Gardening in Alaska presents big challenges, whether it's the extra effort in finding plants tough enough to survive our Zone 2-4 climate, communicating with like-minded Alaska gardeners, or keeping up with the latest trends, issues and solutions. We'll try to help with that. We'll also tour gardens from Homer to Anchorage to Wasilla to Willow whenever we get the chance, and post the best garden photos around. Presenting a forum about cold-weather gardening and for cold-weather gardeners is what we are all about. We hope you'll join us on the Talk Dirt garden blog.
Photographer and gardener Fran Durner (email@example.com) writes the blog.
February Garden Calendar - 1/29/2010 9:28 am
UA Anchorage recognized as a Tree Campus USA - 1/27/2010 10:36 am
Stone walls provide beauty and exercise - 1/26/2010 8:43 am
USDA program for high tunnels offered - 1/25/2010 8:08 pm
Worms could eat your garbage too - 1/24/2010 8:01 pm
Wildflower Garden Club offers annual scholarship - 1/21/2010 1:08 pm
Where did you find inspiration last year? - 1/19/2010 3:57 pm
Zaumseils say farewell for now - 1/18/2010 3:57 pm
Posted: December 22, 2009 - 4:51 pm
Were you naughty or nice? Alaska gardeners share what's on their Christmas lists this year. Please share your own wish list in the comment section below.
I have asked Santa for Lauren's (Lauren Springer Ogden) book on Plant Driven Design. I've also requested a few (that's three) Sorbus decora (Dwarf Showy Mountain Ash) trees for my garden. I've always loved the berries and fall color of Mountain Ash trees, but didn't have a good place for such a big tree. At 20' tall, the dwarf will be perfect. - Brenda Adams, Homer
Posted: December 21, 2009 - 6:18 pm
If thoughts of frogs jumping out of your Christmas tree wasn't enough to scare you, then check out this story from the Associated Press on how holly and ivy are now invading and choking the natural landscape in the Pacific Northwest.
Posted: December 20, 2009 - 3:54 pm
Ten Top Gifts for Gardeners
Waiting until the last minute to shop? Stumped for gifts for your favorite gardener? Here are some ideas to help you out and that should be easy to find in town.
Posted: December 16, 2009 - 2:34 pm
Q & A with Jill Shepherd on the history of rhubarb in Alaska
I attended a talk Jill gave in early October on rhubarb and was amazed to hear about the research she has been doing on the history of gardening in Alaska and how rhubarb, which seems to be a very Alaskan plant, first arrived here.
Posted: December 15, 2009 - 2:03 pm
An email sent yesterday from Andrew Weaver, a Natural Resource Specialist at the Plant Materials Center with the Alaska Division of Agriculture:
"This winter and spring the Division of Agriculture is establishing a cooperative program to recognize the horticulture industry for taking voluntary steps to reduce the introduction and spread of invasive species to Alaska. These voluntary steps will be crafted by and for you as a horticulture industry cooperator. You are likely already engaging in practices that warrant recognition by this program. "
Posted: December 13, 2009 - 2:28 pm
December Garden Calendar
View Garden Gallery
Submit Your Garden Photos! The Dirt-Cheap Green Thumb: 400 Thrifty Tips for Saving Money, Time and Resources as You Garden by Rhonda Massingham Hart. (Storey Publishing, paperback, $10.95)
Posted: December 10, 2009 - 10:04 am
Anchorage giant pumpkin grower Dale Marshall doesn't look like Santa Claus but he is sure to bring holiday cheer to gardeners jonesing to try their hand at growing a giant pumpkin for themselves. He's offering free seeds from the pumpkins he entered at the State Fair this year. Click here to read about those pumpkins and see photos of them. They weighed in at 572 and 594 pounds!
Posted: December 8, 2009 - 8:40 am
In case you were looking for an excuse to flee the dead of winter (as if we need the least little prodding), the Northwest Flower and Garden Show is from February 3-7. You might remember the dread that struck our hearts like a pointed icicle when the owners of the show said this past February was their last show and they had been trying to find a buyer to no avail.
Posted: December 6, 2009 - 11:37 am
The first one arrived in my backyard on Friday and by Monday there were four of them. Pigeons. They’ve been called everything from rats with wings to war heroes. A pure white one is the icon for peace and the Holy Spirit. If only.
Posted: December 2, 2009 - 4:16 pm
A reporter here is researching independent, street corner type, Christmas tree sellers. We know about Minnesota Bob, but are there any other tannenbaum purveyors in Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla or Palmer?
If you know of one, you can email reporter Debra McKinney at firstname.lastname@example.org or post it in the comment section below.
Posted: December 2, 2009 - 2:17 pm
Well-known horiculturist, Wayne Leiser, 63, died Monday, November 30, 2009, at Dimond Greenhouses.
A service will be at 4 p.m. Monday at Holy Cross Catholic Church, Lake Otis Parkway and Lore Road. A potluck-style reception will be after the service at Dimond Greenhouses. Please join his family to share stories and remember him.
Wayne was born Dec. 8, 1945, in Bellingham, Wash. He grew up in Bellingham and moved to Alaska in 1964. In 1966, he joined the Navy, where he met the beautiful Sheryl on one of the four trips he made to New Zealand.
Posted: December 1, 2009 - 12:34 pm
By ALEX DeMARBAN
The Tundra Drums via The Associated Press
Posted: November 30, 2009 - 5:51 pm
Summer may be over but we know that garden clubs and organizations keep going all year long. I'd love to know what's going on with your club and I'm sure I'm not the only one, so please share a tidbit from your corner of the garden in the comment section below.
Posted: November 29, 2009 - 3:49 pm
December 1, Tuesday, 10:30am. Valley Garden Club Christmas party. At the old Catholic Church on Bogard Rd. in Wasilla. Bring a gift for the Chinese Auction and a dish for the wonderful potluck. Bring gifts, food etc. for families that VGC sponsors for the holidays. Call Fran for more info at 745-7676.
Posted: November 25, 2009 - 10:25 pm
During final desperation cleanup this fall – the kind of deal-with-God gardening where you promise not to ask for one more gardening thing before spring in exchange for six hours before freeze-up – a Disney mouse came rocketing down the side of the house.
Posted: November 22, 2009 - 5:20 pm
When Valerie Easton's husband of 30 years threw down the shovel and quit as her yard boy to have more time to do the things HE liked to do, Valerie realized just how weary she was of tending her quarter-acre yarden. Soon after her youngest graduated, Valerie and husband downsized to a smaller home and a MUCH smaller yard.
Posted: November 18, 2009 - 4:46 pm
Now that we've had some time to reflect, what would you say have been your successes and/or failures of the past summer?. Please share your experiences in the comment section below.
Posted: November 17, 2009 - 4:04 pm
Take a moment or a lunch hour today or tomorrow to stop by the Wells Fargo Bank building at the corner of C St and Northern Lights to see the 49th annual Holiday Flower Show sponsored by the Anchorage Garden Club. The lobby is filled with amazing blooming plants, artistically arranged displays and a Christmas tree decorated all in red and white.
Posted: November 17, 2009 - 10:05 am
Missing the farmers markets as you think ahead towards Thanksgiving?
Several of the farmers and vendors have moved inside where it's warm and cozy and can be found on Wednesdays at the Northway Mall from 11-6.
Posted: November 15, 2009 - 3:48 pm
By STEVE RAABE / The Denver Post via Associated Press