Only Three

“Only Three”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

In reading several garden blogs today, I found that many were discussing a Desert Plant Challenge hosted by Shirl’s Gardenwatch.  This got me thinking.  What three plants would I take to a desert island?  Only three?  How do you decide?  This is tough.

After much thought I know I would definitely take flowering plants.  The first one would be a hydrangea.  That is among one of my favorite blooming shrubs.  I like not only the big clusters of flowers which last a long time, but also the foliage.  The leaves are so cool to the touch in the middle of summer.


Next, I think I would have to go with a large camellia shrub.  Again, it would be because of the flowers.  Camellias bloom over a long period of time, so there would be flowers for weeks if not months.

Last of all would be an amaryllis.  If I only could bring one, I know it would make seeds or bulb offshoots and then there would be more.  I think the amaryllis flower is one of the prettiest.  So tall and stately.  Long lasting, too.  A perfect companion on a desert island.


Think about which three plants you would take to a desert island, and then stop by Shirl’s blog to leave a link or a comment about your selections.  It will be interesting to see what three plants people can’t live without.


  1. tina said,

    January 22, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Those hydrangeas and camellias are keepers for sure. What lovely blooms combined with the amaryllis.

  2. Jon said,

    January 23, 2009 at 3:26 am

    Your 3 choices are lovely. I would never be able to narrow it down to just 3 so I would be “caught” smuggling in cuttings and seeds! Fun game, though, and gives us something interesting to think about.

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

  3. fairegarden said,

    January 23, 2009 at 5:28 am

    Hi Jan, what a wonderful spot this island is going to be with so many beloved plants! Your choices are great with some diversity too! 🙂

  4. Camellia said,

    January 23, 2009 at 5:33 am

    What a lovely idea, really gets my mind going. i think we share one, the Camellia. Have to give the other two a thought…

  5. Jan said,

    January 23, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Thanks, Tina. It was hard picking only three.

    Jon, picking only three plants was a challenge. There are so many other plants I would want to have – daylilies, roses, pansies, ferns – to name just a few, but I think I could be happy with just the ones I picked.

    Frances, I tried to pick plants that would give blooms year round. If you are on a desert island you need something to cheer you up.

    Camellia, it is hard to pick only three, but, I agree, the camellia had to be on the list. I also wanted azaleas and lilies, but when limited, I guess I couldn’t live without the three I chose.

  6. Randy said,

    January 23, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Gasp* the amaryllis is gawgeous, Jan! What’s the name?

    • Jan said,

      January 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm

      Randy, that is Elva. I bought it last year after Christmas when it was in bloom and planted it in the ground in April. I can’t wait for it to bloom in the garden.

  7. Brenda Kula said,

    January 23, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I thought and thought and couldn’t narrow it down to three either!

    • Jan said,

      January 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm

      It was tough, Brenda, and the more I thought about which ones I would pick, the harder it became.

  8. Dawn said,

    January 23, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Oh my goodness! What a beautiful photo of the amaryllis! Is that yours? I alway think of them with christmas. It’ll be different now! So pretty!

    • Jan said,

      January 23, 2009 at 6:48 pm

      Dawn, yes, that is mine. As I mentioned before it is called Elva. It is a photo from last year. I wait until the middle of December to plant my amaryllis, so that there will be some flowers and color in late January. I find all the Christmas decorations are enough in December, and something is needed when everything is taken down. Later, in the spring, I plant them outside where they will bloom in the spring.

  9. jodi said,

    January 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Lovely choices, Jan. I have camellia envy, as they don’t grow here except as houseplants or in greenhouses. And that’s a fantastic amaryllis, Jan, reminding me that I’m missing having one.

  10. Racquel said,

    January 23, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I chose a Hydrangea for my first pick too Jan (as you already know). 🙂 I couldn’t imagine my island without there blooms. The camelia is something I would love to add to my own garden next season. Now I just need to think where I can fit it in, lol. All wonderful choices for your island, it will be full of beauty & color!

  11. andré said,

    January 24, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Nice choices too! Especially a few camellias would be great to have on a desert island. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

    • Jan said,

      January 24, 2009 at 10:46 am

      Thanks, Andre. I enjoyed finding your blog.

  12. Anna said,

    January 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for your recent visit to my blog and your comment. I do like your choices. The more I see of what other people have chosen the more I wish my garden was bigger. It looks from what I see in some of your other posts, that your flowering times are well advanced of ours – I am most envious 🙂

  13. Jan said,

    January 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Anna, yes, our flowers do bloom much earlier than the ones in your zone, but then you do get to grow many plants that I love but can’t take our heat. I guess everything evens out.

  14. Tessa said,

    January 24, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Beautiful choices! I’ve been wanting to plant a Hydrangea in my yard. I’d better wait until after we move, however.

    • Jan said,

      January 25, 2009 at 8:06 am

      Tessa, I love the mophead hydrangeas and only have had the lacecap a few years. Two years ago, I put in an oakleaf which is doing well. I am thinking about adding a “Limelight” this year after finding out that the paniculata hydrangeas will do well this far south.

  15. Salix said,

    January 25, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Jan
    Love the hydrangea. It is so beautiful. What variety is it?
    I am not sure though that it would grow in our climate – southern Ontario.

    • Jan said,

      January 26, 2009 at 5:45 am

      Salix, I am not sure of the variety, just that it is a mophead. I grew that from a cutting from a plant that a neighbor had. The shrub was very old, so I am assuming that it is more of a common variety. I think you would have to grow hydrangeas in a container where you live because I don’t think they are hardy into Ontario. I guess you’d have to check that out.

  16. January 25, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    I’m seeing lots of hydrangeas, but this is the first camellia I’ve seen. That’s one plant that I wish we could grow here, so I’m glad you’re bringing it! And yes, the Hippeastrum! As you know, I’ve brought some, too. They are what get me through the winters here, so I could never leave them behind.

    • Jan said,

      January 26, 2009 at 5:41 am

      Kylee, I love the camellias because not only do you get a lovely flower, but they are such long bloomers. Camellias have flowers for weeks if not months. I agree about the hippeastrums, too.

  17. January 26, 2009 at 9:27 am

    All beautiful choices Jan! I’m glad you’re bringing them because I have none of them!! Don’t know anything about growing hydrangeas or camelias and don’t think they would do real well in my garden anyway…but I do love them;) As for amaryliss, I love them also, and that’s a beautiful one in your photo. I’ll sit under my wispy willow tree and drink my anise tea and watch your flowers bloom and add color to my world. I can’t wait to go. When are we leaving?

    • Jan said,

      January 26, 2009 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks, Jan. I am ready to leave right now (had a very bad day at work – computer crash). I hope you don’t mind if I join you under the willow tree.

  18. Juliet said,

    January 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Hello Jan! Thanks for visiting the other day – I’m still trying to get around all the islands – it’s so interesting to see the range of different plants everyone has chosen. I think your plants are all a bit pink for me, but I’d love a red Camellia! They aren’t really suitable for my garden though (alkaline soil, and I don’t do much watering!).

    • Jan said,

      January 28, 2009 at 5:43 pm

      It really was fun to see what each gardener would bring wasn’t it, Juliet. We inherited that camellia when we moved in. My neighbor has a red and white camellia and also a red one. They are on our adjoining property line so I get to enjoy them as much as she does. She always lets me pick some which I do for Valentine’s Day. The red are very pretty.

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