There’s a Moose in My Garden by Brenda C. Adams

The book I chose is one of my favorites for several reasons including the information is laid out in a manner allowing you to find the topic you are looking for easily, the beautiful pictures, various tips given throughout the pages and it was a gift from my husband who has always supported my gardening.

With the information provided in this book I have been able to redesign areas and improve others throughout my garden. The book is broken into three sections with the first titled “Designing a Northern Garden” with tips from getting started to designs to fencing issues to putting the plants all together. The second is titled “Building and Managing a Low-Maintenance Northern Garden” helping to move from a plan to reality including prepping of soil, garden beds, planting techniques and weed maintenance. The third “Some of My Favorite Hardy Plants and What Makes Them Special” giving us new in site on perennials, grasses, shrubs, and vines.

The introduction draws you in allowing you to understand the author and pioneers who helped advance gardening in Alaska. She highlights the pros and cons of gardening in Alaska in a positive note encouraging the reader to give gardening in Alaska a whole-hearted try.

Chapter 3 “Your Master Plan” helped me design a new area by creating a scale drawing of what was in my yard and what I wanted to add. Doing the layer technique she talks about saved me time and allowed me to build on it or make changes without starting over. Her tip “The width of a garden bed should be one-third the height of the background” helped me balance the pre-existing with my new additions into the natural wooded backdrop. A tip I found later in the book suggested I use inverted marking paint to establish the borders. (Genius)

Chapter 4 helps incorporate rocks, pathways and other structures into established areas including proper placement, rock size, flower selection and irrigation. Moving on to chapter 6 provides a better understanding of Zones 4-5 and for appropriate planting in the area I reside. Combing the information provided here with suggested plants provided in later chapter helps develop a low-maintenance garden.

Other vital topics addressed and discussed include soil prep to balancing soil, the importance of physical structure, pH, fertility, incorporating organic matter to microorganism of soil. Dealing with weeds is a never ending, frustrating part of gardening. This book provides options to treat and/or prevent weeds with cheaper options decreasing your time spent weeding. I used the tip to incorporate gravel and rock chips in place of mulch to help decrease weeds and increased soil absorption of the sun’s heat.

My favorite tip from the book was how to incorporate driftwood into my garden. It has helped add character and made looking for the perfect pieces a fun family activity.

I would recommend this book to anyone gardening in Alaska and have appreciated the information she made available.

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