Desert Island Plants

If you had to take just eight plants with you to a desert island, what would they be? Of course, it doesn’t have to be a hot, dry island or one in the tropics, just one where any of your favourite plants will grow.

Top of my list would be viburnum tinus. Evergreen, totally tough and bombproof, stands no pruning or heavy hacking, and white flowers for six months of the year. OK, there is no scent, but how often do you go and sniff the flowers when there’s a foot of snow on the ground? It will grow in sun or shade (heavy shade limits the number of flowers), and is pretty adaptable to soils, although very dry or waterlogged ones should be avoided.

Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' - 2015

Left unchecked, viburnum tinus will grow to ten feet with a similar spread. V. t. ‘Eve Price’ grows to a similar size, but the growth is more compact and the flower buds are carmine, while V. t. ‘Gwenllain’ has flowers with a pink tinge. Any of these would make a good hedge which can be left to grow informally or clipped.

I’ll now go and think about my other seven Desert Island plants, but I’d be interested to hear of anyone else’s selections.



2 thoughts on “Desert Island Plants

  1. Your blog is very timely as I have just been given a Viburnum tinus by a friend. It is in a pot – should I let it stay there for the winter and plant out in the spring?
    Love all your blogs by the way; they are full of very useful information.


    1. It is difficult to give a definitive answer Alison without knowing a couple of details. If you live in the southern half of the UK, it has been unseasonably mild and your viburnum could be safely planted while the soil is still warm. But if you live in a colder area with frost in the ground, it will be safer to leave it until spring. Plants in pots need protection in very cold conditions as there is a danger of the soil in the pot freezing, so a cold porch or greenhouse would be best for very cold nights, but leave it outside as much as possible. Also, has the plant been outside until now? If so, it has been ‘hardened off’ and can be planted straight away; if not, get it used to outdoor life for a few days and then plant it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s