Espalier – Living Sculptures

Introduction Espalier (pronounced “es-PAL-yer’ or “es-PAL-yay’) is a horticultural technique used to train plants to grow against a supportive structure such as a fence, trellis, or wall in order to create what some consider living art and sculptures. Many folks use this technique to save space as it ends up creating a two-dimensional plant through…

Read More

Winter Doesn’t Have to Mean Boring

One distinct challenge about living in Alaska is making the landscape appealing in the winter. Deciduous shrubs lose their leaves, there’s very little color, and everything is covered by a blanket of snow. Challenging, but by no means impossible. To create a vibrant and interesting winter landscape, consider the following: Color Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is…

Read More

Book Review: Perennial Gardening “Easy to Follow Guide, Plant once and enjoy your plants, flowers, shrubbery, and vegetables forever’ — Susan Hollister

I purchased and read this book for the assignment from Alaska UAF Master Gardening class.   It is applicable to my garden where I try to only plant perennials; and hopefully ones that are low maintenance.   The book will be a reference for me in the future. The author covers all types of perennials:…

Read More

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,…

Read More
Hare damaged apple tree

Hare today, Gone tomorrow: Grafting to Replace Apple Trees Decimated by Hares.

The hare population seems to be booming in Fairbanks. This winter, some hares were able to walk right over the fences and completely girdle some fruit trees by eating the bark   Girdling happens when the phloem, the inner most layer of the bark, is removed from the tree. The job of the phloem is…

Read More

All in the Family: Propagating a unique variety of Colorado Blue Spruce from cuttings

My father-in-law is a long time wholesale nursery owner in Oregon.   He learned the trade from his nurseryman uncle, who also inspired the Waconda Blue, a variety  of the Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) that is now living in my family’s backyard in Alaska.   The original was selected in 1977 for its very…

Read More