Author’s note: This was my report to the Pacific Region Garden Clubs, (the eight western states) concerning Alaska’s Community Gardens of which I am a Chair. I choose to share this information and I hope that you are encouraged by it:
How wonderful it is to see the excitement for gardening and “growing your own.” In Alaska we are seeing an increased interest in the growing of vegetables, herbs and fruits within our communities, cities and in the Bush.
The Lilies are blooming and they are gorgeous! Asiatic hybrids, (Lilium) are hardy Zones 3-10, and easy to grow. Native to Asia, mature plants can reach 1-6 feet and have long glossy leaves. These beauties come in many bold colors. Unlike Oriental Lilies, they have no fragrance. These plants are low maintenance, a perennial, and suffer from few diseases. A definite must have for the Alaskan gardener.
There is nothing more exasperating to a gardener than to see their plants being devoured by bugs. Just yesterday, tiny Thrips were all over my long awaited white Peony blooms and my disdain for these little creeps came out.
If it’s one thing we have in our area to work with its rocks. The land here has natural outcroppings and rocky slopes that can be transformed and arranged into a beautiful rock garden, embracing’s natures built in gift. A stone wall and stone garden paths adds interest and provides functionality to steep areas in the garden. Rocks and walls add value to your property.
When the rest of your flower garden is finishing up its bloom, if you have dahlias, you are in luck because you are now witnessing multiple gorgeous colorful flowers from mid to late summer until frost.
Dahlias are subtropical plants and natives from the mountain regions of Mexico. A Swedish botanist and student of Carl Linnaeus, Anders Dahl in the 18th century had the genus dahlia flower named after him.
“Super Bear - Saving One Bear At A Time” is the theme of this year’s Bear Paw Festival. Who are your superheroes? I was honored to be named “Wonder Woman” by my cabinet this year… so how exciting to know our local chamber chose this theme. The festival will be July 12-17, check out http://bearpawfestival.com for more information.
This year, the Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions Club will sponsor the annual Bear Paw Pageant in conjunction with the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce for the 12th year in a row.
As Congress considers proposals to cut Medicaid, which insures 20 percent of Americans, I call on our elected officials to think not in numbers and abstractions, but rather grounded in the reality of the individual lives you will alter with the vote you cast in Washington.
Below, I share my story, and I implore you to listen to others as well.
Growing up on a farm in Washington we always had a large garden. My parents grew everything in this garden and my brothers and I were required to help. We never said we didn’t have anything to do or we were sent straight to the garden to weed. Oh the memories of those days! All of our days back then were spent playing outside with the horses and cows, riding and caring for them. However, we also had to take our turn weeding and thinning the rows of vegetables.
In the woods in springtime I love seeing the small tiny native wildflowers emerge to grace the forest floor. Dwarf dogwood (Cornuspumila), twin flower (Linnaea), shooting star (Dodecatheonalpinum), prickly wild rose (Rosaacicularis) and star flower (Trientalisborealis), just to name a few. I am lucky to these growing wild in the yard.