Thursday, January 22, 2009

On My Way to the Island, Plants in Hand...

I'm going to a desert island and can take only 3 plants with me. Which plants will I choose?



First: One of my favorite plants happens to be an herb, the Giant Hyssop. There are a variety of hyssops out there, but my favorite is Agastache foeniculum, with a licorice or anise aroma. Mmm, I can just smell it now! It sends out an enticing licorice scent, dear to my nostrils! It has medicinal uses, can be dried and used as a tea, and it's lovely purple spikes sway to and fro in the breeze, attracting butterflies and bees. My love of blues and purples will be satisfied, as well.

But BEWARE: If you dislike the smell of licorice, you will be miserable living anywhere near me on this island...so you'll need to move some distance from my plot!!
-----

Second: In order to satisfy my desire for pinks...I choose Japanese Anemone.




Photo by Jan
Anemone happens to be an herbaceous plant (like hyssop, above). Like the hyssop, there are many varieties of anemone, but Anemone hupehensis is one of the finest autumn-flowering perennials, reaching up to 2 feet in height, and blooming continually for several weeks. The plant produces slightly-cupped flowers which have 5 rose-pink petals and a bright center ring of yellow.



(The plants that I've had in the past lasted from early August until late September. I was stunned by the length of time they bloomed as well as their delicate, feminine appeal).

*Unless otherwise noted, all photos were taken by me.
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Last, but not Least: Since my childhood days, I've felt a kindred spirit with the Weeping Willow tree. My parents had one in our yard and I remember it's wispy green bows and how they produced a shady cover for me to sit under.

Link to photo Source:  Mackey, Betty Barr.  "Weeping Willow"  06 February 2007.  HowStuffWorks.com.

Salix comes in many varieties, and because I don't have a willow tree, and haven't had one since I was a child, I would need to do some research on just what variety of willow I'd like. *Some ecologists believe the willow is actually an invasive weed, because it's roots spread so far out and can block underground plumbing pipes and other surrounding structures. But still, I can just picture myself sitting under the willow tree, drinking a cup of anise tea (made from my hyssop), and watching my gorgeous anemone's bloom and sway in the gentle breeze.
To see more Desert Island Plant Challenge results, visit Shirl's Garden Watch!!


--Today I am thankful for...being able to participate in this online challenge with gardeners all over the world!

59 comments:

  1. Super good choices. The hyssop is a new one on the posts I've seen. You share the weeping willow with at least one other blogger (sorry can't remember who). And you just can't beat those J. Anemones can you.

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  2. I love your choices. I must try to grow hyssop, my couple efforts from seed proved nil. Its too dry here for the weeping willow but in some parts of the Caribbean they look lovely in gardens within a microclimate, and they have been a favourite of mine since childhood.

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  3. I love the look of Weeping Willow too, Jan. Its branches look like huge fans made of giant goat tail shuffling to the earth.
    I am loving this Anemone bloom after seeing it in many bloggers' gardens! Lovely Hyssop - as usual my favorite blue!

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  4. Great choices, Jan! Of course you'd have your camera along on the island and you could spend your time taking pictures of the gorgeous and very photogenic pink anemone.

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  5. I love your choices. I have your first two growing in my back yard, although my anemone isn't as pretty as yours. Love the hyssop too, one of my favorites!
    Very pretty pictures!

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  6. Ohh I love the Weeping Willow to! Its so beautiful.
    Linda

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  7. Hi there Jan, my island hopping ship has started cruising again :-D

    Very nice choices! I love your giant hyssop and I am a serious fan of the anemone too! Ah… but your tree was on my shortlist too. A great choice with the willow. I love weeping trees and they will be perfect for our Islands. I can picture you under yours. I am guessing the sun is shining :-D

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  8. Hi Jan, great choices and I am glad you are bringing the hyssop. It is one I struggle with and had given up on growing, but you have inspired my to try yet again, maybe in a different spot. I love the smell of licorice too, bronze fennel comes to mind also. I chose the willow for crafting, but it is also a childhood's fond memory.
    Frances

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  9. Great choices - we're getting quite a variety between us :)

    My raft's a little late, but got there in the end...

