Why don't we label all of our plants?

Flower bed at Peckover without labels
We limit the number of plant labels in the garden National Trust Images / Paul Harris

We're often asked why there are so few plant labels in the garden.

An explanation

We realise it can be frustrating when you want to know the name of a particular plant. There are several reasons why we limit the number of labels:
  • We want to retain the feel of a family garden: Peckover isn't a botanical garden.
  • A lot of labels in a border can make it look like a cemetery. Our borders have several seasons of interest and if we labelled everything such as spring bulbs and winter-flowering plants, the borders would look very unattractive.
  • Labels have been picked up and moved, sometimes even taken.
  • Birds often pull labels out of the ground and they can be dislodged when border maintenance tasks are done. If a label is not in the right place, it is of no use.
  • A lot of our borders are quite deep and some visitors may be tempted to walk on them to read the labels. This could cause damage to the plants and compact the soil.

How to identify a plant

If there are plants you would like to know the name of, we'll do our best to help you. Please either:
  • Ask one of the gardeners. We're always happy to answer any queries, such as how to grow it or where to buy it (we may even have some on our Peckover plant trolley!). We'll write the name down for you too, if you'd like us to.
  • Use one of the Border Guides which are free to use and can be found at Reception, in the summerhouses and at the Reed Barn.
  • Ask one of our volunteers: we have Garden Stewards who lead a free tour of the garden on most open days and volunteer gardeners. If they can’t find a gardener or answer your query themselves, they'll take a contact number or email address and we'll get back to you. So that we can answer your query accurately, please give a good description of the plant and where it's growing in the garden. House staff and volunteers will pass queries on to the gardeners as well.