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Desert Island Plant Challenge

Friday 23 January 2009 - Filed under General + Plants

Yesterday, read a few blogs participating in a desert island plant challenge, organized at Shirls gardenwatch . If anything would grow, no climate restrictions, and you had food covered, which three plants would you take to a desert island? It’s hard, since I have plant hoarding tendencies, I want one of everything, but I do have my favorites.

Timber bamboo has to top my list. It’s beautiful all year round. It can stand all on its own and look like a complete and finished garden. It spreads quickly, so if you started with one plant, you could propagate more quickly. You can build your desert hut out of it, and then plant it out front, and your little desert home will look fancy. You’d have something fun to watch each year during shooting season, when you could watch it grow a foot a day, so you still get your fix of that new garden smell out of an evergreen.

timber bamboo

I think I’d have to take an agave with me. I’d finally get to grow one appropriately huge and impressive, like I can’t in my own garden. Its sculptural form, like the bamboo, can stand on its own, without looking all weird and lonely in a three plant garden. I’d pick one that’s more likely to grow little offshoots, so I could separate them from the parent and plant them around.


Like Joy, ferns also make my list. Since I can grow anything I want on this magical island, I’d pick tree ferns, which would grow to their 20′ tall potential. I don’t have any good tree fern pictures, so this random fiddlehead image serves as a placeholder. You not only would get your amazing tree ferns to look at, but you’d also get to watch the unfurling of the new growth, and that never gets old.

fern fiddlehead

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2009-01-23  »  megan

Talkback x 4

  1. Joy
    23 January 2009 @ 11:53 am

    When i finished my list and posted .. That was THEN when I also thought of bamboo too ! Green Panda was just available last year and I planted two clumps of them .. I am very curious how they will do .. we all agreed that five minutes down the road from our posts, we would have other choices ? .. but ferns are forever with me , I truly love them.
    An agave .. they are awesome and I love seeing pictures of them and I wish I could grow them here as perennials .. then again I wish for a separate garden with a “southwest” look .. sedums, cactus, agave .. the whole works .
    Great choices girl !

  2. Karen
    23 January 2009 @ 6:12 pm

    I like your choices. I randomly chose lavender (for smell), witch hazel (for multi-season interest) and raspberries, even though they are food. I just can’t live without them, and am finally going to plant some in my garden this year.

  3. tina
    23 January 2009 @ 8:15 pm

    That bamboo has been so popular on all the blogs. The ferns would make a good soft bed indeed. Smart to bring them for sure. The agave is so awesome. A big statement for sure.

  4. easygardener
    24 January 2009 @ 7:51 am

    What an interesting collection of different shape and textures. I like them all. Don’t have to worry about the bamboo spreading either!