Desert Island Plant Challenge

Two posts ago I mentioned ‘If I was to be stranded on Dessert Island… it would be a plant I would take! Mm… that might be a good subject for a posting – I may come back to that one.’ Well here we are and the initial one plant has become three and by gosh this was so much harder that I ever expected! Given the criteriano limits to growing conditions whatsoever’ and with the assumption that food was on the Island this completely opened up the game. A plant from any country was now on the cards. Argh… too, too much choice!

Okay, seeing as this posting is acting as a host for others too I’ll try and keep mine fairly brief. My one plant was a complete no-brainer. It would be a foliage plant. A tactile one with height, movement and some sound as the wind gently blows through it.

Choice number one is a Bamboo, a bambusa, the clump forming type of bamboo which is not usually invasive. I would take a large specimen and consider dividing it before planting it. Above you can see some frosted leaves on one from my garden and a specimen courtesy of Wikipedia.

Plant number two had to be a tree. I love large trees but there is just no way my small garden could ever support one. A Desert Island could so… after a great deal of deliberation there was only one choice. I would have a huge, mature, weeping cherry tree. Ah… dripping with blossom and filling the air with its scent – just wonderful.

Next, my thoughts went to flowers on the ground. Oh my… I went round and round the houses on this one. So many books were opened here. This is where I really struggled! Mail came in saying other bloggers were going to take part and let’s just say panic set in. However, ground cover was my first thoughts for this one and my first love of alpines kicked in. However, on browsing I discovered something that really caught my eye and I started thinking about wild flowers. Before I give you my final selection I would like to share something else with you.

The photo above doesn’t look that exciting perhaps at first glance but this is the Machair on Berneray in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Reading from Wikipedia where I found the image above: ‘Machairs have received considerable ecological and conservational attention, chiefly because of their unique ecosystems. They can house rare carpet flowers, such as Irish Lady’s Tresses, orchids and Yellow Rattle along with a diverse array of bird species including the corn crake, twite, dunlin, redshank and ringed plover, as well as rare insects such as the northern colletes bee. Some machairs are threatened by erosion caused by rising sea levels as well as by recreational use of vicinity beaches.’ Notice there are no trees.

My searching then took to me to rare wild flowers for a while but I decided just one wouldn’t be enough. My Desert Island couldn’t have its own Machair as that would be cheating and my tree and bamboo would spoil its habitat. However, just imagine a Machair with wild flowers from all over the world. Now wouldn’t that be something!

Small simple flowers have always won me over. So, so many stuning flowers in the world and I have chosen a very simple plant. Also, its one I can’t grow succesfully outdoors in my own garden despite following all the advised planting methods. Ah… but any plant will grow in this Desert Island!

The third plant to come with me to this Desert Island would be a Lewisia, not one that shouts out with a rainbow of colours either. To me, rediviva, the one above has beauty on a whole different level. I would never tire of plants like this. What a picture this would be spreading around the Island. My picture is complete and I am eager to see what everyone else has chosen so I won’t keep you any longer!

Very quickly, I would like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has helped pass around the word with this. Thanks too, if you have posted. I do love postings like this. If you’d like to add the link of your posting below we can all pop by to see your choices. Another option is to leave a comment if you don’t have a blog or don’t have time to post. We’d all love to hear about them. Although this has been hard it has defintiely been fun – I hope you’ve enjoyed it too.

Just one final thing. I’ll keep this posting up right through the weekend for anyone still wishing to join in. I’ll do my bird count posting on Monday evening.

Update March 2011: I’ve reopened the Island! It is looking quite stunning now 😉 New plants are welcome… if you’d like to jump aboard 😀

This post was written by shirl for shirls gardenwatch. All photos above with the exception of the first one were taken from Wikipedia and all licences can be seen via the links given.

112 thoughts on “Desert Island Plant Challenge

  1. My head has been hurting (well, not really) trying to decide which would be my desert island plants. I’ll post the results later, but I love your three choices!

  2. A great idea, Shirl, and you came up with three neat choices! This was really fun. My post is up at Gardening Gone Wild.

  3. I had no idea there was a non-invasive bamboo! How pretty! Shirl, it won’t be the 22nd here for 3 and a half more hours, but my post is set to list at mid-night. It took some thinking before I could decide.–Randy

  4. I’ve been thinking too, trying to decide what the reasons would be for each choice. So many choices…

  5. With ‘no limits to growing conditions’, and since I’m a a ‘woodland’ lover: Betula papyrifera (paper white birch) for shade and love the bark … can also use it to write a thing or 2; woodland ferns (have survived on the planet for eons and need to be surrounded by plenty of green); and lily-of-the valley (the smell reminds me of my mother and 1st garden mentor). Thanks for the fun post, Shirl 🙂

  6. Hi Shirl,

    Nice choices. I didn’t recognice the Lewesia’s but now that I see them, I can see why you chose them. I wonder how many people will join in! Btw here is the link for my posting: joe-wildlife-garden.blogspot.com/2009/01/desert-island-plant-challenge.html

    Good luck with your bird count this weekend!


