January 22, 2009


Rhododendron ' poukhanense '

Magnolia 'betty '

Wisteria senensis

Shirl at Shirl's Garden Watch has invited everyone to select three plants from their garden to take with them to a Desert Island. Hmmm..... Let's see : Ribbon grass, Plume Poppy and Spiderwort would quickly fill the island but I'd have to dig all of it up before departure and then I'd be constantly digging to prevent their spread instead of enjoying the sun and surf.

What to chose? It's difficult to narrow it down because I love every plant in my garden. I just won't allow anything in my garden that I don't feel passionately about. Plus, in a small garden such as mine every plant must work overtime.

Oh, I know -Azaleas and Rhododendrons. Couldn't leave those behind . Magnolia 'Betty ' for sure because no proper Southern Belle can be without one. Sweet Autumn clematis and Wisteria for fragrance. That's five already. Got to reduce it by two. Since Azaleas are Rhododendrons I'll just have to leave one of them behind. Sweet Autumn will have to be sacrificed because Wisteria is much dearer to my heart.

So here I am heading for the desert island with R. Poukhanense, Magnolia 'Betty ' and Wisteria senensis when the boat springs a leak. " Help ! I yell. I'm drowning in a sea of pink and purple when what I really really love is blue ! " Then I woke up and looked out the window and realized it was but a sweet dream because a foot of snow is piled high against the Magnolia.

Shirl's Garden Watch has encouraged us to follow our dream to a Desert Island during this long, cold Chicago winter and we thank her for the adventure. Yesterday I saw the first sure sign of Spring - the day was at least 15 minutes longer and by this time next month we'll have 75 more minutes of daylight.


  1. That's a dream you want to last for a long time during the winter-like the whole winter! Love the choices-especially the rhododendrons and magnolias and who could be without a vine on a deserted island?

  2. Awesome choices, Carolyn! You're so right that in a small garden you really do have to feel passionately about each plant. I've looked around our yard at times and asked myself if we had a 'normal' sized yard, would I still love this particular plant. If the answer is "No!", then out it goes, (given to someone else if possible).

    'Betty' is related to 'Anne', (I think?) which I have; she didn't flower last year, having been planted the year before, but I see nice buds starting to form even now. And yes, the days are noticeably longer, just a month past solstice. We'll make it. (we will remind each other of this on a regular basis, won't we?)

  3. Beautiful, great choices Carolyn.
    I wish we are going to the same island. It will be so lush and beautiful!

    See you there! Tyra

  4. Good choices! I love magnolia and as a resident of the south love to see the M grandiflora blooming. The fragrance is indescribable, but I know you remember it! Love the rhodo and wisteria is beautiful and deliciously fragrant!


  5. I liked your choices they are very different to the others I have read so far. Very elegant and classical - suspect you will be up the upper market end of the island!

  6. Your desert island will be not only beautiful, Carolyn - but with no 'facilities' the fragrant wisteria may find a practical use when trained around the outhouse ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  7. Hooray, Carolyn Gail, for bringing the rhodies and the others too! I was more practical but was sad missing my beloved azaleas. I saw Jodi said your magnolia is a relation to Anne, she must be related to my Jane too, all in the blogger family, so to speak. The wisteria looks kind of blue to me, and I brought lavender which is sort of blue too. Won't this be fun!

  8. Pink and blue look great on desert islands. I can smell your wisteria as it wraps around the hammock on the tree.

  9. Beautiful choices! I can smell the wisteria.

  10. Hi there Carolyn, sorry this Island ship I’m using is running a little late. What a cruise this has been ;-)

    Oh… wonderful choices indeed! I’m a fan of the rhododendron and what a beautiful colour your choice is! Betty looks stunning and quite large so she may also give you some shade too :-D

    However, I can’t see past the wisteria – I love my senensis alba and am thrilled for the last two years we have finally seen it flower! The colour of yours is really stunning! Yes, I know what you mean about the colours… for a long time all my choices seem to be pink and I’m not a pink person! This really has been a great trip :-D

  11. Too funny! Welcome back and bundle up! Great choices. I'm thinking beyond my "needs" and want more too.

  12. I love your choices. It is so interesting to see what other gardeners want to take to a desert island. While we don't grow rhododendrons, I did have a hard time not selecting azaleas.

    Always Growing

  13. It just wouldn't be spring without rhododendrons in bloom. Great plant choices!

  14. Lovely choices particularly the Wisteria which has that wow factor when it blooms.

  15. Great choices! Would you be sitting under the wisteria with a glass of sweet tea?

  16. Beautiful choices, Carolyn Gail. I love wisteria; I really must find a place to grow it.
    LOL, I was just thinking the other day that the days are getting a little bit longer--we Midwesterners will look for any sign of spring:)

  17. Great choices! I'm another Magnolia fan and just couldn't bear to leave mine behind. My Wisteria is too much of a baby yet for me to be attached to it, but I do admire them everywhere.


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