Gardening in Alaska just got cooler with “Cool Plants for Cold Climates” by Brenda C. Adams

Are you new to gardening in Alaska? Are you often overwhelmed by all of the possibilities when trying to select annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs? Do you enjoy spending winter evenings flipping through glossy garden photos for inspiration? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will enjoy Cool Plants for Cold Climates, the latest book by award-winning Alaskan garden designer Brenda C. Adams.

Cool Plants for Cold Climates aims to provide you with the tools necessary to create beautiful flower gardens in Alaska. Organized into five concise, easy-to-read sections packed full of beautiful photographs, the book explains how to evaluate and select garden plants for their aesthetic and ecological impact, dependability, and ability to thrive under site-specific conditions. Practical tips are provided to help you make better choices when shopping for plants at nurseries, greenhouses or online, and when deciding how to organize your garden.

For me, the real goldmine in Adams’ book is a directory of plants that have been proven to perform well in cold climates. Divided into useful categories (i.e. annuals, bulbs, grasses, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, trees and vines), this well-illustrated guide is the product of over twenty years of experimentation by Adams with plants that thrive in Alaska‚Äôs harsh conditions.

While there are many plant reference guides, few have a north-specific focus. If you are looking for one book to add to your collection that will improve your understanding of plants that perform well in Alaska, Cool Plants for Cold Climates is the choice for you.

I found my copy of Cool Plants for Cold Climates at Tidal Wave Books in Anchorage. The book is also available for purchase online through The University of Chicago Press Books (

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