  7. Hi Shirl – it’s a fantastic idea for a post, especially in gloomy January and I took part in a similar challenge a few months ago. My head hurt from selecting 6 then, so I know I’m just not up to your challenge for three ;(

    I see you’ve got a great response already. I know you’ve said there’s plenty of food on the island, but I just might add an allotment based response to make sure we have some things we actually like to nibble on if that’s OK?

  8. Hi Shirl. You’ve chosen some interesting plants. Perhaps I could use your tree for my climber 🙂
    I’ve also posted my 3 choices.

  9. I’d like to add this comment/list from Urban Extension here so everyone can see it. Excellent choices Jane 😀

    “I will be trying to do the bird count but will need to give you my desert island plants now:

    1. Gunnera – I’ve always wanted one of these gorgeous plants, with their big hairy leaves. There would have to be lots of water as well… so lots of frogs/toads and newts hiding under it as well!

    2. Ancient Oak Tree. If I could have an ancient oak tree on the island I could look for birds, fungi, bats, spiders and insects all day long on/in it’s trunk and branches and I (and the mammals) could shade under it’s dappled leaves.

    3. Orchid. Perhaps I could get it to grow on my oak tree? The beautiful flowers would keep me smiling for months on end.

    That took more thinking than I expected! Jane x”

  10. Shirl, My ship is sailing right now toward the desert island, with my three plants. Thanks for setting this all up!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  11. Great choices, Shirl. We were thinking along the same lines regarding wild flowers. 😉 I’ve made my decisions and my post is up at Bliss.

  12. I like your choices Shirl. I was almost tempted by a tree too. Thanks for setting this up. It has been fun. I will be back later to see what other folk have come up with. My choices are up now 🙂

  13. Hi Shirl, I can see that this is a big hit already! Way to go! I am too excited to see what everyone has chosen too. Thanks for thinking this up.

  14. This was not an easy decision at all and infact I made the decision to consider plants only and not trees… but if trees were included in my list I’d have to have had an Autumn Flowering Cherry! Looking forward to seeing other people’s choices… Miranda

  15. Shirl, I have just put my post up and now I have to go and have a rest 🙂
    I will be back when I have recovered to look at everyones choices, and read yours properly.

  16. Hi everyone. I am thrilled to get such a response with this! My comments will need to be brief here so I can get round to see all your posts 😀

    Bernie, they must be wonderful in the wild 😀

    Jan, thanks, looking forward to yours 😀

    Nan, it has been fun. Thanks, I enjoyed seeing your choices It’s funny how
    some of our own picks have surprised ourselves isn’t it 😀

    Nature Nut, they were hard and not what I expected. Ask me tomorrow and I wonder if they will be the same 😉

    Jamie and Randy, yes, I’ve had mine a few years now. It slowly gets wider but nothing to worry about. Clump forming ones are often seen in pots here. I’ve added your link to my post list but sorry I put Jamie instead of Randy. I was going to put both names but accidentally hit the button. I’ll be over to visit soon 😀

    Catherine, yes, finding the reasons was tricky but after returning to the same plants that seemed the way to go. Have fun 😀

    Joey, ah… I would have had the birch too but would need to have more than one! That was second on my list. Ferns and lily of the valley wonderful, they remind me of growing up and woodland walks then. Nice choices, glad you enjoyed it 😀

    Joe, thanks, yours too. I did consider a bluebell wood too – great choice. I have lots of wonderful garden blogging friends and they are telling theirs so it will be great to see how many join in. Don’t know if I can keep up with the comments! I’ve added your link to the list. Thanks, looking forward to the bird count too 😀

    VP, thanks. I hadn’t realised James had done a similar posting. This one really came about by accident and a lucky one it seems to have been too! An allotment based Island sounds good to me 😀

    Denise, thanks and not ones I might have originally expected either. Yours was one of the climbers I considered – feel free. See you at the camp fire – cheers 😉

  17. Hi everyone. I am thrilled to get such a response with this! I am honestly trying to keep my comments brief so I can get round to see all your posts ;-D

    Carol, Great choices, good idea starting with one already in flower! Gosh I’m getting seasick on my ship! Great fun, I can see why you enjoy GBBD 😀

    Yolanda, thanks so I see! What are you like 😉 I’m expecting you’ll get a few visitors! Great to see you’re taking the plunge with a pond too – looking forward to seeing the final water feature!!

    Anna , thanks trees were probably the very first plant group I paid attention to as a teenager. I used to sit in fields drawing them. I’ll be by soon to see your choices. Glad you’ve enjoyed it 😀

    Frances, yes this is a bit scary! I never expected this. Thanks for your help. I am dying to see all the posts too. I will have to get tips on my roses from you. See you soon 😀

    Miranda, yes it was tricky to decide which way to go. I got completely hung up on wildlife and pollinators for a while – love your choices. In the end I went for variety. Love your choice of tree. See you soon 😀

    Karen, wow… what can I say? No wonder you are tired today – fantastic. We have the same top plant too. I couldn’t find the label for my bamboo but it has golden stems too. That was the one plant I would take! Heading over to re-read yours- just wonderful! Thank-you 😀

  18. Hi Shirl: I forgot to add my link to your post, so thank you for doing it for me. I LOVE this discussion–it’s so cool to see what other plant fanatics would take with them. I guess if I was going to be stuck on this island, I’d have to cheat and find a way to take all of these with me of course, because it really IS a challenge to narrow down to just three. And everyone has such good choices, don’t they?

