Desert Island Plant Challenge

Shirl  of Shirls gardenwatch has set up,

A Desert Island Plant Challenge
“There are no restrictions to growing conditions. Any plant will grow. Food plants are already available”.

Which three plants would you take with you to the desert island?

Well when I first thought about this I found it impossible to come up with only 3 plants. My head was whirling. Where to start? That this one. Luckily I decided on three groupings which helped me focus and stopped my head exploding. Phew!

1. A plant for fragrance.
2. A plant that has
3. A plant from my favourite genus .

So here we go:

Plant 1: For fragrance this plant takes some beating. It is Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Queen of the Night). The flowers open slowly during the evening and are finished by the following morning. They smell absolutely wonderful and the perfume, though strong, is not overwhelming or sickly.

Of course I will have to sit up all night by the desert island camp fire to see the flowers but I’m sure a few of you will be there to keep me company. I think I’d better take a torch.

Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Queen of the Night)

Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Queen of the Night)

Plant 2: I love Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’. The flowers are large and a pure sky blue. They are showy, dazzling and  peacockish. For me  they have that special something, that! If this picture looks familiar it’s because it is one of my rotating blog headers.

I’m sure the island will have a tree they can scramble over. I will erect my tent next to that tree, before I light my camp fire.

Ipomoea 'Heavenly Blue'

Ipomoea 'Heavenly Blue'

Plant3: Finally an example from my favourite genus –  Geranium. I’ve loved them for years and have never lost interest.  Some plants come and go but these stay with me for ever. They are so varied yet always beautiful. Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ has that lovely magenta with a dark eye combination that I find especially attractive. She would always remind me of my garden at home.

Geranium 'Ann Folkard'

Geranium 'Ann Folkard'

Mmmmm….I can see myself now sitting outside my tent, next to the camp fire, admiring my plants, hopefully with a cold glass of white wine in my hand. Shirl didn’t mention if there would be any wine to go with the food plants. I hope so. I wouldn’t want to depend on growing my own grapes. Too long to wait (lol).

Could you come up with 3 plants to take to this desert island? Go to Shirl’s blog to see which bloggers have taken up the challenge.


Gravatar 1 Shirl { 01.22.09 at 11:03 am }

Excellent choices! This is fun seeing who picks what and once again I find two from my long lists. I did consider a climber for my tree but I spent ages thinking on the geraniums. I had finally narrowed it down to phaeum. I had monarda, geranium, and cone flowers in my top list for flowers but the ground hugging lewisia won.

LOL… funnily enough I was going to say there was plenty to drink on the Island but then reconsidered it ;-) Cheers!!

Shirl: I’m glad you came up with this idea. It was very entertaining. Cheers to you too :-)

Gravatar 2 Frances { 01.22.09 at 12:18 pm }

Hi EG, this is so fun seeing everyone’s picks. Your first one looks so similar to Carol of Maydreams cereus, are they related? The morning glory is perfect, that color weaving around would give many hours of pleasure, and the geranium is a good color contrast for the vine. Love it!

Frances: Yes it’s the same plant as Carol’s. It was fun seeing what everyone had chosen.

Gravatar 3 Karen - An Artists Garden { 01.22.09 at 1:03 pm }

I wondered if you would pick Epiphyllum oxypetalum – but in the middle of the night I could not remember its name.

Love your choices Easygardener

Karen: Not a name that trips off the tongue is it. Glad someone thought of ‘Queen of the Night’ instead (lol)

Gravatar 4 Yolanda Elizabet { 01.22.09 at 1:43 pm }

Great choices, each and every one of them. Of course we need some wonderfully scented plants on our desert island, I picked one too. And the lovely Geranium will brighten many a day with her wonderful colour.

My desert island post is up too!

Yolanda Elizabet: Thanks. It has been interesting to see what everyone has chosen. I’ve enjoyed it.

Gravatar 5 Lisa at Greenbow { 01.22.09 at 2:52 pm }

Great choices! I will be there with you beside the campfire, guitar in hand and we will have a ball.

Lisa: I’m looking forward to it (lol)

Gravatar 6 tina { 01.22.09 at 3:10 pm }

Wonderful choices and the reasoning behind them even better. I especially love the fragrant plant choice and I’ve seen the morning glories on Tyra’s list too. Must be a special plant.

Tina: Thanks. Morning Glories are beautiful and as the flowers last only one day it makes them extra special.

Gravatar 7 Gail { 01.22.09 at 3:19 pm }

Perfect choices! Isn’t this the most fun! Your morning glory is glorious!
I do think that I want a few in my garden this summer..thank you! gail

Gail: I hope we get a summer this year otherwise my Ipomoeas will sulk!

Gravatar 8 Darla { 01.22.09 at 3:57 pm }

I was wondering about fragrance and white glowing flowers for the evenings on the desert as well. Great choices.

Darla: Thanks. I think the island is going to look very beautiful!

Gravatar 9 sherry { 01.22.09 at 5:41 pm }

Beautiful choices!

Sherry: Thanks. We all seem to have enjoyed the challenge!

Gravatar 10 Karrita~ My Mother's Garden { 01.22.09 at 10:03 pm }

So beautiful!
I just love the Heavenly Blue Ipomea! Morning Glory’s have always been a favorite of mine. This challenge was so much fun to think about.

Karrita: Amazing how hard it is to think of only 3 plants. I had to post quickly before I changed my mind again (lol)

Gravatar 11 Layanee { 01.22.09 at 10:23 pm }

I should have paid more attention to fragrance. Love your choices and this wasn’t an easy one was it?!

Laynee: No it wasn’t easy but it was a fun challenge!

