A lady in my OS used to keep them, too. She probably had as many. I probably have had that amount of tombstones over the years. Loss of a compot or two and in the beginning years lots of hard lessons learned. It is painful to look at, especially when there are still price stickers attached.
Nah, I'm a holder-on person. It reminds me of 2 things. Don't try things w/out making the proper preparations for maintaining them; and don't buy little tiny pieces of plants or seedlings if avoidable.
I have my +/- 500 plants stored in a small Access-DB with one field named 'KO-Date'. This allows me to do a cleaning-up from time to time. I must have deleted over the years more or less the same number as your pictured tomb-stones. Now, what I must confess is that there were certain species that I had to delete again and again: ex. Cattleya dowiana, Phrag. besseae!, Sophronitis coccinea... . I am sure, I do not have the real green thumb, but I am tenacious ( or stubborn?) enough to retry those always again. Jean
Eric, I know how you feel looking all those labels. We had been in our new location for 3 years with the Orchid Nursery really starting go. We had 2 late frosts hit late in the year, one at -7c & the next day -4c . Over the next 3 months I through 2000 flowering size cymbidiums and 100 compots of cym (20 plants/pot) on the compost heap. Edumacated big time.
My plants are listed in Excel. When I lose one, I copy and paste that row into the 'Plants That Died' section. I found that depressing ??????? so I deleted most of them. Mostly the common ones which I don't really miss. The ones I really miss are still listed, if I gain enough confidence, I may replace them later.
I think the problem is that most of us see or hear about things that are interesting but they're either not in the range of our growing conditions, or they're not really established enough to survivr our conditions, or our cultural methods, watering habits, media choices, lighting, etc. are improper and we don't make the necessary adjustments. The type of plant I've massacred in quantity is small pleurothallids. Unfortunately living in apartments and acquiring tiny plants from vendors accerbated the problem. Finally I got an ultrasonic fogger that [combined w/ a fan] seems to provide the cool humid condition they need. The worst part of the graveyard is that some of those plants [like the besseae 'peachy x chinook'] are not around any more.
Eric, most of what I lost were seedlings but also my breeding stock which were "one only" exclusive plants in the main. All were awardable or close to but never presented. Some had won Champions of shows and about to be M/cloned. Some of the seedlings I sold before the loss have flowered and are winning Best of Shows and awards. Doesn't help me coz I can't continue the breeding program, there's nothing left.