  19. Shirl, this was a more difficult task than I expected. I think it will be great fun to see all the different plants that people will bring along. Wouldn’t it be magnificent to see a garden with all the picks growing in it??

  20. Hi Shirl, what an excellent idea. Great ‘escape’ from a grey January day. This is the first time our paths crosses and I must say I’m impressed of you blogs.

    Take care and ‘see you soon’/ Tyra

  21. Hi Shirl – I’ve been meaning to do an allotment version ever since James’ desert island, so your challenge is the perfect excuse!

    It’ll be tomorrow as I’d already scheduled my GGW Design workshop label post for today.

    Believe me, it’s a struggle to find just 3 veg to put together too 😉

  22. Shirl, What fun and quite possibly the hardest task for me! Love your choices, I decided a tree was a must, too! The word verification is drank. I wanted to whilst I made these choices! gail

  23. Hi Shirl,

    I’ve been thinking about this for some time now and couldn’t put it off any longer so I just went and done it. Got my post up, that is. Tnanks for the adventure!dewe

  24. Shirl, I find it great that we picked the same first plant. I did pick it before I saw yours (found the challenge from Frances).

  25. Lewisia rediviva is native where I live, but I’ve never seen it growing anywhere. I’ve been thinking about trying to grow it myself.

    I’m bringing Sequoia sempervirens to remind me of the California coast range, Lupinus albifrons to remind me of the California central valley, and Ceanothus lemmoni to remind me of the Sierra Nevada foothills.

  26. I found your blog via all those “desert island” stories on other blogs! What a wonderful blog (and challenge) you have.

    Since I already had a guest blogger for today, may I join this meme on another day?


  27. Shirl, This is a very fun challenge. I will have to work on this later but will try to get something up by tomorrow. I don’t really want to read all the comments either until I pick my three. On first thought I think my three will be easy as I can think of three in my own garden I wouldn’t want to live without… we’ll see though when I have more time to think.
    Great fun! I DO like your choices and the contemplation behind it.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

  28. Dear Shirl,
    Thank you for hostessing!
    I see that I would love to be on a desert island with all these gardeners. It would be so beautiful!
    Enjoy the bird count.

  29. I’m back again Shirl, I have had a delightful time exploring everyones “Desert Island Plants” Good to know we both picked Bamboo – although different varieties. That cherry tree is a real stunner, and the Lewisia, you have chosen is a delight.

    If the desert island was big enough to hold all of us, and all our plants – and not forgetting Yolanda’s Water feature 😉 I think we would have a really, really good time.

    Thanks so much for hosting this, it is fun – off to catch up with some more posts now.

  30. Great choices Shirt! What a challenge indeed, I will think about my choices and get a post up by tomorrow morning early! Thanks for coming up with such a clever idea. 🙂

  31. Lovely choices Shirl, I know just how tough it was to choose and I’m pretty sure I’ll soon think of other plants I really needed to have… Damn, some already popped into my head!

  32. Dear Shirl….I love your choices….it has been fun blog hopping and looking at the chosen plants….

    Like you I like small flowers and if they are wild flowers so much better…..a beautiful choice…..

  33. My three choices, Shirl…1. A liqidamber tree, 2. wild poppies, 3. geraniums.

    Great post, thanks for suggesting it 🙂

  34. Hi Shirl,

    Right now I’m going nuts trying to figure out where my real plants should go. No brain cells are left over for desert island decisions….but it will be fun to see what everyone chooses!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  35. Hi Shirl~

    Thank you so much for this fun challenge! I love seeing the variety of plant choices out there in blog land.
    I like the bamboo.

  36. You do realise that if everyone was on this island with all their plants, it would be a pretty huge island. A very delightful one though. I am a simple girl so have chosen 3 simple plants: Poppies for the pure joy they bring, Nasturtiums for their wonderful colour and ground cover (as well as being edible), and finally something with a bit of class, a wisteria for a bit of height and decadence. Now I will go and read everyone elses choices!

  37. Cool idea! I was going to go for something exotic, but ended up sticking with some of the fabulous plants I’m already familiar with. Thanks for hosting such a fun challenge:-)

  38. Shirl I have been in remiss in not leaving a comment on your selection girl !
    I love the bamboo choice .. we have just been able to get some in our zone .. “Green Panda” a clump forming one .. I planted it last Autumn and I am so excited to see if it has taken in the Spring.
    A tree for sure and yours is a beauty.
    I have Lewissa (Little Plum .. I think) and it is such a beautiful little gem in the garden ! Great picks girl !

