Gardening Ideas: Do You Have a Life List for Plants?

Many bird-watchers have a 'life list' of the birds they hope to see. Here's a gardening idea - how about making a list of plants you'd like to see?

Have you heard the term ‘life list’?  It is a term that birdwatchers use to describe the list of birds that they want to see during their lifetime.

I confess that I don’t have a life list for birds, but as a horticulturist, I have a long list of plants that I hope to see.  During my travels, I have been able to cross off a few plants off of my life list.

Life List of Flowers: Gardening Basics

Top Left: Flowering Agave desmettiana, Baja Fairy Duster, Hedgehog Cactus.
Bottom Left: Flowering Ocotillo, Parry’s Penstemon and Argentine Giant Cactus.

What would you include on your life list for plants that you hope to see?  If you travel through the Southwest, maybe the flower of an agave 0r the vermillion-colored flowers of ocotillo would be on your list?

Pink & Purple Flowering Plants

Top Left: Double-flowering hollyhock, pink hibiscus, radiation lantana.
Bottom Left: Ornamental allium, prairie fire and lupine.

Are you a lover of cool-colored blooms such as pink and purple?  How about the multi-colored blooms of bush lantana or would the tall stalks or ornamental allium topped with purple balls be a must-have for your list?


Top Left: Red bird-of-paradise, purple lilac vine and queen’s wreath vine.
Bottom Left: ‘Lipstick’ Salvia, tropical bird-of-paradise and silk tree blossom.

Do you like to search for different-colored varieties of your favorite plant(s)?  How about ‘Lipstick’ salvia?  If tropical flowers are more your thing, there is nothing to compare with the beauty of tropical bird-of-paradise.

Whenever I am traveling, I’m always on the lookout for flowering plants that I have not seen before.  Even when exploring around my hometown, I’m sometimes surprised by different flowers not often seen here.

Creating a ‘life list’ for flowering plants isn’t hard to do.  If you are crazy about roses, then create one for different rose varieties.  Maybe you love succulents and/or cacti – then create one for these types of plants.  The list is uniquely yours and you can put whatever kinds of plants you like.  As you search out plants to cross off of you list, you may find yourself inspired to use them in your own garden – you never know where gardening ideas will come from.

I must admit that I have a long list of plants on my life list that I have taken pictures of – BUT there was always one missing.  The flower of this plant is almost impossible to see up close much less photograph without a tall ladder as it is usually very high up.  However, last week I finally came within inches of this glorious flower.  I invite you to visit my gardening blog, where you can see what flower I was able to cross of my life list.

How about you?  Would you ever create a life list for flowers and/or plants?  What plants would be on your list?

  1. Linda Bass says

    A birder’s life list are birds they have seen not a list of birds we want to see. We want to see them all so no list is needed!

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