Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Desert Classic~~ Pick Three

Shirl (Shirl's Garden Watch) has issued the Desert Island Plant Challenge to gardenbloggers. We are to pick  three plants that we would take with us to a desert island.  Just three...and we don't have to worry about building shelter or providing food...that's not the challenge!  Picking three plants is the challenge!

My dear friends~~this is quite possibly the most difficult challenge for an
'I would  like to keep my options open kind of girl'.  None the less, lets see what I can do!

Since none of the  choices needed to produce food ~~a good thing since my talents don't lie in growing food~~ I decided that they needed to provide:

Beauty~a plant that was enjoyable to behold
Food ~for bees, birds and butterflies
Multi-season interest~ just in case this island has seasons
Entertainment~it's a desert island

Here they are!

Practically Perfect Pink Phlox~~like you're at all surprised!

 
Phlox pilosa starts blooming in March and perfumes the garden all spring and into the summer.

I can't imagine not having PPPP's soothing to the eye pinks in any garden I have~~anywhere!

PPPP with columbine, lunaria, faded Iris cristata in the GOBN.  (Imagine the garden now that all that bush honeysuckle is gone!)


The Susans ~~again, are you the least surprised?



Shall we have another look at Rudbeckia hirta~



She is practically perfect in my eyes...some gardeners might see her yellows as too loud, but not me, she lights up the garden until frosts wipe her out. She provides food for butterflies, bees and her seeds are tasty to Goldfinches and other birds.  Practically perfect!


This final choice was the hardest. I so wanted to be able to take Zinnias.


Zinnias~~~beloved of gardeners, butterflies and bees, but I had to add a tree.


It's my favorite tree in winter, with it's exfoliating bark and tall white limbs reaching up toward the heavenly blue sky~~


Platanus occidentalis, American Sycamore or Plane Tree~~

I needed a tree that is beautiful to look at, would provide shade on a hot day and had limbs low enough to the ground for climbing. Now that's entertainment!

Plus, it will be very handy when I decide to climb to the very top of the tree and flag a passing ship to rescue me and take me home to my wildflowers and zinnias.

That wasn't so very hard!  Now it's your turn!

Gail

Thank you Shirl~~this was fun!

100 comments:

  1. Hey, that's 4 and cheating. ;-) Well, ok, ok, you've twisted my arm, if I can take my water feature with me to the desert island than you can take an extra tree.

    Re: your choices: of course we've got to have phloxes and susans and zinnias, what would we do without them?

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  2. Zinnias get the nod on other blogs. I just love them too. I keep seeing in my minds eye a garden with all of these choices growing together. Beautiful.

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  3. Good choices! I so debated on the tree-J maples of course. The perennials are what I went with and we have those brown eyes in common. They are keepers no matter what. Love the PPPP!

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  4. I'm fascinated by how many people are choosing rudbeckias! I love them too, and they're so colourful and durable. Glad to see so many tree-lovers in this little game too!

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  5. oops I hit publish before I was ready..It happened when my keyboard malfunctioned! Too funny! Now I see that enlarging photos isn't working sigh...always a learning curve to blogging!
    Gail

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  6. Great choices, now I guess I'll head over and see what I want to bring.

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  7. HA, I was wondering if you were going to join in this one, commiting to only three, so against your grain. Excellent choices too, the tree is a good one, some have suggested tree house making, that would be perfect with the branching habit it has. There have been a couple of susans picked too, and some zinnias. I want to know how you will analyze people's choices and their reasons for picking them. This is so fun. Really, that was not Don talking, really, for I am doing the same thing.
    :-)
    Frances
    Frances

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  8. I so hope we are going to the same island!