  39. Hi there Jodi, Lisa, Tyra, Tina and VP sorry my island ship is running a little late but what a cruise this has been 😉

    Jodi – no probs, I didn’t want anyone to miss your posting! Yes, I have loved all the discussion too! It was hard to choose. This really has been a blast and yes I agree everyone has had great choices 😀

    Lisa –Yes, me too. I have loved seeing what everyone would bring and our Island would be a pretty special one if all our plants were growing together. Of course… we would all need to get together for a planting party 😉

    Tyra – This really was unplanned! It only came about through the ending in a previous posting and it snowballed from there! Everyone seems to have enjoyed it – I am thrilled. Yes, this is the first time we have met and I look forward to having a good browse through your blog now too. Thanks, I’m delighted you enjoyed your visit. Yes, definitely, see you soon 😀

    Tina – Oops… so sorry for messing things up by adding your link for you. Glad you got sorted. Thanks, there was so much deliberation on this one. I like the idea of saving some plants on the way and I always love plants for movement! Great thinking on the Iris – it was nearly left out 😀

    VP – Yes, go for it – I’m guessing this is going to be quite tricky for you too! Yes, I hadn’t seen James’ posting but since heard of it. Gosh, you’ve a busy blogging time just now. Looking forward to seeing your veg/fruit choices now 😀

  40. Hi there Gail, Carolyn, Daphne, Gayle and Cameron my island ship is chugging along trying to make up time! What a cruise 😉

    Gail – Yes, this really has been both fun and hard! Yes, I loved your tree and the verification LOL. This has been a blast ;-D

    Carolyn – Gosh… that sounds very like the way I eventually did mine too. The clock was ticking and as I had set the date I had to be ready in time myself! You are most welcome, I’m delighted you’ve enjoyed it 😀

    Daphne – So we did… that has been the fun part too hasn’t it? It has been so nice to meet new bloggers today. I’m glad you spotted this with Frances 😀

    Gayle – Gosh… how interesting, I would be trying to grow it too if I were you. Great choices – love the Ceanothus 😀

    Cameron – Welcome, thank-you I’m glad you popped by. Oh yes… definitely do join in another day we’d love to see your picks. I’m keeping this post up until Monday evening (UK time). See you later 😀

  41. I love your three choices. Well done!

    It's a difficult decision. My three choices would probably change from one day to another, but as of this moment they are:
    #1: An ancient Walnut Tree for shade & nuts.
    #2: Some climbing muscadine grapes for fruit, drink and more shade.
    and finally…
    #3: Lavender for color and scent.

  42. Hi there Meems, Sherry, Karen, PG and Nicole my island ship is slowly catching up time! What a cruise 😉

    Meems – it definitely is! Oh… yes please we’d love to see your choices. Thanks, it really has been fun hearing about everyone’s choices. Looking forward to seeing and hearing about yours 😀

    Sherry – Thank-you, it really has been fun. Oh yes… this desert island would be quite beautiful and such a fun place to be too – wonderful company! Thanks, I’m looking forward to that too. I’m wondering about a party hat 😉

    Karen – So you are 😉 Great, it really has been fun browsing! Yes, same first picks too. Yes, I loved the shape of the tree and I agree the flowers of the Lewisia were delightful. Oh yes… this island would be a planting party to beat all parties. Oh… but we wouldn’t need to dig. Yolanda has that covered! I’m thinking of the Coke TV Ad now 😉 Thank-you for all the work in your posting,it added so much to the day and thanks for your kind email at the end of it too 😀

    PG – Thank-you and it certainly has been! Oh yes… whenever you are ready we’ll all look forward to it. Thank-you, it has been such fun 😀

    Nicole – You are most welcome, and so we did! Excellent choice and a few others picked it too. What fun this has been 😀

  43. Shirl this was a hard task having only three choices. I finally narrowed it down to three and just posted them. This was a cute challenge.

    Always Growing

  44. Hi again Joy, Liz, Cheryl, Wildlife Gardener and Annie my island ship is on the home straight tonight! What a cruise 😉

    Joy – no probs, glad you got sorted 😀

    Liz – Thank-you… yours too. Ah yes… I think we’ll all think on more tomorrow 😀

    Cheryl – Thank-you, I agree the browsing has been the most fun. So many wonderful choices. Yes… there is just something special about small flowers – especially if they are wild. This has been a wild day – great stuff 😀

    Wildlife Gardener – Great choices…. The geranium was on one of my many shortlists. Wild poppies I definitely would associate with you but you tree I’m not familiar with. It looks quite special though 😀

    Annie – LOL… I feel your pain! Hope plans fit into place soon. The choices have been very interesting and great fun has been had by all 😀

  45. Hi Shirl,

    It is tough to pick one small ground flower when you want a whole meadow of them. The Lewisia is sure gorgeous.

    It may be tomorrow in the UK already. I managed to finish a Plant Challenge post for today in the USA.

    Thanks for doing this.

