Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shirl's challenge

Shirl, put up the challenge: You are going to a dessert island and can bring three plants. Which ones would you pick? (There is already all kinds of veggies there, so all ornamental) Go to her blog to see all the "answers"
Here's mine.
It is really a challenge........ after lots of consideration - without looking things up in magazines and on the web - I decided that something to ad structure would be more important than beautiful flowers (which I really wouldn't want to be without either)

1. Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki' (dappled willow).

It is a small shrub, the young leaves variegated green, white and pink. You can create a small tree working with one year old rods:

A willow can be utilized in many ways using living or dried rods. Hedges, fences, baskets, plant supports, furniture, shelter to name a few. You can also ad some sprigs to alcohol for a nice bitter - which by the way also cures aches and pains as willow contain salicylic acid.

2. Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' (feather reed grass). There are so many beautiful grasses - very difficult to pick out one - but blooming fairly early with fantastic colours and the plant's shape and beauty in winter made me pick this one. I bought one plant 4 years ago and today I have about 25 of them simply by dividing the plant every year. Now I'll let it rest to develop larger beautiful clumps.

3. Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'. Had to be a hydrangea and this is the one that I know the best, but there are so many gorgeous ones - I really like the blue and purple mopheads and the lacey ones, and how about the oak leafs (but unfortunately they are not as easy-going in my garden climate). The big, long lasting flower heads on 'Limelight' start out a pale lime green and the colour change on the flowers as they mature into deep pink/burgundy and look beautiful until winter.

Sorry, I didn't have any photos from the garden of number 2 and 3, but you can find them on many great websites. My favorite for information and links is: Yvonne Cunnington's site has beautiful photos and great garden info. and if you are not familiar with her blog, check that out too.


  1. Excellent choices. I have seen Limelight on Racquel's blog, but also a few hydrangeas elsewhere-they are so fabulous! I just purchased this willow and so hope it does well. I am told it needs lots of moisture. Love the grasses. All so nice.

  2. Hi there Salix my island ship is out on an evening cruise around the Islands ;-)

    Nice choices! The willow looks pretty and I’m guessing you could use its stems to make things on your island to keep you busy. Love the grasses but my attention was caught by your description of the hydrangea – very nice indeed! I’m off now to another island before it gets dark ;-)

  3. I picked a mophead hydrangea, but your willow was wonderful. I am not familiar with that one. It would be lovely on a desert island.

    Always Growing

  4. Tina, I just looked at your Desert Island choices and they are great. I really love irises as well.
    Yes, willows love moist or even wet soil, but once established they will grow in almost any soil and condition.


I love to hear from my readers - your comments are much appreciated.