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  10. Your choice of the hyssop has piqued my interest...I seem to gravitate to the purples. I do like to have things in the garden that attract birds and butterflies.
    Janet

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  11. Jan,

    I'm coming to visit your garden! Agastache and willows are favorites! The anemones are enchanting and have been on my "wish list" but I've not yet had the pleasure of growing those beauties.

    Great choices!
    Cameron

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  12. Lovely, Jan. I'm not especially a fan of licorice but that wouldn't stop me from enjoying Agastache foeniculum in the least. What a beauty it is.

    I also grew up with a weeping willow. I love them too.

    And I need to add Anemone hupehensis to my gardens. I have the more common cream white variety that does well for me. But that pink's very special and it's been on my wish list for awhile now.

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  13. I am looking forward to that licorice smell :-)
    The Anemone is beautiful and it is an added bonus that it is long flowering.
    I'll come and sit with you under your tree - I forgot to bring one of my own!

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  14. I like your choices. Agastache would probably be on my list too. Yours is much bluer than my Blue Fortune.
    Marnie

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  15. Thanks everyone! (That means YOU)!

    The photos of the hyssop are not mine; I had trouble last night finding one, so I posted 2 from the internet:(

    Neither is the willow tree photo my own. I don't have one yet:(

    BUT, the anemone is All Mine! That is one plant that just won't give up on me, no matter how I neglect it. It's a winner:)

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  16. Jan, your choices are inspried. I love your photos of the pink Anemone. Beyond the plants, I find the reasonings to be very interesting in all the posts. Kind of a window into each blogger. :}

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  17. It's been interesting to see some of the different choices for this topic, but it's also a great way to be reminded of some favorite plants as we start planning our spring gardens. Thanks for including the hyssop, Jan; I don't have any planted but had been thinking about it. Glad to hear your recommendation---and I do like licorice:)

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  18. Great choices! My grandkids call one of our agastaches "the root beer plant" and like to chew the leaves early in the season; by fall they are bitter. I have found the agastaches drought-tolerant in my Zone 7 but many do not make it through the winter. Anyone have thoughts on that?

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  19. Awesome plants. I like the weeping willow trees (reminds me of curtains) :) and the Japanese Anemone.

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  20. Hi Daffodil Planter, My experience with hyssops and giant hyssops is pretty limited. My very first plant lasted about 4 seasons...I felt quite sad when it didn't show up the next year:( I am just now experimenting with my second round, so obviously I don't have any firm answers yet. I will know this spring/summer when it comes up (or doesn't)!! In late summer I put about 6 hyssops in different aread of my garden. Then I put a Giant Hyssop (which was the one I had years ago) in another spot. I am waiting to see if they will make it. I have my fingers crossed!

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  21. Wonderful choices, Jan! I've always been fond of willows too. :-)--Randy

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  22. Hi Jan,
    I love your flowers, but the weeping willow is one of my favorites! I love looking up into the willow. We have one in the parking court outside the gallery and I enjoy it every day.
    Have a great weekend!
    Best regards,
    Philip

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  23. I guess the willow is considered invasive because it loves water and has destroyed many clay pipe and leech beds! Who'd care on a island! Plenty of wadda! A beautiful tree.

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  24. I love visiting all the blogs to see what other people are bringing to the desert island. It will be a real paradise when we get it all planted.
    Confession here--I have been unsuccessful with Japanese Anemones, and they're so beautiful. I'm going to try them one more time this year, I think.

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  25. I am glad you are taking a willow. They are so nice to lay under while the breeze blows calmly over the water! Great choices...

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  26. I love your choices, Jan, especially that anemone for the length of bloom time. The willow is a good choice for alleviating pain. Salicylate (aspirin substance) was once derived from willow bark. I just remembered that our daughter once said she wanted to get married under a willow tree in our garden. Maybe that's why she hasn't met "the one" yet. We don't have a willow tree planted here! Licorice-scented flowers seem wonderful to me too!