    Love your choices Gail!

    xoxo Tyra

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  9. Lovely choices Gail, an interesting choice of tree, your desert island will be colourful!
    :)
    K

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  10. Yolanda...

    you saw the unedited post that was accidentally posted when Mr I replaced my keyboard. It died in the midst of finishing up! But I did make a final 3 choice!

    gail

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  11. Lisa,

    I see all of us on the same island...we can visit favorites and have a wonderful time...then we flag a ship to take us home.

    gail

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  12. Tina,

    You also got to see the unedited first version...But PPP and The Susans made the cut...zinnias did not, replaced by a tree! It's hard to not choose PPPP!
    gail

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  13. Jodi,

    It has been an interesting experiment. I loved the tree choice you made and forgot to say that on my comment... Shadberry..with its sweet flowers. I do want to sometime taste the berries. The Susan are one of my favorites...the yellow is appealing to my eyes.

    gail

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  14. Darla,

    It was fun to choose but not easy! Good luck...gail

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  15. Frances,

    I very much wanted to but my keyboard died! Mr I to the rescue...It has been a lot of fun visiting folks to see what they choose...lots of folks love The Susans! I didn't think about craft activities...just climbing a tree and using it to signal for rescue! I am an such an urban girl and would have to have a plan for leaving an island paradise!

    gail

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  16. Excellent choices. I love the phlox.
    Marnie

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  17. Lovely choices.....so glad you thought of the birds, bees and butterflies....I have been blog hopping to see choices others have made...the island is filling up fast....I have a feeling it is going to turn into a paradise......

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  18. Karen,

    Where ever I garden it would be CLown Pants colorful!

    gail

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  19. Tyra,

    Me, too! Wouldn't it be fun!

    gail

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  20. marnie,

    I love PPPP, too. If you haven't any...I can send you a little start this spring...just let me know!

    gail

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  21. Cheryl,

    A paradise indeed...I do hope that you are there! What will you bring with you? More for our friends the bees, butterflies and birds! Isn't it fun hopping all over to see what folks are taking?

    gail

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  22. I didn't think of planting a tree on mine. A tree would be so useful.

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  23. Nope, the phlox wasn't a surprise at all. It sure is a beauty! I'm totally with your other picks as well. Great choices, Gail!

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  24. Gail,

    Great choices! I hope there are no bunnies on the island! :-) Ah, a bunny and deer free island -- sounds pretty good to me.

    Cameron

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  25. Great choices Gail. I hope you don't climb the tree too soon I'm hoping to laze around admiring everyone's flowers :-)

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  26. Butterfly bush, Hibiscus and Periwinkle are my choices...

    Tree would have to be Crepe Myrtle with beautiful blooms!

    My choices would bring many friends to visit such as Butterfly, Bee, and Hummingbird...

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  27. Good choices. I don't think I could narrow mine down to 3.

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  28. Willow (beautiful and practical). Any ole echinacea (ditto on the above, thinking medicinal). And, um, serviceberry--lovely flowering tree plus berries are edible.

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  29. Brilliant choices, lovely and practical!

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  30. I wasn't surprised by your first two choices Gail. The tree was a nice addition to the selection. :)

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  31. Hurrah another Rudbeckia fan. I like your other choices as well

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  32. Hmm, so far the island will be overrun with all the rudbeckia and zinnias brought by all the gardeners!

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  33. Hi there Gail, sorry my ship was delayed by a few hours ;-)

    Great choices, I love the phlox such a beautiful pink especially with greens. Ah yes… I am hit and miss on yellow flowers but on a sunny Island Susan is just right!

    Oh… but to your third that was my hardest too but I love your final choice :-D Your tree looks quite similar to a silver birch we have here with a beautiful white bark too. LOL… you will climb your tree for entertainment and I would build a tree house with my bamboo in mine ;-) This has certainly been an entertaining topic – what fun all round :-D

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  34. I am not surprised at all by your choices Gail. They totally say "you!" I am a zinnia fan too, gotta love them. I may have to think about this and play along. It looks so fun!!!

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  35. kathleen,

    I look forward to your choices...It has been fun. Yep, I am pretty easy to read~~gail

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  36. Shirl,

    The final choice meant we really had to eliminate all the others on the list. It was tough! The Sycamore is all over Europe..a London Plane Tree is a close relative, I think almost identical. This was a great meme; I got to visit blogs I haven't been to before.

