Growing Ranunculus in Southcentral Alaska

by Megan O’Mullane I fell in love with ranunculus in the spring of 2020 when I was working for Greta Lewanski on her cut-flower farm, Turnstone Farm, in our Airport Heights neighborhood. The ranunculus was blooming ahead of everything else because she had started them so early. They had the same lush, romantic appeal as peonies but were blooming in a far wider range of colors, and I knew I had to try growing them for myself. Last year was my first season growing ranunculus in my own garden and Read More …

Why in the world would you want to keep honey bees in Anchorage, Alaska?

Honey bees in Anchorage, Alaska? Why yes, that’s my plan for summer 2022! So when a friend gives you seven Langstroth bee boxes that have been in storage for over ten years, what would you do? If you’re like me, you accept them, clean them up, repair and repaint them, and start researching, reading and watching everything honey bees. When thinking about beekeeping, some might ask why? In fact, every person I’ve told about the boxes and the bees asks why? Some recoil at the thought. Some roll their eyes at me. Read More …

What Is Wrong With My Rhubarb?

Delicious in crisps, pies, and even a cocktail, this versatile vegetable is relatively easy to grow. Though technically a vegetable, rhubarb is an Alaskan fruit favorite! But what happens when the pie plant some gardeners choose to leave to its own devices suddenly takes a turn? Growing up we had one very large and happy rhubarb plant in our backyard. It wasn’t in a garden, wasn’t even tended to, and it did great! Our rhubarb seemed to defy most garden advice: a testament to how hardy the plant is! Crisps Read More …

Starting Berries in Winter

An Experiment It’s February in Alaska while the rest of country is gearing up for spring. You’re walking the aisles of your local big box store and admiring the berry starts that just came in! Outside it’s still cold and dark, bright snow gleaming back at you during the short daylight hours. These starts are still dormant, save for a few brave ones with green leaves beginning to break through buds on the canes of the raspberries. Below I’ve chronicled the results of my experiment inducing spring indoors and successfully Read More …

Naked Mojitos, Purple Flowers, and Fancy Hot Chocolate

After having the pleasure of trying my hand at growing and using a few different cultivars, my sweet tooth ultimately tipped the scales in favor of chocolate mint. This species is readily available at nurseries, grocery stores, and other large home improvement convenience stores. It is a strong grower, and in my humble opinion, the best of the frequently available mint varieties to make mojitos with.  Chocolate mint is a peppermint that is a cross between watermint and spearmint (mentha x piperita). It has a USDA hardiness rating of 5 Read More …

Top 10 Gardening Tips- EVER

Hello everyone! Its #GardenerIsShe2020, and I just wanted to present the Top 10 Gardening Tips- EVER for beginning and advanced gardeners. Weather you’ve never gardened and want to know how to do it hassle-free or of you’ve been gardening for years and are wondering what you’re missing, to enhance your garden- these are the hands down best tips for all gardeners: 1. Go it small– starting off small one can get the groove of gardening without having to stress about mass production. However, don’t under-do it or you may not Read More …

Alaska Botanical Garden Info

Hello everyone, Its #GardenIsShe2020, and I just wanted to share some information about The Alaska Botanical Garden, located in Anchorage, Alaska! The Alaska Botanical Garden is a living museum- meaning it showcases gardens and natural Alaskan landscapes in a educational and sustainable way. They grow botanical gardens, showcase ice sculptures and workshops, natural artist opportunities, garden journalism workshops, gardening conferences, membership and donation opportunities, children’s gardening summer camps, distance and in-person learning, botanical trails, horticulture, volunteer opportunities, beginners gardening programs, online shops, weekly guides, and moose and bears awareness, along Read More …

So, We Garden… What does that mean?

Hi everyone! Its #GardenIsShe2020- I just wanted to present this statement, “We garden.” What exactly does this mean? When someone hears the word ‘garden’ or ‘gardener’ what comes to mind? Is it Grandma hoeing her flower garden or the public school planting in the community garden? Stereotypes conflict around gardening- homesteaders, grandmothers, and preservationists, are just a few of the most common. So, what does it mean by definition to garden? The definition of garden is “a plot of ground where herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables are cultivated“, (Merriam-Webster). Thus Read More …

A Passion For Growing Potatoes in Alaska

Consider the humble potato. It’s not much to look at, yet millions of people have relied on it as a significant food source for thousands of years. One only has to look at Ireland to see the importance of the potato: In 1845, when a fungus-like infestation decimated the potato crop there, nearly a million people starved, and another million were forced to emigrate to escape starvation. Scholars believe the potato originated in the Andes Mountains of South America, and an estimated 5,000 varieties of potato now exist worldwide. Today, Read More …