Opinion

Every spring, the first flowers to emerge in my garden are the primulas. Primulaceae is the name taken from the Italian word for spring, (primavera).

Frequently found in the Himalayas and western China and in the northern countrysides of Europe, this plant prefers the cool, damp conditions of the alpine mountain regions and is well-suited for us in Alaska.

We have just celebrated Arbor Day, which is designated on April 26 every year. The garden clubs in Alaska however do not recommend planting of trees in spring until late May when the ground is thawed sufficiently.

When choosing a shrub for your garden, never pick one unless you are absolutely sure that it is resistant to our winter cold and hardy for this area. We are in a zone 3 and many of the box stores do sell plants that are not hardy outside here in the winter and they will die. Save your money and get a shrub that will survive and thrive here. One such shrub is Syringa Vulgaris an heirloom variety of lilac. This variety can grow 20 feet high and can become large and provide multiple beautiful blooms for your enjoyment.

With summer upon us, hiking and camping opportunities abound in our vast back yard: Chugach State Park. With nearly one-half million acres, the park is one of Alaska’s premier recreation areas.

It is great to be back and writing again for the Star’s “In the Garden.” The column will continue to find answers to your questions about gardening and discuss topics that are of interest to our community. Current gardening events and opportunities will be listed for your information. I look forward to researching your questions and providing the latest practices that are available. Feel free to email me at [email protected] with your questions as well as gardening events that are happening around our community.

All you needed to know about student activist David Hogg’s speech at the “March for Our Lives” in Washington, D.C., was that he affixed a price tag on the microphone to symbolize how much National Rifle Association money Sen. Marco Rubio took for the lives of students in Florida.

The stunt wasn’t out of place. Indeed, it perfectly encapsulated the braying spirit of the student gun-control advocacy in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.

When a southbound truck slammed its oversized load into the Glenn Highway’s South Eagle River Road overpass last week, it did more than interrupt traffic for thousands of local residents and commuters. It reignited public discussion about just how vulnerable Southcentral Alaska’s transportation system really is.

Thankfully, no one was injured directly. But the collision damaged the overpass such that engineers with the Department of Transportation &Public Facilities shut down traffic, fearing chunks of concrete might continue falling from the bridge into southbound traffic.

President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director is about to experience a good Borking.

No one doubts her professionalism, and she’s been endorsed by Obama intelligence officials. Yet Gina Haspel’s long career at the agency, including extensive work undercover in the field, is getting blotted out by her reported involvement in the CIA’s black-site interrogation program, which has become a warrant to say anything about her.

There’s already a trade war, and it’s being waged by Beijing.

China’s ascension to the World Trade Organization nearly 20 years ago has failed in its strategic objectives. It hasn’t created a liberalizing regime or a free-market economy in China; in fact, it hasn’t even created a China ready and willing to abide by the norms of free trade.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been attacked and belittled by President Donald Trump more than Vladimir Putin has.

Trump has had rough patches with most of his top officials, but there is a particular poignancy in his humiliating treatment of his own attorney general, who got on board the Trump Train early and supports the president’s policy instincts as much as anyone.

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