    Gail

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  37. Helen,

    The Susans Rock! How folks can not like them is a puzzle to me. I do think thast some people like the pastels and the gentle yellows...not me. The other plants are keepers. too.

    gail

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  38. Nicole,

    That is the lament of native plant advocates in cities like Arizona! Now everyone has allergies from the imported lawn pollen. I think we can make you a zinnia fan!

    gail

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  39. Racquel, It is a beautiful tree and no way can I have it in my garden...it likes moisture too much! The bane of our gardens...enough water and perfect drainage!

    Gail

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  40. benjamin,

    Any old echinacea...has to mean any, and certainly not the funny looking one with the growth on top of the cone! Right! :-)

    gail

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  41. Kim/Inadvertent,

    Why thank you...and may I have some homemade granola to take with me?

    gail

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  42. Phillip,

    Try! Please I want to know which you would choose!

    gail

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  43. Skeeter,

    Good choices! Any flower that brings the bees and butterflies is a good choice. I do love the crape myrtles, too. Beautiful bark and long lasting flowers.

    Gail

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  44. Cameron,

    The only bunnies live in a island across the way...with all the deer!

    gail

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  45. Hi Gail~
    Beautiful choices! I love zinnias too, but I didn't bring them to the island. This was such a fun challenge...I'm really enjoying looking at everyone's picks.

    Karrita

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  46. It was hard, Gail! Your island will be delightful. Let's visit.

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  47. Hello Gail. Thanks for visiting my blog today and for your comment. I do like your choices. I must admit I was tempted too by a tree offering shade - a most important priority on that warm desert island and just perfect for sitting under for a siesta. Will there be room for the rest of us under your tree as I am sure it will be popular ?

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  48. gail .. I was SO SURPRISED about the Perfectly Pink Phlox choice girl !!! wink wink
    Rudbeckia .. yes, yes, and yes : )
    I am really going to have to try the zinnias .. I am a newbie with this one, but you have sold me on them .. any particular one you can recommend would be great ! Thanks !

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  49. Joy,

    Yes I can...I recommend Seeds of Change...Shades of Pink Zinnia but in case you want other colours (that spelling is for you!) here's a wepage!

    http://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/browse_category.asp?category_id=7083

    I loved the pinks, they were singles (provide more nectar) and tall. They looked lovely with the Susans and with coneflower, liatris and monarda. Who could ask for anything more!

    Keep warm dear!

    Gail

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  50. Anna,

    I loved visiting your blog and getting a chance to meet. Shirl had a good idea and wasn't it fun! Plenty of room! The Sycamore can be a giant of a specimen tree; over 70 feet tall! So pretty in the winter.

    Gail

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  51. layanee,

    It was wasn't it! But what a treat to see all the other gardenbloggers' choices. My choices are so me...as several folks have commented! The sycamore is so beautiful in the winter.

    gail

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  52. Karitta,

    Hasn't it been fun hopping around the blogasphere to visit everyone...Such really nice people and so many great plants. My list grows ever longer. Gail

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  53. I'm not even gonna ponder - just off the top of my head (because thinking too much might make it explode!), raspberry canes (for my fav fruit), a big clump of lavender (to perfume the island) and a witch hazel tree, for something to look at year-round. Your choices are nice too, though. :)

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  54. Great choices--I knew the PPPP would go along:) A tree is a novel idea; I hadn't thought of that! It would provide some shade from that hot summer sun as well.

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  55. Goodness, by the time I get to the island, the real estate will be outrageously expensive. I wonder what shipping will cost?

    Most of the stuff everyone is bringing will be divided and shared right? Isn't that what gardeners do when there is a get together? We eat chocolate too.

    I have a prickly seedy pod Sycamore. How long are we going to live on this island? Long enough to grow a tree? I guess it depends on what kind.

    Will we get internet service? Can I still be flowergardengirl---I'm rather attached to it in case you didn't know.

    Don't forget if we bring a male plant we'll most likely need to bring the female too don't you know?

    No worries--I'll bring the plant catalogs. I'm glad you are bringing the P's.

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  56. Yes, I knew PPPP would be at the top of your list! And I was pretty sure the Susans would be in there some where. But the tree was a surprise. Great choice and fun to see the reasonings behind each choice.