  46. Hi again Karrita, Dobby, Linette, Joy, Dawn and Jan my island ship is docking for tonight. I have enjoyed todays cruise 😉

    Karrita –You are most welcome everyone seems to have really enjoyed it and browsing the plant choices too. I am delighted. Yes, I do love the bamboos 😀

    Dobby – LOL it certainly would be and we would all have a great time too! Oh… great choices. I considered poppies and thought of Claude Monet’s garden with the nasturtiums which carpeted the ground in one area on our visit. I know that would look fantastic on your Island. Oh… the wisteria I am with you on that one – I love mine! I hope you enjoyed your browsing – Karen’s comic strip was brilliant 😀

    Linette – The idea came out of the blue and this has been such a fun day! Ah… I too thought on so many exotic plants that I can’t grow in my own garden but went pretty simple in the end of the day too. You are most welcome – I am delighted you enjoyed it 😀

    Joy – no probs at all 🙂 Yes, it had to be bamboo for me. I’ll have to look up Green Panda now – great name! Yes… there had to be a tree . Oh… I’ve had little plum… but lost it during the winter. Lovely flowers on that one too. Thanks – you too 😀

    Dawn – Thank-you, it has been hard for us all this one but fun too! Ah… love your choices, especially the tree. I agree this is today’s list and we wouldn’t be the gardeners we are if we didn’t change our minds 😉

    Jan -Yes, sorry to make it tricky for everyone! Excellent – what wonderful colours. Glad you enjoyed this too. My Island Ship has now docked for the night – it’s well after midnight here. Looking forward to visiting you properly in the morning 😀

  47. Whew! Finally…I’ve been thinking about this ALL day, and I finally finished the post! Now all we need to do is find that desert island!!

  48. A very enjoyable post and a worthy challenge. I like your choices! I responded with a post on my own favorites here at home.

  49. It was too difficult to select only three, so I decided to sneak in some zinnia seeds for the fourth plant.

    This was fun to do and even more fun to read other people’s choices.

  50. Hi Shirl, I love your choices, bamboo came in as a runner up for me. SHELTER!
    Anyway, I’ve used you mr linky and my post will be up for Friday.

  51. Boy, picking just three was hard, so I bent the rules slightly and chose “poppies” in general as my second pick.
    But I think if it was Groundhog Day and I woke up again tomorrow and discovered this blog afresh, I’d probably pick a completely different trio of plants. Good fun, though, and interesting to read everyone else’s choices.

  52. Shirl, I didn’t have time to make a post, but off the top of my head here’s what I would choose.

    1. A tall tree for shade, shelter, and seasonal beauty: red maple

    2. A plant that can be used to make things I’d need, like a fishing pole, lean-to, baskets, etc.: bamboo

    3. A plant to attract birds and butterflies, in order to lift my spirits: echinacea.

    Now all I’d need is a volleyball to make a “Wilson,” like Tom Hanks in Castaway.

  53. What a difficult task you gave, Shirl, but a challenging one! I really had a sleepless night too 😉 ! It’s almost impossible to stay with three plants only.
    One thing for sure is, a tree must come to the Desert Island and I’d probably choose the birch. A rambler rose would be its neighbour and the soil would be covered with a peony. All plants are connected with unforgetable and wonderful memories. If I had to choose according to my particular likings, then the list would be different. And if it had to be a reasonable choice the list again would look quite different too. I think the best thing for me is, not to go to the Desert Island and stay where I am 😉 !!! It’s fun and interesting to read what kind of plants other people bring along to the Island 🙂 !!

  54. Hi Shirl – at last my raft has made it to the island and I’m fanning myself with a palm frond after all my efforts 😉

    Now I’m off on a whirlwind tour to see what everyone else has chosen 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

  55. Hi Shirley just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for all the fun yesterday and for all the new blogs that I’ve now disovered – it was a great challenge all be it not easy – loved your choices by the way too… you’ll be needing a rest today before doing your bird count for the RSPB… do you happen to know if this is just for the UK or is it worldwide? Miranda

  56. Hi Shirl– I’m new to blogging and am having so much fun discovering all of these wonderful sites! This will certainly help me have a look around! I love this idea and when I have time later today, I will join in the fun and link to you with my top three personal choices, although how can any gardener choose just three plants! That’s like having to choose three children when you have hundreds! Thanks again, Pam

  57. Welcome, Pam I am certain you will find many garden blogs that will catch your eye through this posting but let me introduce to a few more places to discover heaps of garden blogs.

    Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day is a posting on the 15th of every month where garden bloggers post on what is in flower in their gardens then. It is great fun too. This is organised by Carol at May Dreams Garden and she organises a couple of others too. To get an overview and links for them all check out Carol’s posting 😀

    Next to an even bigger audience of garden bloggers – if you are ready for it! This time you need to submit your blog and join this group but it is easy and the rewards… well I’ll let you discover them for yourself. Everyone there is very friendly and very quickly you’ll meet many like minded bloggers. Just keep an eye on the time!

