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March 25, 2011

The Sun is Shining in the Sky …

by Val Reynolds
Drumstick primula

Drumstick primula, sown May 2010

The sun is shining in the sky and it’s seed time! The most exciting time in my gardening year. The anticipation, the joy, the expectation. But then there is the labelling … I have so often sown the seed and not bothered to write a label thinking I won’t forget that particular tray.

Wrong! I have often forgotten and some seeds haven’t received the attention they need, especially those that take more than a month to germinate.

That’s all in the past. This year I have a labelling machine. A Brother P-touch GL200 and a wondrous machine it is too!Brother label printer

A dream machine it is a computerised, battery run labeller. Lightweight and so portable I can do the labelling in the garden if I want. In fact though, I generally print out the labels before I go into the garden, much easier to prepare the labels before I get my fingers muddy.

I can’t say enough good things about it, and so far, touch wood, I can’t think of anything negative. The labels are rainproof, humidity proof, fade proof, heat and frost resistant, can be on coloured tape. I can choose the typeface which can be small, medium or large, on a long or short strip. It has a built in date and time clock. You get to see the text before you print on a small screen, and it can be neatly cut. All I do is make sure I have enough plant sticks to add the label to! Easy. If you’re interested in the specification go to

Actually I can think of a negative, the price of the replacement tape is a bit steep. But honestly the machine is so useful I can tolerate that, just.

Seed collected 2011

One of the uses I have put it to is to add an appropriate label inside the numerous plastic bags of seed I have collected last year. That way I know what those funny looking seeds really are this year and the label is ready to go. What joy!

My husband uses it for labelling his filing folders and I have used it for all kinds of jobs around the house and elsewhere – even the little plaque on a fence post giving the website address for our front garden!

Website plaque

Label weathering well

It is one of those gadgets I really wouldn’t be without.

RRP £27.55, available on Amazon Brother P-Touch Label Printer

Kate Campbell, Gardening editor

We have a Brother P-touch GL200 to GIVEAWAY to an In Balance reader. To enter the draw send an email to with Brother P-touch GL200 in the subject box and your full contact details in the text box. Entries to reach by latest 25 April 2011. One entry per household.

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