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  57. Hi Gail - thank you for visiting my blog yesterday - my turn to visit today... love your choices of plants - really beautiful and some of my favorites too! What a fun day was had yesterday! Miranda

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  58. Lovely selection, Gail – and absolutely stunning pictures! This is a lovely idea and challenge, I'll have to give it a good thought myself.

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  59. LOL Gail - I'd chosen your first 2 plants for you without peekeing ;)

    However, you did surprise me with your tree, but so practical. Wood for shelter and the fire until you climb up there to flag down that passing boat...

    My tiny craft's only just arrived. I do hope you haven't all left yet.

    Have a great weekend!

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  60. Oh dear, this is hard. I think I need grapes to make wine, wheat to make bread, and hops to make beer.

    Beautiful photos! I love a Sycamore too. That is one plant my husband wants and I have yet to put in. Will do as soon as this one sickly Maple finally gives up the ghost.

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  61. The first three are my favorite, Gail! But you snatched Zinnia from me :(. I was supposed to bring that to desert on our trip. That's okay, I'll think of something else... :D

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  62. I am so not surprised by the 1st 2, but that 3rd one is out of the blue! I bet you'll be the only one taking that tree along. Sadly, PPP did not make my list, but it was a contender.

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  63. The PPPP is dreamy, and what a wonderful combo with Iris cristata!
    Your desert isle will be filled with butterflys, too. Sounds wonderful!

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  64. hmmm--- phlox, considering my luck with some this year I may want something I wouldn't kill off...

    I like the tree idea and I am sure my island would be a great place to put a white oak

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  65. Oh, I thought you were going to pick the birch! Sycamore trees are beautiful too.

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  66. Wow, what fabulous choices and fabulous photos to convince me. I'll just copy all your choices! I especially love those "susans!"

    Robin Wedewer
    National Gardening Examiner

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  67. Phillip B,

    PPPP is a dream of a plant...but maybe only in my eyes! Iris cristata is another fantastic native that if you can grow it...do! Charming plant. Will you be joining us on the island? ;-)

    Gail

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  68. Robin,

    Hi How have you been? Now that's cheating you have to pick at least one different plant...I am sure you can bring the chickens! Gail

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  69. Hi Dawn,

    No birches aren't easy to climb and since I used to climb trees as a kid...I want to be able to again. I love sycamore...sure its a weedy messy tree in the garden but the bark and the white limbs against a winter sky are fantastic. Are you playing along? I must pop over and see if you have!

    gail

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  70. Wayne,

    I promise...you can't kill the phlox pilosa! it is a beautiful plant for months! You can find it under the name Eco Happy Traveler, too. Mine is not a named variety. Trees are very important to my environment.

    gail

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  71. MMD,

    I knew you wouldn't pick it! You have other favorites...which I really liked...the grape soda-pop bugbane sounds wonderful.

    Gail

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  72. Chandramouli,

    There is never enough Zinnia so take it along with you! It's just a wonderful plant with much to recommend and very few problems that I can find. Happy Island hopping!

    gail

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  73. Helen,

    Lots of folks think sycamores and their fuzzy little seed balls are messy..not me..I love them. They aren't happy in this yard.I do like the way your thinking with the grapes!
    This is going to be a happy island crowd.

    gail

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  74. Karen,

    Really excellent choices...lavender is one of my favorite herbs but it surely doesn't like the clay soil! Raspberries are very nice and I do have to agree...witch hazels have year round appeal.. Mine are blooming now! How about yours?

    Gail

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  75. Rose,

    I knew I couldn't surprise you...I actually took PPPP off the list and then when looking through the photos of last spring..I just couldn't leave it! It is a stellar plant...I can still send you a piece this spring!

    Is the weather pleasant up there...we have had a nice day, but winter will be back tomorrow!

    gail

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  76. Daphne,

    Yes for climbing to flag down a ship!
    I do like sycamores, too! They are beautiful each winter.

    Gail

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  77. Beckie,

    I am terribly predictable...so predictable that if you are visiting my about me site at blotanical all three of my choices are there for the world to see! My inner twenty-something is shacking her head!

    It was fun to read what bloggers chose and their explanations!