    Blotanical is brain child of Stuart in Australia which you will find here. I would really recommend joining 😀

    I am thrilled I can point you in some directions to discover new blogs. I am also delighted through this posting that I have discovered a few more myself. I’ve had a brief browse through yours and one posting caught my eye on grass patterns and I’ll be back to read it properly after I’ve boarded my Island ship and cruised around a few more islands 😉

    Now back to this posting. I hope you will enjoy browsing and I look forward to seeing your choices. LOL… I know what you mean! See you soon 😀

  58. Hi there Jan, Mac, Robin, Dawn and Jamie I am cruising in my island ship once again 😀

    Jan – Well done! Hope you found it by now and are sitting under your tree with a cup of tea in your hand ;-D

    Mac – Glad you enjoyed it. Great choices you made too 🙂 I see we both picked the same tree and a ground cover plant. I’ve really enjoyed discovering new blogs such as yours – I’ll be back for another visit 😀

    Robin – LOL… I think there were a few seed packets in pockets! Great choices you made for the bees, birds and butterflies. I discovered a wonderful butterfly story while searching for my choices. I’ll keep that for another day! I agree, it was great fun reading about the other choices everyone made 😀

    Dawn – I see your post is up now. I’ll be cruising along soon! We need all sorts for the Islands – practical is good 😀

    Jamie – LOL… yes I do believe we would all have different choices the next day 😉 Ah… I loved your first choice – what a stunning flower. I agree it has been great fun and meeting new people too 😀

  59. Hi there Pam, Barbara, VP, Miranda and Janet my island ship is on its way once again 😀

    Pam – no worries, it is great to get your list. Love your choices… I picked a tree too and considered a maple also. Yep… my first plant was also a bamboo. I thought I’d build a tree house in my huge cherry tree 😉 Ah the cone flowers… they were in my short list for flowers but I went for low ground cover in the end. LOL… and you want to leave your Island? Perhaps you need Yolanda’s helper 😀

    Barbara – Oh yes.., it was and I expect many heads hurt after it 😉 Ah… great another tree – I thought on birch too. Ah… yes I could see you with both roses and peonies and a wonderful way to choose them too. Yes, as the likings were left completely open it was fun to see which way people went. Doing it all again the next day and I’d bet both likings and plants would be different. It has been fun but I can see why you decided to stay at home too 😀

    VP – I bet you are too! I never underestimated at all the challenge you set yourself by only using food plants 😀 Even not being a food and veggie grower I’d find it daunting. I’ll not mention your choices here so others visit – nice selection! Enjoy your tour of the islands – I’ll be cruising by yours very soon! Oh yes… I liked your pick of six too 😀

    Miranda – You are most welcome and I am thrilled you’ve found new blogs. I noticed on one blog a comment excitedly mentioning that they had spotted a blog from France 😀 Oh… yes this wasn’t easy and I took so many routes considering birds and wildlife too. In the end I just went for the plants that I kept coming back to. Yes… thanks this has been a bit of an unexpected whirlwind of a posting. Most enjoyable though too! Ah… the bird count. It is usually just the UK but I’ll try and find out for you. Have a great weekend 😀

    Janet – You are most welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Enjoy your weekend 😀

  60. Hi, I am new to the garden blogger world and reading everyone’s ideas has been so interesting. I have made a post on my three choices, three flowers for me, the ones I can’t live without.

  61. This is soooo much fun, Shirl! I’ve been too busy to play along, but hope to get caught up with you–and maybe post my own “Desert Island 3”–this weekend!

  62. Just posted. I arrived to your blog via Tyra’s blog that I follow. Too much to do now, but will be back to check out all the comments and blog entries.

  63. What a great idea to cure the Mid-winter Blues! Thanks for hosting this. I like your choices, they are so different from mine. I think that’s the best thing about this meme, the choices are so idiosyncratic.

  64. As I said in my post – if I were to come up with a list tomorrow, it would probably be a different set of three plants. But I made my list anyway… 🙂

  65. Shirl, When I stopped by before I didn't comment on your flower/plant choices, but my very favorite is the weeping cherry! That just may be my second favorite tree. You could sit under yours and I'd sit under mine & we could sip mint julip's all day:)
    Bamboo seems to be a favorite of several people; I've never tried to grow it. I will keep it in mind that the clumping kind is the best–NOT the running-rooted kind…I've heard how invasive that can be & impossible to stop from taking over.
    Your little flowers at the end are quite sweet. Never heard of them, but they are a very nice choice. This is going to be a grand event when we all get there!

  66. Shirl! what a wonderful idea! I love creating posts which encourage other bloggers to join in. A great place to meet other garden bloggers, thank you!

  67. Hi there NHG, Kim, Salix, MMD, Zach, Jan and Matron. I am back on my Island hopping ship for an evening sail! See you all soon 😉

    NHG – Excellent I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it. I’ll be sailing towards your island very soon to see your flowers 😀

    Kim – Oh… I thought you’d enjoy it but I knew you might be short on time. I’m keeping this open until Monday evening (UK time) especially for people like you. No probs if you run out of time for a post. I’d still love to hear your choices in a comment though if you’d like to leave them 😀

    Salix – Excellent, I’ll be sailing over to your Island very soon. Yes, do return, it has been great fun reading through the choices everyone has made 😀

    MMD – Yes, although I never really thought on that when this all started. I made a remark at the end of an earlier posting and it snowballed very quickly after! I have been so surprised at the response. I agree, it has been great to see all the different selections 😀

