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Thursday, 22 January 2009

My top 3 "desert Island" plants....

A fun challenge was set by Shirley of Shirls Gardenwatch in Scotland to consider the three plants you'd take to a Desert Island with you - bearing in mind that plants providing food already existed! This made the choice marginally easier, but was actually incredibly difficult - of course I spent ages trying to think of plants that would give the longest season of flowering or ones that would give interest during the winter months and in the end came up with these three....

I had to have a rose and since being in France one of my favorites - 2 of which we inherited in our garden is Rosa "Madame Alfred Carriere" - it's one of the most prolific flowering rambling roses that I've come across that carries on flowering from early summer right up till late autumn. It has creamy/white blooms with hints of pink and smells absolutely gorgeous!
My next choice is the Oriental Poppy - these don't have such a long flowering period but are stunning and once the leaves have died back, new ones are formed which stay all winter until the new blooms arrive - having quite a good collection of these in my garden I really couldn't imagine a garden without them.... great for pollinating insects too!
My final choice is Camelia sasanqua "Evangelica" which is probably one of the latest additions to our garden - it flowers from late autumn and has only just stopped - it has the most amazing deep pink flowers with a mass of yellow stamens in the middle and gives a real splash of brightness in the garden at a time when very little else is out.
Shirley never mentioned we couldn't take seeds with us... might just pop in the odd sweet pea seed or maybe a few sunflower seeds too! ;-)

23 comments:

Frances said...

Hi Miranda, I love that Shirl's meme is taking me to blogs I had not yet discovered. Your choices are inspired, what a beauty the Madame is, she is new to my garden as of last year, although I had grown her at a previous house. To think of the abundance of blooms is a great way to dream away a dreary winter's day. Poppies and the camellia will offer us colorful blooms for the whole year, well almost but we are assuming perfection in our dreams. Well chosen!
Frances at Fairegarden

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Miranda, your desert island is going to be very colourful, I like your choices and your reasoning.
K

jodi said...

I'm with Frances; finding new blogs or some that I haven't visited recently, and it's so cool to see what everyone is choosing for plants. Glad you're taking oriental poppies, as I love them dearly and should have tucked some in my bag too.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Our desert island won't be a desert for very long with all the lovely plants, shrubs and trees people are bringing. Madame Alfred is a great rose, she flowers in my garden too and I love her to bits. I almost brought her with me to the island but on the last moment I decided to opt for a different rose. Glad you brought the poppies and the camelia, wouldn't like to do without them.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wonderful picks Miranda. Poppies are one of my favorite flowers.

tina said...

Those roses are keepers! So many have chosen them and you chose two. What a great idea. Love those poppies. They'll give lots of interest even when the flowers pass by too.

Gail said...

Miranda,

I fell in love with poppies when I visited Provence several years ago...they were beautiful and dotted fields everywhere. Your rose and camellia are also perfect choices. I think if we are all on the same island (why not!) we are going to have a wonderful time visiting each other's gardens!
Gail

Miranda Bell said...

Wow - so many new visitors to my blog - a real welcome to you all - I can see that I'll have my evening cut out today visiting all of your blogs to check out the choices you've made too! It's a horrible wet afternoon here in Brittany - am indoors working on a new garden design... so many birds in the garden today as well including my favorite little nuthatch!

Frances - really glad we have the same taste in roses - if you ever want to propagate this rose - it's easy to do incase you move again!

Hi again Karen - I must admit I'm a lover of colourful things - you can have the greyest day outside and somehow a beautiful flower brings a smile!

Yolanda - glad you liked my selection - it was SO hard choosing - Searching out photos to post on my blog to go with my selection I kept finding other plants that I love but decided to stick with my initial selection!

Hi Lisa - Poppies are great aren't they and create a wonderful display.. so many people tell me that they have real difficulty in growing them... they just love the soil here.

Hi Tina - I wouldn't be without a rose - it was hard deciding which one though as I've a number of favorites - others that I like don't have such a long flowering season though...

Hi Gail - I think you're right - the desert island would be a fabulous place, but with the amount of mini gardens setting up it would give wonderful opportunities for plant swaps!

See you all soon... Miranda

easygardener said...

Good choices. I especially like the bright colours. They will definitely cheer up the island :-)
Wasn't it hard coming up with only 3 plants!