    Gail

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  78. Miranda Bell,

    It was a delight to meet you~~we must thank Shirl for introducing us! Is phlox a big plant choice in France? I don't remember seeing it anywhere. Take care.

    Gail

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  79. Anna,

    I couldn't leave the Ps! I would miss them too much. You know no one thought we would be away from our computers...that's another good reason to have a very tall tree...flad down the ships a to get back to some civilization! I am glad you decided to join us!

    gail

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  80. VP,

    Nope, not too late, there is a small tugboat to take the late to arrive out to the big ship. Is it ever a lively group.

    I said this earlier but my inner twenty-something is shaking her head that i am so darned predictable! But not completely>

    Have a delicious Saturday!

    gail

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  81. Camellia,

    Do join the flotilla! It is an interesting exercise and according to some...might be revealing of our personalities!

    Gail

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  82. ... so when we all get there, I nominate you, 'level-headed' Gail, to keep us all 'in line' deciding on what goes where! Sounds like the island will be very crowded ... maybe a Zen garden should be included :)

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  83. Hi Gail - Phlox is a much loved plant in France - I have 3 clumps of it in my own garden - another beautiful plant! Many of the plants grown in the northern part of France are similar to those grown in the UK - especially the southern half - we've a very similar climate - although sometimes colder in the winter and slightly warmer in the summer. Have a good weekend ... Miranda

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  84. My choices are white pine, hollyhock, and pansies. I'm a no-nonsense kinda gal! ;-)

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  85. I'm going to have to give this some thought, too! :-) Great post... fun idea.

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  86. Gail, your post has convinced me to try to take up the challenge. In fact, I've been mulling this over for a couple of days and still haven't narrowed it down!

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  87. I'm finally gettin' around to your blog, Gail...it takes me a little while to make the circuit, so to speak:) With your sycamore and my willow we'll all be chillin'in the shade drinking our herbal teas, and smellin' all those lovely blooms, and lookin' at all those bright Susan's and PPPP! I love the PPPP's, too, and thought about pickin' them but I remembered I'd read how much you love them so was counting on you to bring them along. So when are we leaving? Do your have your airline ticket yet? Are you packed?

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  88. Joey,

    Goodness...we would so be in trouble were I to lead! But we might have fun running around laughing!

    Gail

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  89. Hi Shady,

    It has been a fun exercise! Hope you join in...bring some wildflowers for me, please! gail

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  90. MIranda,

    I might have been so busy sight seeing and eating that I missed it! Of course I was in southern France. I can still smell the smells.
    gail

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  91. Monica,

    The island need no nonsense kinds of folks...and pines, hollyhocks and pansies!

    gail

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  92. I love your choices and rationale. I can't begin to think which ones I would pick. Of course I don't have as many as I used to, you'd think that would help. :)

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  93. Jan,

    Hasn't it been a fun meme? I have been all over the place...India, Sweden the Caribbean...maybe Shirl has our tickets!

    Gail

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  94. Gail, this challenge was indeed fun - but hard... And I must admit I wasn't surprised by your list! ; )

    About my blown up photos - I do get them through Picasa and then change the sizes (html-button). The reason why you don't see the picasa logo is that I cruelly remove it. Does this make sense?

    Katarina

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  95. Katarina,

    I did too, but I must not have removed the right stuff...the photo refused o displaY! ...all hints welcome. Gail

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  96. Lythrum,

    it was a fun meme...and surprisingly easy for me;) What do you mean you don't have as many? Gail

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  97. My garden here is only two years old so I haven't acquired that many plants yet. I had quite a few more in my garden in NC. In thinking about it some more I would probably pick my dahlias, water lily and coneflowers. :)

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  98. Love your picks-- it's really a great challenge.

    I can't even imagine which three I'd choose....there are so many.

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  99. I just had to make this an even 100 comments. I like your choices for the island. That phlox reminds me of the woodland type I have had in a wash tub for a few years. Every once in awhile, I dig some out to plant in the ground, and it does not live over the winter. Why it does in the tub, I"m not sure. I tried again last year, and hope it grows in the bed I put it in.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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