More Rain than Shine: Book Review of, “How To Grow Vegetables in Sitka, Alaska” by Lori Adams

  My Plan to Grow When I became Assistant Groundskeeper at the Sitka Pioneers’ Home in almost five years ago I was really impressed with the amount of flowers that were now in my care. But it didn’t take me long to realize there was something lacking on the Pioneers’ Home grounds. I knew that a small vegetable garden would be a nice, attractive, and useful addition for the home. Fortunately I was not alone in this thinking as a former employee of the home had received permission to do Read More …

Fall-the Most Nostalgic Time of Year

Fall has always been a nostalgic time of year for me, and, of course, a busy time, too. Fall evokes memories of the beautiful times past and of great growing seasons, great harvests and great farming people. The chill comes back into the air, the sun overhead starts to feel warm and friendly instead of   uncomfortably hot and bothersome, the wind tickles the trees and causes their golden colored leaves to undulate, the biting insects begin to go away, a light dusting of new snow gently falls up on Read More …

A Plant IS What It Eats

I like to read fiction. It was amazing to me that a book on plant nutrition was a ‘page turner’ for me. True, there were many very scientific terms used, but Jeff Lowenfels, in his book, Teaming with Nutrients, gives a layman’s rendition of these terms, making them understandable. There are also processes that I needed to go back to read over again in order to understand, but I did so eagerly.  The unfolding explanations and the subsequent wonder of what actually is happening in the plant structure and around Read More …

Fuchsias , Good for More than One Season in Fairbanks?

Fuchsias are a summer garden favorite for so many of us Fairbanks folks. Yet, we enjoy them during our summer months and wait until the next season to begin them again. On a quest to extend their lifespan, I’m trying to overwinter them. One resource I’m using is a Creative step-by-step guide to Growing Fuchsias, by Carol Gubler, Jane Newdick, and Neil Sutherland (Whitecap Books, 1994). A bit dated, but still a great resource for fuchsia lovers. This book has great advice and illustrations on choosing a good plant, as Read More …

Last Child in the Woods to First Child in the Garden

Sometime ago, I read the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv.   I was concerned children were growing up indoors, eyes focused on a screen, and not engaging in activities that would inspire an interest and curiosity in the outdoor world.   This book was a great resource regarding the importance of outdoor time on children. What I did not know until recently is that the website for this book also has a resource guide supplement that includes activities, books Read More …

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

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 Read More …

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

This book is a must read if you are designing your garden for the first time, or if you want to alter an existing bed. I found this book a pleasurable easy read with beautiful pictures. There’s a Moose in My Garden is Alaska specific, focusing on designing a cold-climate garden. Adams’ has three sections of the book; Designing a Northern Garden, Building and Managing a Low-Maintenance Northern Garden, and Some of My Favorite Hardy Plants and What Makes Them Special. Within those sections she goes into: designing, planning, practical Read More …

Alaska Gardening Guide, Volume 1, by Ann D. Roberts

Over the summer I visited a friend’s house for the first time. As we stood in her backyard talking, I marveled at her beautiful lush lawn, raised garden beds exposing an abundance of vegetables, greenhouse, and chickens. We discussed the garden for a period of time and I informed her that I intended on working towards establishing a hearty garden at my new homestead. My friend asked me if I had the Alaska “gardening bible.” I did not have any books at that time on gardening in Alaska. Seeing that Read More …

National Wildlife Federation’s ® Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife  by  David Mizejewski  

This beautifully illustrated book provides an introductory overview on how to design a garden that is good for people, animals, plants, and the Earth. Chock-full of useful information, it helps gardeners understand the value of native plants over invasive exotics, the importance of achieving an ecological balance in your garden or backyard, and how providing for wildlife’s basic needs (food, water, cover, and places to raise young) can be an extremely rewarding experience for the gardener turned backyard naturalist. Mizejewski’s holistic approach includes educational, fun, and easy steps to make Read More …