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  27. You've chosen some really lovely plants. I love the weeping willow when it just starts to leaf in early spring..isn't it the sweetest green? Japanese Anemone and I are good friends, but the hyssop and I are still eying each other from across the garden...The clay is not the best draining soil for it! I hope you had some time in your garden. gail

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  28. I have heard that weeping willows like a lot of water, if my memory is serving me correctly. I remember playing in and under a weeping willow we had in the house we lived in until we moved when I was in the first grade. When our kids were young, we had next door neighbors who grew one for switches to spank their 2 daughters with. They moved to South Dakota, and I wondered if they planted another on the farm they moved to that was in their family.

    I'm not doing this meme, because I couldn't pick 3 plants.

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  29. Oh, your weeping willow brought back memories of my childhood, too. My parents had a huge one in the back yard. You don't see these much anymore which is a shame.

    Jan
    Always Growing

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  30. I love the anemones! and I also grew up with the weeping willows. Great choices! :-)

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  31. Thanks for the so very kind comment, regarding the collage.

    I do love your photos, you have some amazing shots of that japanese annemone,. Such clarity, and detail. Definitely one of my favorite plants.

    Jen

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  32. I sure wouldn't mind camping out next to you on that Island with your choices! I prefer the pastels in my garden. I, too, have fond memories as a child under our Willow tree. We planted one in the woods here and have had to move it a few times. It's had to struggle and now the deer reach up and strip the leaves. I do have a couple of small Japanese Willows that I just love around the pond!

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  33. Your photos are so beautiful. I wonder how the J anemone does in a northern climate - it's beautiful. Now the willow is another story. My parents' next-door-neighbors have one and the roots keep spreading and have ruined their plumbing system! Maybe an island is the best place for it, cause it is a beautiful tree.

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  34. Hi Jan~
    I think I have fallen in love with a new flower! I have never seen the Japanese Anemone, it is so sweet and gentle looking. It reminds of the old flower and fairies that you'd see in Cicely Barker? books. Really beautiful picks. Oh...the willow tree is perfect! Maybe we can be neighbors on the island :)

    Have a beautiful day!
    Karrita

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  35. Thank you for bringing some warmth into my cold world today. We are in the North USA and it is 10 degrees today. I am longing for my plants to come back and bloom.

    You are a wonderful gardener. Thank you for recognizing that life is a gift!

    GOD BLESS -Bren

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  36. Jan, I thought you said you weren't any good with those plant names! You're tossing the "agastaches" and "hupehensises" around lightly enough! :) Beautiful photos. The hyssop I have is not near as vibrant a color as the ones you pictured. And I've tried anemone in two different places, but she vanished over the winter both times. Your photos make me want to try one more time... Thanks!

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  37. Great choices Jan! Of course we will have to bring a tree to the island - at least I can't live without trees...
    Thank you so much for your nice comment on my blog. You have been added to my followers list - can't you see it?
    The Tricyrtis hirta is a japanese lily. I have no idea if it will work here - but I'll try! =)
    Have a nice day Jan!
    /Helen

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  38. Great choices Jan. The more I see of everyone else's choices the more I need a bigger garden :) Weeping willows make me think of home too. In my home town there is a row of about a dozen of them along the river bank. Absolutely beautiful,

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  39. Jan, Beautiful image of the weeping willow, it is funny how our childhood plants stay with us for all our lives.
    Nice choices for the desert island.
    Warm regards
    K

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  40. I also think weeping willows are beautiful! They look so romantic. It's easy to imagine sitting under one for hours and enjoy lazily a summer afternoon.
    I love the japanese anemone pictures. I see that you have them growing around a tree. Do they like shade? I could need something for under my oaktrees if it wouldn't need too much sun.

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  41. Thanks everyone for your comments! If I haven't visited you yet, I'm on my way soon! So many bloggers, so little time!!