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Easygardener - thanks for your kind comments - it was SO difficult choosing, I think I'd take the Noah approach and have 2 of every kind of plant possible - not being greedy or anything!!

shirl said...

Hi there Miranda :-)

I’m back again with more time to comment. Gosh this has swept me away! I am thrilled that new blogs are being found today. I selected my invitations hoping you would all meet up :-D

Okay, to your choices and Madame Alfred Carriere who does look delightful - mine is new and I have yet to see one of its flowers. I am looking forward to it. I have seen it in bloom many times in Yolanda’s garden too. Ah… the poppies, I was very tempted by them myself! I hadn’t realised the foliage would look okay if you cut it down after flowering. It would have been in my shortlist then. The camellia is another excellent choice – I’d like that in my garden here too. Such beautiful flowers with gorgeously deep and glossy leaves :-D

LOL… I also thought of putting seeds in my pocket – I was going to take a wild flower mix. However, I thought I’d try and set a good example! Enjoy your evening - perhaps you might like to join easygardener by her camp fire! Cheers ;-)

Miranda Bell said...

It's been a great day - especially in light of the horrible weather outside!

Poppies are great - right now there is plenty of foilage that lasts through the winter months until the flowers arrive - after flowering everything dies back and starts to come through again in late summer /early autumn.

LOL Great minds think alike on the seed front!:-))

Cheryl said...

Lovely choices Miranda....my favourite is the oriental poppy....I have a good collection and I agreewith you, I could not imagine my garden without them......

My Mother's Garden said...

Beautiful choices! I could almost smell the rose when I looked at it!

This challenge was such fun!

Layanee said...

So nice to meet your through your garden choices MB. And, lovely they are! Poppies are so delicate but sturdy aren't they. Great choices.

Miranda Bell said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog My Mother's Garden and Layanee - it was amazing just how many people participated yesterday - really glad you both liked the choices I made... today and over the weekend will be visiting both your blogs and other new visitors to check out everyone's thoughts on plants that they'd take... See you both again soon - Miranda

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Cheryl - I just popped over to check out your choices but couldn't find yours... maybe you were busy... was trying to guess what you'd take but I know they'd be lovely plants... Miranda

Dawn said...

Oh, I've never had good luck with poppies, so I admire their beauty. Great choices! I fell for a purpose planting.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm so impressed by how the plant choices say so much about each gardener. You seem to be someone who loves a lot of color, and you've chosen some beautiful plants.

Jan said...

I'm glad I found your blog, Miranda. Love your choices, esp. the camellia sasanqua.

Jan
Always Growing

Connie said...

Great choices....I wouldn't want to be without Poppies or Roses. And what is a rose without scent? That one sounds wonderful...is it an old rose?

A wildlife gardener said...

Love your choices, Miranda. This deset island is going to lack nothing...if we all go there together :)

I chose a liquidamber tree, my beloved wild poppies and geraniums. If I could have cheated I'd have asked for a wild flower meadow :)

Miranda Bell said...

Good morning...

Hi Dawn - sorry you don't have any luck with growing poppies, what a shame, I must admit I'd never had them in abundance like we have here till we came to France and they seed themselves everywhere, so I don't know what the secret is!

Mr McGregor's Daughter - welcome to my blog and thankyou so much for your kind comments - it is interesting what plants can say about someone - it's funny because I think many people would describe me as quite an organised person in general, but I love a natural garden and nothing too perfect and as you say with lots of colour... this always makes me smile even on a bad day!

Hi Jan - thanks for visiting and glad you liked the choices - the Camelia was one of those naughty purchases last autumn at a plant fayre - (hubby wasn't with me!!) and it was promptly planted amongst the others!! :-) Not a variety I'd seen before and it has only just stopped flowering.

Hi Connie - I'd not be without my roses or poppies either - Madame Alfred Carriere appears to date to 1879 according to this website I've found... take a look http://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/rose-310.html Hope this helps as it's a stunning rose!

Hi Wildlife Gardener - the desert island I agree would be a great place to holiday or even live... you could always follow my bad example and pop some of your wildflower seeds in your pocket - I didn't notice any rules about this!! My seeds would have been sweet peas and sunflowers!

Have a good week all of you and see you soon Miranda