Gravatar 12 Joy { 01.23.09 at 12:28 am }

Hello there EG !
I’m sure I remember you posting on Queen of the Night last year .. that picture is very familar ! I wish we could have a smell option on here .. I would love to know what it smells like.
Some one else picked that very same Morning Glory .. memory retention is terrible .. who it was I can’t recall, but that blue is a real eye catcher !
Perennial geraniums .. I have a few of them and they are little dears in the garden : )
Nice !!!

Joy: Yes I have posted about her before. Yes we need monitors with a smell option – that would make garden blogging even more fun :-)

Gravatar 13 Jan(ThanksFor2Day) { 01.23.09 at 5:01 am }

The fragrant plant caught my attention immediately! I must get one of those, is what I thought;) I’d have to check to see if I could grow it here, first…is what I then said to myself;) Anyway, it sounds wonderful! And perennial geraniums…I love them. I just started growing them last summer and they have done well for me. Great choices!

Jan: Thanks Jan. Glad you are enjoying Geraniums. They are such a pleasure to grow.

Gravatar 14 Anna { 01.23.09 at 9:45 am }

I like the way you went about choosing your three plants – it must have made it less of a dilemma:) I will have to find out more about the epiphyllum – which to my mind really looks like a desert island plant. Morning glories are always stunning – I hope that the summer suits them better this year. Hardy geraniums made it to my last half dozen too, but I just could not decide on which one to chose . One minute it was ‘Kashmir White’, the next it was ”Dilys’ and then ‘Salome’ and so on . I would have had to have them all.

Anna: It was an interesting exercise wasn’t it. I am hoping for a hot summer this year as ‘Heavenly Blue’ does absolutely nothing if it is too cool!

Gravatar 15 Miranda Bell { 01.23.09 at 12:08 pm }

I love your choices of plants – particularly the little Geranium – which I have in our own garden – infact I love Geraniums full stop! It never ceases to amaze me as to quite how many varieties there are… Happy Gardening Miranda

Miranda: Yes Geraniums are lovely aren’t they. Happy gardening to you too!

Gravatar 16 VP { 01.23.09 at 12:53 pm }

What’s great about this challenge is you come across plants you’ve not seen before. I must check out your Queen of the Night :)

I enjoyed your guest appearance over at Karen’s too ;)

VP: Do try Queen of the Night – it does best if it can grow tall (8 feet or so). Yes Karen and I enjoyed sitting in those deckchairs having a natter!

Gravatar 17 Dawn { 01.23.09 at 4:12 pm }

I love the little geranium too, I have white and purple and they seem to be a never fail flower. Don’t they have a scent when the stems are bruised? I wonder about the wine…..

Dawn: Geraniums are so reliable too. Yes some do have aromatic foliage. BTW – I’m sure there will be wine :-)

Gravatar 18 LindaLunda { 01.23.09 at 5:31 pm }

Great plants to bring with you!
Im so happy when you stop by my blogg!

I did have the same problem with my Echinaceas. The thing is that they need to have space and no competision in the spring in a warm place… and some nice food for the slugs! You know all you housepets need food ;o)!

Linda: Slugs are very good at finding food – unfortunately!

Gravatar 19 Racquel { 01.23.09 at 8:29 pm }

Great choices! Maybe we’ll all be stranded on the same desert island and look at the variety of plants we will have to enjoy! ;) The wine sounds good to me too, lol.

Racquel: I think that island is going to be very crowded :-)

Gravatar 20 Zach { 01.23.09 at 9:41 pm }

Your Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’ is beautiful. Do you have seeds of the plant to share/trade? I have some Ipomoea seeds I’d be willing to trade, if so.

Zach: I’ve not got any spare seeds I’m afraid. I don’t collect them, just let them fall to the ground, as quite a few plants are now self seeding. Not ‘Heavenly Blue’ though as it does not like low temperatures.

Gravatar 21 MacGardens { 01.23.09 at 9:59 pm }

Very nice choices indeed. We had the ‘Queen of the Night’ once upon a time but I think it passed on with our greenhouse. Heavenly Blue is a truly unique color in nature.

Macgardens: ‘Queen of the Night’ does need a lot of space so I’m lucky I’ve got a conservatory to keep it in.

Gravatar 22 Mr. McGregor's Daughter { 01.24.09 at 2:15 am }

I like how you went about choosing the plants. Maybe if I had had my thoughts organized it wouldn’t have taken me so long. You’ve selected beautiful flowers; the blue of the Morning Glory is so incredible. I have been seriously tempted by Geranium ‘Ann Folkard,’ but then I’m a sucker for just about any Geranium.

Mr McGregor’s Daughter: If I hadn’t thought of three groupings I would still be undecided :-)

Gravatar 23 Jan { 01.24.09 at 2:17 am }

Great choices esp. Heavenly Blue. I didn’t even think of vines when I was making my choices.

Always Growing

Jan: Too many plants to choose from! I forgot trees!

Gravatar 24 Dee/reddirtramblings { 01.24.09 at 2:42 am }

Great plant picks. I also love geraniums. What fabulous plants they are. I don’t know if I could live without them. Now, to think about my three plants. Hmmm . . . .~~Dee

Dee: Geraniums are lovely aren’t they. Good luck with your choices.

Gravatar 25 Carol, May Dreams Gardens { 01.24.09 at 4:02 am }

I brought my night-bloomer, too, to the deserted island. Mine blooms just once a year, one bloom it seems. I’d probably alert the newspaper if I had more than one bloom at a time like yours!

Carol: I had over 50 flowers last year but my plant is very large which helps!

Gravatar 26 sherry { 01.25.09 at 6:46 pm }

Queen of the Night is a beautiful flower. I love white flowers…
I shall sit with you and watch her bloom and the moon raise over our island.
So nice to meet you and your journal.

Sherry: I shall look forward to seeing you :-)