    Zach – Yes, I do believe many of us would! Ah… but this was a list of the moment and I guess that is what made it such fun for us all. Will be setting sail for your island very shortly 😀

    Jan – No worries at all. Thanks, yes I am still happy with my choices for the moment. Yes, I can picture your weeping willow next to my weeping cherry tree. Yes, this has ended up being quite an island party we have going on here 😉

    Matron – Thank-you, this one was unplanned it more came about and such fun it has been! Yes, it certainly has been a great way to meet new bloggers and I’ll be sailing over to your island to see you very soon 😀

  68. Hello! I found your blog via Yolanda Elizabet’s very late last night, so sorry I’m a bit late with this. A very interesting idea – I was already contemplating a similar one myself, as I’ve said on my blog – and I’m going to enjoy reading through everyone else’s choices, though I suspect it will take me a while! I’m glad to see from the comments that I’m not the only one who has been a bit sneaky with the poppies and the fourth plant though 😉

    I love the Lewisia – I hadn’t come across them before.

  69. This was a tough challenge, Shirl. 🙂 It really required a bit of thought, there being so many plants one would like to keep with them.

  70. What fun! Of course now I really feel bad about not having better photos of my garden. Well, I started the blog in part to motivate me to make more pictures…
    thanks so much!

  71. As hard as it was 😉 I finally did it- course I was busy all day and didn’t even know what was going on until well after dinner! I’ve so enjoyed this- thanks!

  72. Okay, I’m late, but I’m here! Added my post

    “Since I Missed the Boat, I’ll Have to Swim…”

    to the desert island challenge.


  73. Thanks for suggesting this, Shirl! I’m a little late joining in, because I’ve been reading so many other posts and trying to choose just 3 plants. It has been fun to see the variety of plants that everyone has chosen.

  74. I’m late, too! But what fun this was!! My post: yardisgreen.blogspot.com/2009/01/deserted-island-ohmygoodness.html


  75. Thanks for finding the time to stop by for a visit (you busy girl, you!)- I’m glad you enjoyed it- I’m off to read what others have come up with- happy gardening!

  76. After entering the desert challenge, I came back to really check out your blog and realized you were from Scotland. While growing up in Detroit, my next door neighbors were and elderly couple from Scotland, Hugh and Sarah McLaren, and made such an impression on my life. Being incredibly shy, they took me under their wing and spent alot of time with them. I’ll never forget their smiles, Hugh’s laugh and their kindness through my awkwardness. If I ever have a chance to go abroad, Scotland is the one place I’ve always longed to visit and remember the McLarens.

  77. I’m a first time visitor here. Participating in the challenge was fun, though difficult:)
    I just posted my choices.
    I love the pic of the weeping cherry tree!

  78. How I would love to have a weeping cherry tree! -This challenge has been really fun…and hard! It wouldn’t surprise me if I regret my chocses by tomorrow!

  79. Hi there Juliet, Skeeter, Nancy, Renate, Tessa, Andre and Cameron. Gosh, I can’t believe three nights on… I am still out on my island ship cruising islands 😉

    Juliet – welcome! I have been thrilled with the response this has had and I don’t mind in the slightest that some posts are after the 22nd. I left this post open over the weekend just in case 😀 I hope you enjoyed reading the posts as much as I did. LOL… I don’t mind any rule breaking – there are no plant patrols on the islands 😉

    Skeeter – It certainly has! I am delighted you have enjoyed it as much as I have 😀

    Nancy – Yes, it was and much harder than I expected too! It was very interesting to read how everyone made their picks wasn’t it?

    Renate – It was, wasn’t it! Ah… sometimes even with many photos you can’t find the right one 😉 Enjoy blogging and taking photos for your blog 😀

    Tessa – Great to see your picks! This all really caught me by surprise. A very nice surprise! I am thrilled that so many took part. Nice choices 😀

    Andre – Yes, you are probably right! I did love your choices though 😀

    Cameron – You made it though and I am thrilled you enjoyed the trip 😀

  80. Hi there Rose, Shady, Tessa, Kylee, Bleulily, Bek and Katarina. My island ship must be coming to the end of its cruise but what a great trip this has been 😀

    Rose – Glad your dingy got you to your island safely! Oh yes… I do believe there are a few parties on the islands already! Yes, it has been fun reading the plant picks 😀

    Shady – No, no I definitely wouldn’t place you on an island all by yourself! Oh… you have many nice neighbours – I can vouch for them 😉 Nice picks and I can see the pasque flower caught a few eyes too 😀

    Tessa – Good job I haven’t had to paddle 😉 Ah… I know what you mean about your mind drifting on this one! I had the same – during the night too! I really didn’t know what I had started… honest 😉 I am delighted that you have enjoyed this too. Thank-you and happy gardening to you too 😀

    Kylee – Ah… and very nice they are too! Great choice of tree… that was my back-up so I’m delighted to see a few on our islands! I am thrilled I went with this as everyone has enjoyed it so much. It was one of these spur of the moment things which makes it even better 😀