    To answer Bek's question:
    The anemone's really took off last summer...it actually took 2 seasons before they looked so good, as in the photos last fall. They are planted in a shade area but sun gets in there too...as the earth turns, the summer has the sun on them even longer...but I think by late summer/fall, they're happy!

    I actually divided them in August, and planted more around the area, one or two divisions went into a sunnier area...so I will have to see what happens this year, whether they come up or not.

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  42. Jan .. Can you believe it took me this long to get over here .. and there are othes I haven't gotten to yet either (I just had to feed the girls.. Sophie would not leave me alone !) .. I have Anise Hyssop too and I love it ! .. I love the smell of anise .. the fennel I grow is full of it too .. so we are alike on that subject ! .. Anemones .. I have 4 different kinds .. Pamina is my favorite right now because of the ruffled flowers and it is more of a dwarf version .. so no "fainting" of the flower stalks .. haha
    Willows are such gorgeous dramatic trees .. I adore them too .. but because I am so limited with space it wasn't an option for me .. I have to admire everyone else's ?
    This has been a fun challenge : )
    Great choices girl !

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  43. I love hyssop too. I love this island adventure tag along. I've been reading them for two days and haven't reached the end of the island yet. I would have chosen hyssop too and cleome will be on my list as well. I just have to get a willow this year--so awesome. They grow fast too don't they?

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  44. Dear Jan,
    Wonderful choices. I will come and sit with you. I am a huge fan of licorice...
    Maybe we could weave a basket together from your willow?
    Sherry

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  45. Love them all. Can I come visit?

    Hilde

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  46. Jan, Great choices. Love the willow. Envy they anemone, they are too hard to grow here. See you on the beach.

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  47. I spend lots of time reading other blogs too. I think that I am a great procrastinator when it comes to doing mine. Anything but writing the posts, checking emails, catching up with other bloggers, ect. LOL.

    Jen

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  48. I love weeping willows and would love to join you for a cup of anise tea and watch your gorgeous anemones (a favorite of mine) sway in the breeze (like mine, know they will be loaded with bees).

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  49. How I missed your post Jan I don't know! Great choices. I love Hyssop too, and so the bees in my garden. :) Those Japanese Anemones are gorgeous, I really need to one to my garden this year.

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  50. Hi Jan,
    I can tell you thought this out thoroughly and have your island plot well planned. Very nicely done... I like the smell of licorice and I'm certain you would make a lovely neighbor so I'd love to sit and sip tea under your willow tree. Have a very good Monday!
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

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  51. Jan: I just stopped by in response to your comments and welcome. I haven't had the pleasure of visiting here before and am delighted to find you. Your comments were so kind, thank you. I love your choices also. The romanticism of a willow is wonderful and the anemone and hyssop will be pastel perfection. Love the fragrance of hyssop and your anemone picture is beautiful.

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  52. I like your choices a lot! Licorice is one of my favourite flavours and Japanese Anemones - love them! And since I forgot to bring a tree - can I come and sit udnerneath your weeping willow when the sun gets too hot?

    Katarina

    Ps Your header photo is terrific!

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  53. Hi Jan, I've always wanted a Weeping Willow tree. :)

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  54. Hi Jan, You can still participate in the Summer Inspiration 2008 meme - because it's how you were inspired this past year to do something then and/or for 2009! ;-) And yes, you may post the logo on your sidebar. I'd love to hear what you will be doing in 2009!! sg

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  55. Very nice choices specially the weeping willow one of my favorite trees

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  56. Weeping Willow trees are just magical to play under when children. They are just a romantic tree somehow. And Anemone's bloom just in time in the garden. I love your picks.

    Thank you so much for identifying the female Eastern Towhee for me.I am so excited because now I have a male and female hanging around that I have never had before.
    Thanks Jan!
    Lona

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  57. I agree with all your choices. if I get marooned on the same island I will enjoy the plantings.

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Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!

Jan

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