Today we’re headed to chilly Fairbanks, Alaska, to visit with Susie Zimmerman.
Here are a few shots of my garden. I’ve been at it for about 40 years (with a good deal of help from my husband, lovingly referred to as “the Undergardener”), whose main job was to build the house.
Where it all started, circa 1983–1987
More early beginnings of the garden—just a bit of lawn and some flowers
This aerial view shows how the house and gardens look now. What a cool house, and it is clear that there is a LOT of gardening going on down there.
Alaskan summers may be short, but the cool temperatures and long days mean everything grows incredibly lush.
In the fall, beautiful leaves changing color dominate the garden.
Just a little snow in the winter—still beautiful, though!
But when all that snow melts, a beautiful garden emerges, filled with flowers.
Hot colors come from a canna (Canna hybrid, Zones 8–11 or as a tender bulb) and a black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta, Zones 3–7).
You think deer are bad. Susie has MOOSE! She has a love-hate relationship with the frequent moose visitors. They are entertaining but can be quite destructive as well.
Susie sent so many wonderful photos that we’ll be back tomorrow with more from this beautiful garden!
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!
Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.
What a thrill to see what a garden in Alaska looks like! Just fantastic. I cannot wait for the next segment tomorrow of the gardener and the undergardener.
What Sandy said!
Thank you for sharing your Alaska garden, Susie!
Very nice ! I'm sure Bullwinkle agrees ! What a wild place , pun intended ...
Peace from the Mohawk Valley in central NYS .
I will try to refrain from complaining about the deer here in Massachusetts! I visited Fairbanks in the summer of 2021 and agree the flowers and foliage is beautiful and lush. Thank you for sharing and I would love to visit your garden. Can’t wait till tomorrow!
Thank you for posting Susie. It's great to see a post from a gardener/undergardener who faces even tougher challenges than us. What zone is Alaska anyways?
Seeing the moose picture brought back memories of a funny story that happened in our Zone 3 garden many years ago. Moose are plentiful nearby but in the immediate farming district where we live deer are the pest. One night about this time of the year when I was making frequent trips to the greenhouse in the dark to stoke up the wood stove, I came face to face with a rare moose. We each startled each other but I was more vocal. The moose went charging splash splash right through my pond then crashed into the horse fence behind it. What a commotion! Needless to say the pond liner needed to be replaced.
Looking forward to your sequel tomorrow.
Descriptive gardening story - the moose interface must have been scary.
Oh my goodness, Fairbanks hardiness zones are listed as anywhere from 1b to 4b! Classic case of Invasion of the Microclimate. I have gardening friends who are serious zone-pushers, experimenting with things (some rhododendrons, for example) listed as Zone 5. I mostly judge a Zone 3 rating as a good bet, although...do I push it sometimes? Yes? And are some things that absolutely shouldn't grow here in fact very hardy? Yup. A couple of moose got many hooves into the pond repeatedly last spring, requiring a total dismantling and re-lining...Bless the Undergardener's heart (and strong back). So glad you enjoyed my post.
Such an eye opening post!
What a cool world you and your husband have created- the amazing house & amazing garden it sits in.
And I never would have guessed it was all happening in Alaska!
I just love the two moose photo at the pond...wow!
And that gorgeous Delphinium standing tall and no stakes- totally amazing (mine all ways fall over LOL!)
Oh sure, my delphiniums never fall over in a heavy rain (oh yes they do, despite my best efforts). My good friend and mentor Les Brake chides me, "They're not supposed to be ground cover, you know..."
Wow - gardens and house - just WOW!!! Fabulous!
I'm not sure if I should say Wow! or Fun! but I think both are appropriate for both your delightful home and lush gardens! I'm so eager for tomorrow's photos. Alaska is so magnificent to visit and my jaw has dropped both times we were there at the size of the trees and foliage.
Log in or create an account to post a comment.Sign up Log in