres of land! thats amazing! her garden is amazing! its so green! I at times wish I had green fingers my plants always seem to die after a while 🙁 I’m going to try some of the tips mentioned within this post. fingers crossed

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    That is such a great idea. Sometimes I buy a plant one season and then the next year, I forget which I bought or what it is called. Great reference.

  • Reply
    Lisa Pomerantz
    October 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Oh to have a garden! I have bookmarked this so when we do, we can stay organized. Brilliant idea! Lovely photos! #ThatFridayLinky xo

  • Reply
    Joyce Duboise
    October 15, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    I love this idea so much. It makes me want to get outside and start gardening or even exploring. Beautiful photos, too by the way!

  • Reply
    Bonnie G
    October 15, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    This is super neat. I really love those photos as well. Especially the ones with the butterflies.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    This sounds like a pretty cool system. I work in a greenhouse and I am surrounded by plants every day. I am always learning more and love to add more plants to my yard, and it would be nice to have a system to keep track of it all.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2017 at 4:35 am

    This is a great idea for someone who loves to garden!! I have a black thumb so I will have to pass this post off to some friends!! LOL!!

  • Reply
    Leigh Anne Borders
    October 16, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    What a gorgeous garden! I think it is a fabulous idea to tag plants. As a newbie gardener, this would be so helpful.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    My gardening skills leave a lot to be desired. I love hearing others’ stories about how they are successful because I could use all of the advice. Those tags sound ingenious!

  • Reply
    rosemary palmer
    October 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    I so need this. I try to keep all the little tags and record them, but always lose some of them or just don’t get it done. Then the next year I wish I knew what it was.

  • Reply
    Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen
    October 16, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    This is such a great idea for those who love plants and have so many plants that they have trouble keeping them organized.

  • Reply
    E H
    October 17, 2017 at 3:21 am

    You have got the most amazing garden! So many awesome and beautiful plants! I am glad there is a way to stay organized with such a big garden!

  • Reply
    Michelle Leslie
    October 17, 2017 at 4:36 am

    What an absolutely brilliant idea Angie. It’s the one thing I never seem to get right in the garden is keeping records, so I really love this and the Duffy’s garden is breathtaking. Wow!!!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2017 at 12:07 am

    What a great idea! I’ve been struggling with staying organized lately myself. But I can only imagine when it comes to gardening! It’s turning out great!

  • Reply
    Mommy Blogger Pehpot
    October 18, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    I love your garden, so beautiful. I am now in the middle of creating my garden and I love your ideas.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Angie, I have gone as far as dabbling with growing some veg in the garden this summer, but not enough to warrant tagging.I do love to see a nice garden and the one at Acorn Hill does look impressive, those butterflies on the butterfly weed are so pretty! I can see how this tagging system would come in handy for avid gardeners.

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.


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