    Bleulily – I am delighted that you enjoyed this challenge and also that you returned for a visit afterwards. What a wonderful story. I did wonder if you knew which part of Scotland the McLarens came from at all. I hope you get to visit one day 😀

    Bek – Welcome! I’ll be sailing towards your island very soon 😉 You have very nice choices! Although I am not familiar with your last plant I like the look of it. Ah… the weeping cherry pic was a find. I’d love a tree with such character and twisted, mature, branches 😀

    Katarina – If you had the space it would be wonderful wouldn’t it 😀 I agree, hard but fun – I also agree that my choices might change yet too. They were made for that moment and that is what made this so much fun. Ah… your first plant is one I deliberated over many times! I must get sailing over to see your choices properly! See you soon 😀

  81. Dear Shirl … after replying with an early comment and now reading all these wonderful posts, I know I might regret it but would love to invite all over to my woodland tent for a glass of May Wine (that is if I can sneak pocketfuls of Sweet Woodruff past the official counter of ‘3’ … now, what are we all going to eat?

  82. Hi again Joey, what a generous invitation! Oh yes… I’ll close my eyes to the woodruft. Now… do you think you have a tent big enough for everyone 😉 I had a feeling there would be a party or two on our islands 😀

  83. Cool blog. I recently started blogging. I see now that I need to take a lot more pictures this summer.


  84. What a fabulous success your challenge was, Shirl! Isn’t amazing how an appreciation for plants and flowers can bring together so many kindred spirits. Good job! I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  85. Hi there sweet bay, Brian and Anderson🙂

    sweet bay – Glad you enjoyed it, it really came from nowhere and I have been overwhelmed by the response it had! Ah… yes that photo catches my eye every time I scroll pass it. I’ll be heading over to see your picks soon 😀

    Brian – Thank-you! Oh yes… you can’t collect enough pics for a blog. You just never know when you might want to use them. Enjoy blogging 😀

    Anderson – Yes, I really cannot believe yet what it buzz it was that day. It was brilliant! Yes, plants, flowers, birds, wildlife all bring us together and we can learn and share in so much through our blogs too. Thank-you, I will look forward to your visits 😀

  86. I might be a little late with my plant picks for the island, but I will leave them anyway.
    My first choice would be mountain dogwood (cornus nuttallii), showy penstemon (penstemon speciosus), and my beloved California poppy (eschscholzia californica).
    I hope I can figure out how to subscribe to your blog.

  87. Day late and a dollar short, but my choices are over at pleasanthillramblings.blogspot.com. Thanks for the challenge, Shirl! Cheers!

  88. Hi Shirl – I’ve posted another one today as yesterday’s post research revealed Graham Stuart Thomas, Beth Chatto and Christopher Lloyd were set a similar challenge a few years ago. It seemed a pity not to add their choices to the mix!

    I’m announcing another fun meme on February 2nd – I do hope you’ll join me 🙂

  89. Hi there Susan, J and VP, sorry my island ship got delayed by some bird counting 😉

    Susan – Welcome and thanks for adding your picks! Ah… I see the poppy is a fav again. There will be quite a collection on the islands. Oh… I love the penstemon too and they can have a long flowering season – bees love them. Excellent! A dogwood another great choice, I love their stems. Great, I can see you managed to sort the following. It is great to see people using it – I feel quite humbled by it 🙂

    J – No probs with time, great to see another selection 🙂 I am just staggered with the response this has had! Glad you enjoyed it. Great picks…. love your bulb choice 😀

    VP – Thanks very much for adding this! What a treat, I am thrilled you came across it. I would like to say I planned the timing of mine but it just happened by chance. I can’t wait to hear what you’re planning 😀

  90. What a great challenge Shirl, thanks. My three choices were a myrtle beech tree (Nothofagus cunninghamii) which is temperate rainforest tree; pansies for something to chat with; and an orchid (Coelogyne cristata ‘Alba James’) to give me something to fuss over. So interesting to see other gardener’s wish lists!

  91. You said there would be food on the island so we didn’t have to go with edibles, but my favorite plants produce food. I love olive trees.

  92. Hi there Sam and Ryan, its great to see selections still coming in 🙂

    Sam – Delighted to hear you’ve enjoyed it. Ah… a very nice list! I particularly love the sound of your tree especially as it’s an ancient one 😀

    Ryan – No problem you can take food plants if that’s your preference. Nice tree and selection 😀

  93. Well, I got carried away and tabulated all the plants that were submitted to your challenge at macgardens.org/?p=402
    Just a result of having encountered so many interesting plants through your challenge. Thanks for starting everyone off…

  94. Hi there Juilet and Mac 🙂

    Juilet – Great stuff so I see! What wonderfully rich and vibrant colours 😀

    Mac – Brilliant!! In all honesty I had planned doing a version of this myself but ran out of time. I am thrilled to see you’ve done a posting for this and what an interesting read it makes too. Thank-you 😀

  95. I'm too late to add my three plant choice to your blog but I have posted it on my blog. It took me forever as I kept changing my mind.

    Great challenge, and wonderful choices from people.

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