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learning names

ashley13ashley13 Posts: 162
Hi my name's Ash I'm 42 and i live in North Wales.  I used to volunteer in a garden centre near me before the pandemic happened.  It used to frustrate me because I didn't know anything about plants, i tried to do what my boss suggested which was to take the names of plants they had in and then learn whether they like shade, part shame or full sunlight.   I found that more confusing because i'd learn it, then my boss would confuse me more with more information and the flowering times.

I am disabled and use a wheelchair, i suffered head injury when i was 6 years old, so i find learning difficult.   I like learning names of plants not the theory,  is it a good idea to learn names of plants for this time of year?   But then, plants would be different here in north west wales.
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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,638
    maybe just focus on plants in flower just now? eg Camelia, primroses, spring bulbs even? 
    As the season moves on and more plants come into flower you can move onto those?
    Devon.
  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 162
    so for flowers eg Camelia,  so what do i do just remember the name Camelia that flowers in spring?
  • tui34tui34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 1,981
    @ashley13  You could look up Camelia on your search engine - perhaps google.  

    In an exercise book, or on a card or better still in a book that has A.B.C.D.E. etc (like a personal phone book) you could write Camelia in the C section and some information that you like about the plant.  Maybe you could find a picture of it.  Even write down the link that you found on internet so that you could look at it from time to time.  I do this.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • tui34tui34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 1,981

    @Ashley  You can also draw and colour in the Camelia plant and flower in your special plant book if you can't print a picture.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,444
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    Hello again Ashley.
    I see you have been trying to learn plant names for over 3 years I do hope you have been able to retain some. 
    Plants are the same plants whether you are in North Wales or Cornwell.
    I hope you will be able to get back to the garden centre soon.

  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 162
    No i haven't really because im told the information i learn  is wrong.   I cant remember but i committed to memory that ASTILBE likes part shade, but then i was told it depends where in the world it is, or i remember something flowers march - August then im told no thats just a guide, it doesn't necessarily flower in march.   Can you help me to learn names of spring plants and whether they flower in my area, north west wales.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,002
    Plants have lots of names which makes it more difficult. They have common names and you probably know some of those, like dandelion or foxglove.
    But some common names are used for more than one kind of plant, so it is easy to get muddled.
    Plants also have Latin names and these can help sort the muddles if you understand how they work.
    Think of a tree.
    You could draw a picture for each plant, that shows the tree. Start with just one branch and one twig and add more as you learn the names.
    If you can add a note about the flower, single or double, what colour and where it likes to grow and so on it, will mean you might be able to answer a customer question, and that will make you feel it was all worth it :)

    The trunk is the Genus name - Camellia

    Then there are the branches - the Species. There can be lots of branches, but some Genera have only one or two. (Genera = more than 1 genus)
    Camellia has more than 100, but the ones you are most likely to see are Camellia japonica,  then Camellia sinensis and perhaps Camellia sasanqua. 

    Branches have twigs and at the end of each twig there is just one  Variety, with its own special name. Camellia japonica elegans for example, or Camelia japonica 'Bob Hope'.
    Nandina domestica, which you might find in your garden centre, has only 1 branch, but still has lots of twigs
    The most helpful name to know is the trunk one - Camellia. That means you can start looking in the right place.
    If you can manage the branch name too, that's even better and will help you look up the right plant more quickly..
    But there are thousands of twigs on this tree and you don't need to learn them all.
    A customer might ask for one particular one though, so it helps to understand how all the names work. Trunk, branch, twig is easy to remember and you will get to learn some of the most popular 'twig' plant names in time.


  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 162
    I'm interested in history, and i make questions and answers from a book that im reading, i find it helps me to remember facts and things i want to remember.   How can i do this with plants?   I remember Camellia Japonica being at the garden centre 2 years ago.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,120
    ashley13 said:
    No i haven't really because im told the information i learn  is wrong.   I cant remember but i committed to memory that ASTILBE likes part shade, but then i was told it depends where in the world it is, or i remember something flowers march - August then im told no thats just a guide, it doesn't necessarily flower in march.   Can you help me to learn names of spring plants and whether they flower in my area, north west wales.
    The information you've learned isn't wrong, but it is guidance rather than fixed definite rules. The problem is, plants don't read the textbooks! Sometimes they'll grow in conditions that they aren't supposed to like, or flower earlier or later. But if, for example, you were advising customers in a garden centre, or choosing plants for your own garden, the guidance is a good start. People get to know their own local conditions, it comes with experience.
    Flowering times quoted (eg on seed packets or plant labels) are guides too, for example your Astilbe might start flowering in March in a milder area but not until later where it's colder, but it might finish flowering later if it started later. And to add to the complications, things might start/finish flowering earlier or later in different years in the same place depending on the weather. Last spring was hot and dry here and lots of things came on earlier than usual.
    It would be a good start to learn the general "textbook" information, but to also try to understand the kinds of factors lead to variation.
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