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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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: March 30, 2009 - 4:32 pm
I keep hearing from friends about all the seeds and plants they have started and how things are going with them and all I've got going so far is dahlias, and I only just brought them in from the garage and I have no idea if they are good or not! I'm waaaay behind this year!
Posted: March 29, 2009 - 2:28 pm
Depending on how long the eruptions go on for, and the direction of the wind at the time, everyone within a couple hundred miles of Redoubt volcano will have some ash in their garden this summer.
Posted: March 25, 2009 - 5:43 pm
Kudos to the Obamas for drawing attention to home gardening! Although I don't think I'd ever dress as fashionably as First Lady Michelle Obama when I am in the garden, I hope we will see photos of the First Family weeding and harvesting when the time comes. And I hope they will grow enough to share some of their bounty as well as put some jars up on a pantry shelf for the winter.
Posted: March 22, 2009 - 2:08 pm
Some gardener friends have been doing their research and trying to find the perfect greenhouse to replace their small, homemade structure of 2 X 4's and fiberglass panels. They finally settled on an 8' X 12' aluminum framed structure with UV rated polycarbonate panels they found on the Costco website.
Posted: March 19, 2009 - 6:18 pm
There was a terrific turnout at the seed exchange last weekend with about 70 people showing up, according to a head count by hostess Sally Koppenberg at the Red Beet in Palmer. Gardeners enthusiastically crowded into the large but cozy second-floor room to share a wonderful number of seeds and listen to short presentations by four speakers. In fact, it was standing room only for a good part of the day.
Posted: March 18, 2009 - 9:09 am
Alaska Mill & Feed has begun its annual series of classes, which have been very popular in the past. Space is extremely limited and several classes have already filled up. It's worth checking back with them to see if they have added new times and/or dates.
Posted: March 16, 2009 - 2:16 pm
Today, the Talk Dirt To Me garden blog turns two years old. Who would have thought there would be enough local garden fodder to chew on year-round? It just goes to show that Alaska gardeners are some of the hardiest, most creative and resilient people to be found anywhere. Maybe a little crazy too!
Posted: March 15, 2009 - 12:54 pm
Garden conferences and workshops are springing up everywhere like little green seedlings! Take a look at what's coming and get your registrations in. These do fill up quickly!
Early registration deadline for the Alaska Botanical Garden Spring Conference is tomorrow, Monday, March 15. You can save $15 by signing up now!
Posted: March 12, 2009 - 12:37 pm
If you are planning on going to the seed exchange at the Red Beet in Palmer on Saturday, let us know what seeds you are bringing!
Don't forget to head to Palmer between 11am and 3pm on Saturday to exchange seeds, eat a scrumptious meal, listen to knowledgeable speakers and shop the Garden Gate. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to me!
Posted: March 10, 2009 - 4:38 pm
Municipal gardener Mary Susan Goocey says the gardeners at the muni greenhouses are busy, busy, busy, planting seeds and transplanting seedlings in anticipation of beautifying Anchorage streets and muni gardens this summer. Anchorage has become quite famous for its flower displays and hanging baskets, some of which are happy only in cooler climes and therefore wow visitors from warmer areas of the globe who can't grow the same things we do.
Posted: March 9, 2009 - 7:43 pm
Boxed roses and bags of various plants have arrived at Costco.
Seeds and dahlia tubers, etc., are in at Freddies and Mill & Feed.
The cutest fuchsia starts and overwintered perennials have sprung up on the tables at P&M in Eagle River.
Posted: March 8, 2009 - 1:57 pm
Despite the latest heavy snow, Thursday night at the Anchorage Garden Club brought out a very good number of gardeners who were eager to show off their healthy houseplants and their creativity in the small standard flower show, "Transitions."
Posted: March 3, 2009 - 2:55 pm
The 2009 Garden Gallery is open for business!
So what if there's snow on the ground and icicles hanging from the roof. Is there a trellis or arbor in your yard that looks pretty covered in snow? Let us see!
Posted: March 1, 2009 - 7:23 pm
It was a good weekend for bird watching.
Sticking close to home during the afternoons this weekend gave me many opportunities to peek out the kitchen window at the birds around the feeders. In fact, I probably spent more time watching them than doing my chores.
Posted: February 26, 2009 - 5:00 pm
March 1, Sunday, 3:30 pm. Fur Rondy Running of the Reindeer. I have heard on good authority that there will be several Master Gardeners running in this event!
March 1, Sunday, 2pm. IN SEARCH OF THE WATER OUZEL at the Eagle River Nature Center. The Water Ouzel is a funny little bird that's officially called the American Dipper. It's a year-round resident frequently seen around the edges of creeks and ponds. After a brief introduction, naturalist Doris Ivory will take you on a walk to search for this bird's habitat. Be prepared to walk 1 to 2 miles. Free program; $5 parking for non-members. Note: The Nature Center building will close at 3pm for a special evening event.
Posted: February 25, 2009 - 12:16 pm
Recently, I received an email from a Master Gardener who wants to grow beans. She said, "A year or so ago I read the following item in a 1918 issue of the Anchorage Daily Times - 'Tony Wendler is proudly displaying a quantity of wax beans that he claims are the first grown in Anchorage for market. The beans average eight inches in length and are good and fat.' "
Posted: February 22, 2009 - 3:22 pm
Meet Rachel Kenley, an 18-year-old senior at Palmer High. Rachel is president of the Alaska Future Farmers of America, a third-generation Valley farmer and is currently singing in a production of "Hello Dolly!" at Palmer High School.
Posted: February 21, 2009 - 11:56 am
Day 3 at the NWF&GS courtesy Herb Spencer and Linda Slack
The good news is that the NWG&F show owner announced that the show has been sold [or, technically, is in the process of being sold] so this will not be the last show in Seattle. After the show started he'd been approached by no fewer than six representatives of other presumably corporate entities about purchasing the show. An agreement-in-principle was reached on Thursday night. That was the easy part. As the saying goes, "The Devil is in the Details."
Posted: February 20, 2009 - 1:02 pm
Day 2 at the NWF&GS courtesy Herb Spencer and Linda Slack
Frankly neither Linda nor I remember seeing the winning floral displays yesterday, but we certainly noticed them today! So I thought I'd include pictures of the best / most interesting to me. Keep in mind that "Birds of Paradise" ("Bird of Paradises"?) are prominent in three of the winning entries and calla are included in several others. Only two were in the traditional lesser-plants-supporting-roses motif - and they went waaay over the top.
Posted: February 19, 2009 - 5:40 pm
Been dying to try your hand at horticultural design? Got a pretty primrose, a stunning streptocarpus, an outrageous orchid or a fantastic fern you'd just love to show off right now?