I spend much of my time talking with professional gardeners and landscapers, but my neighbor is another good information source. She has passed on numerous tips during casual conversation across the fence that separates our yards. Recently, we discussed plant markers. I find that plastic markers break and wood ones rot, making them useful only for temporary jobs, like marking a freshly seeded row. Even the more expensive zinc markers with wire legs fall apart, and etched copper markers are difficult to read once they weather. My neighbor's suggestion: stainless-steel BotanicaLabels Garden Markers. "I've tried them all," she said. "And after years of experimentation, these are the only ones that last." BotanicaLabels Garden Markers are neat-looking and endure the frigid New England winters where I live. The 3 1/2-in.-wide writing surface is also large enough to record plant names and planting dates. What's more, they come with a special paint pen that won't fade in sun or snow. You can, however, use lacquer thinner to remove writing for remarking. This autumn I'm using the markers to label my newly planted perennials and shrubs. Next spring when the snow melts, I expect to find the markers in one piece, and legible, too. Let's just hope my plants fare as well. A package of 10 markers and a pen costs $16.49 from Wren Garden Products; call 800/821-6245. Find them at igardenstore.com.